Anybody stand back and look at your project and wonder??

Rat Rods Rule

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Well-known member
Nov 13, 2007
mechanicville ny (upstate ny)
Going into my second year with "Judy" the ole Junker 1939 Plymouth...the more I work on it the more I wonder...what the heck was I thinking when I created this thing??

I have built a lot of rusty junk in my day but this Judy car is the biggest dung pile I have every created...

I sat in the seat the other day and I am like...this is the scariest thing I have every attempted to build...


Junk in its purest form...


It is based after my childhood memories of what I went to watch run around in circles and I gotta tell you...I know now why I thought those guys were larger than life...these cars were climb into one and then mash the gas to the floor and rocket around a dimly lit 4/10 mile track...

Those guys were crazy...they had more you know what than any of these guys do today...I drove roundy rounds for years and those I at least felt safe in...

This build is insanity....I could not even imagine guys that put big honking V8's in them...this is one step safer than a motorcycle...


Those guys were hero's in my little childhood head at least...

Still shaking my head when I work on it....

They don't call them Rat Rods for nothing...
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Those old dirt track drivers had some big ones for sure!
At our home track, they ran the old coupes until 1966. The guys were running hopped up Cady V8s and inline GMC 6 cylinders with 3 carbs. We even had a few running the old Hemi motors. One guy strapped a 426 Hemi into a Crosley coupe!

They ran 3 classes, a Ford flathead v8 class, a "stock motor" class (any un-modified motor in any car) and a modified class that was the "run what you brung" class. The Ford flathead 8 class was the mild one!

On any given night, the feature events were 20 cars strong in each class, and most of them seemed to try to win on the 1st green flag by the #1 turn. It usually took a couple tries to get the race started, and most of the time, the start actually have less then 20 cars left.

My dad's buddy ran a car in the flathead v8 class, I got to see the real cars up close, and even at 10 years old, some were pretty crude.

Lets just say there are reasons the modern dirt track cars have pretty strong rules governing their builds. The road to driver safety was built on brutal experiences.

Before I ever began building hot rods for the streets, I spent many hours wondering through the tow companies lot that was next to my shop. There were a lot of learned experiences involved with that.
The only failure you'll have is giving up...
Hey Smallfoot

This is the biggest pile I have ever had the pleasure to create...can't wait to get it to move...driving it on the highway...I would not put my worse enemy in it...

Nothing is square or plumb or level or anything like that...I cant even imagine how bad the caster is on appears to be back yards to what the norm is...
As the kid at my work said (oval track kid)...that is what they make a torch for...

Made me smile


the ultimate cobbled up rats nest....
Before and after. This was my 1st ever major build, after I got it put it together we drove it for 7 years and put 77,000 miles on it before we sold it.
The original frame was toast, so I built my 1st ever ground up frame that from scratch using 1/8" wall 2" x 3" rectangle tubing. the 1st pic was shortly after I drug it home. It took me 3 years to figure out how to build the frame, but then the car came together in just over a year. The day after its first ever drive around the block, we took it on a 500 mile round trip!
The little guy in the 1st pic is 40 now.

When you start with junk, you can't hurt its value. LOL!


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"When you start with junk, you can't hurt its value"

In my case however the resale value doesn't improve much even after it's back on the road. :D

Hey Earthman

You are so first I thought about trying to save this ole heap and make it back to a full fendered 1939 Plymouth coupe...but the farther I crawl around on it the rougher I see it really is...there is some internal rust that I don't really care to even deal with...I think this ole heap will be fine as she is currently looking like...

This was a pile a junk when I bought it and I added some TLC so now it is a pile of junk with a lot of new parts thrown at it...

Gotta love the Rat Rod rules...just build it...

Thanks for putting it in prospective for me.

Lately I do some tuning on my GMC, take it out and say to myself "this thing is stupid." As in stupid fast... not that it's a Corvette or pony car or even all that fast for a hot rod, but for a 1946 hunk of metal, it has just enough torque and power to sometimes feel on the edge of sanity. Isn't "stupid" the feeling that we as hot/rat rodders are chasing? :D

...this is one step safer than a motorcycle...

On a motorcycle you get thrown from it in a collision. Some other hot rodders I know don't have seat belts in their cars because "I don't want to be attached to this thing in a crash". Seeing some guys handywork, I can see why. :eek:

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