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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I guess in my older age I am not as up on car terms as I used to be. I have come across the term "rat rod" (today in an Ebay ad describing a GT rear view mirror) and am stumped to know what it means. So please help educate a fellow Opeler so I can sound more "hip" at the next Opel gathering!
 

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"Rat Rod"

In Biker circles a "Rat" bike is a junker that still goes but sans paint, sans chrome with taped up wiring and LOTS of oil everywhere!

Or maybe it does hark back to earlier times - remember the Ed Roth tee shirts with the cartoon rat driving the gasser?
 

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Re: "Rat Rod"

GTJIM said:
....Or maybe it does hark back to earlier times - remember the Ed Roth tee shirts with the cartoon rat driving the gasser?
The Ed "Big Daddy" Roth Rat Fink!!!

Somewhere, I have a hat, from waaay back, with a Rat Fink that he airbrushed on it.
 

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I had thought that a Rat Rod referred to a '32 Ford or similar in any of its incarnations. Basically a '30's era car that has been customized. Including, but not limited to being chopped, channeled, sectioned, smoothed, de-fendered, de-hooded, or any combination of the above. Almost always powered by a large american V8 Engine.

The big block Chevy engine (most often in the 454 cid flavor) is referred to as a "Rat Motor" and the small blocks are sometimes called "Mouse Motors".

I have noticed that a lot of eBayer's are using the term "rat rod" in a lot of auctions on items that are cheap, can be easily customized to fit, or could be used a high performance upgrade. A good example was a listing I saw for a set of 12" finned aluminum brake drums from a '63 through '65 full-sized Buick. Bidding went to $200 even though they would have to be re-lined before being used... but they are pretty much a bolt-on for '32 hi-boys and the like.
 

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Re: Re: "Rat Rod"

Gary said:
The Ed "Big Daddy" Roth Rat Fink!!!

Somewhere, I have a hat, from waaay back, with a Rat Fink that he airbrushed on it.

I have a fair amount of Big Daddy's work including a collector's card that has The Ogre Opel on it. Pretty cool, shows a GT with a large V8 and Hilborn type injection sticking out of the hood, and wild huge tires spinning and smoking. One of these days I will need to hook up my scanner again. I have a few items that I think are pretty cool that I would like to upload... If only I weren't so dern lazy...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: "Rat Rod"

GTJIM said:
In Biker circles a "Rat" is a junker that still goes but sans paint, sans chrome with taped up wiring and LOTS of oil everywhere!


I see where it could come from now. The above description fits quite a few of the Opels on the road today! :p

(and not on the road for that matter!)


Or maybe it is the favorite ride of members of the "Rat Pack"!

Or the name of the jeep from that great 60's tv show "Rat Patrol"
 

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Hi Jeff from across the county line!
I have a buddy who is really into the early Ford scene, and based on that, my recollection of a rat rod is best summarized by the typical jalopy that a teenager in the '50's would throw together based on a 1920's-early 1940's Ford. You'll find money spent on parts to make the typical flathead V8 (or other engine) go faster, but little money spent elsewhere.

Primer or flat paint jobs (maybe even painted with a brush) are the norm, and the upholstery may just be one of those old wool "New Mexico" type blankets thrown over the old torn seat. You would never find anything fiberglass, billet, or with power assist on a rat rod. The rat rod is all about fun and being able to drive your ride without worrying about rain or a paint scratch to dampen the sheer joy of running something you put together.

So, a 1970's Opel mirror on a rat rod? Well, maybe the simple lines of the round metal door mirror would work, but an Opel rear view mirror? Nah, the roof mount and black plastic wouldn't fit it the rat rod style IMHO.

-Jeff Widder
73 Manta (safely in the garage, away from the snow, and anxiously awaiting spring!)
 

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GT-Freak

I have a pair of toys that are setup exactly like the car in your avatar (chrome wheels sticking way out etc.). One is a late 70's Red Vette (with the Hilborn injection like on your car) and the other is a Black '57 Chevy with a blower. They both had a "four-on-the floor" shifter sticking out of the trunk area, first gear was idle, second was fast idle (a quick flick between first and second would blip the throttle as though you were staging), third gear was "cruising" and fourth was a full-throttle launch that pulled the front tires of the ground. My dad and I used to drag race each other with those in the living room. It didn't take us very long to figure that a little water on the kitchen floor made for great burn-outs.

Would those be the toys that happened to inspire your avatar? Did that company make a GT version?!?!?!?

P.S. The '57 Chevy version of that toy also makes an appearance in the opening credits of the recent "Gone in 60 Seconds"
 

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The basic pic was taken from an old AMT model box. I fixed it up to look like the model I built in 1972 (and my brother blew up on July 4th after I was married). I had a few models that were similar (Chevelle, GTO, Vette). I loved the GT the most and it had extensive custom work and handmade parts. Injection stacks are a thing of beauty but hell on the street. I look for the model kit on eBay, but it sells for about $100.

Hopefully, some day my real GT will look the same. I have $$$thousands in parts and still haven't started the transformation. Even have a frame builder lined up. Once you start there's no going back. I've done several engine swaps, but never anything this extensive.
 

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I have the re-released AMT/Ertl Opel GT Kit (from my local hobby store, inventory is now exhausted) and I have to say that it is one of the strangest kits that I have found. None of the pieces are numbered which makes sense because the instructions are vague. The optional wheels don't match up, the fit of some of the pieces is a little off (requiring filler and sanding), and the body is going to take some serious sanding to smooth out the mold lines. On the plus side, the model is pretty accurate

I was going to whip this together (now that my dad's Wildcat is done), but I have a good amount of prep work ahead of me before I can stick everything together.

Come to think of it... sounds like a real GT... Hard to find, parts are not numbered, extra pieces, missing pieces, vague manuals and a lot of prep work before it can be put back together.

And that's why we love 'em
(I'll be sure and post pics when I am done)
 

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i thought my amt model from gt source looks great and its my first model car ive evr built like that i used a spray can to paint the body and used testor models paints to do the detail work. i like how if u look close enough at the gauges u can actually read the numbers on um. pretty detailed ehhh.
 

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I have the re-released AMT model and a 1/18 scale die cast. The AMT isn't exactly the model I had. And owning the original puts a bigger chip on your shoulder.

I also have original release Roth cars (Outlaw and Bandit), NIB, never opened, signed by Ed. I think he was amazed that stuff was still around. The guy ahead of me (at the car show) had him do artwork (Rat Fink) on a toilet seat. Cost him a bundle but I wish I did it too.

The Ogre is how my wife sees me when I look at car stuff.
 

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Where did you get/who makes the die-cast model?

My girlfriend sees me in a similar light. She is not my wife because of my obsession with cars. Thankfully, she is still with me, and that's only because her dad is a car guy too. He has a 1960 T-Bird and some others. She has a 5-speed Mustang convertible that I have dreams about hacking apart and turning it into a replica of a Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe...
 

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I'll let you know. A friend of mine gave it to me last Christmas. It's pretty nice, very detailed, with opening doors and steering that works. I hide it from my 6 year old boy. He'd have it crashing. He begs me to see it. But I've seen his other toys.

Wife considers it my dark side and less significant than my other qualities she considers good. My father-in-law only likes golf. We don't talk much. My first father-in-law was a car guy. We did engine swaps and other car stuff together. I miss him. I wish he had a better daughter.

Daytona Coupe on a Mustang donor. That sounds like a lot of work. Starting with clay and working toward a fiberglass body?
 

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Tame Upload

Ogre Opel makes my nice little upload look a bit tame!

I had forgotten how reallt "BAD" Ed "Bid Daddy" Roth was.

NIce One!
 
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