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Twin-Turbo Rat Rod Insanity for Sale on Craig’s List

Published April 8, 2016

Hot Rods are motor vehicles that have been specially modified to give them extra power and speed. Hot rods were so prevalent in the 1950s and 60s that they defined a generation and an era.

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A second cousin to the hot rod, the rat rod is making a comeback in automotive customization circles. Rat rods are custom vehicles that are put together using junk parts from many different types of vehicles. Many rat rods are not as beautiful as hot rods, but for many, the emphasis is not on beauty but rather functionality, creativity, and individuality.

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Rat rods can be traced back to the same era as the hot rod right after World War II. Servicemen were returning from war to civilian life and an economy where the average household income was $2,500 per year and a new car cost half that. Many former servicemen could not afford a new car so they went about building their own cars using parts from junk cars and trucks.

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In recent years, rat rods have seen an increase in popularity in a movement that has its roots in Southern California. Many of the leaders of the emerging rat rod scene seem to be living throughout the many communities making up Southern California.

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The vehicle contained herein fits the definition of a rat rod build perfectly. Currently for sale on Craig’s List, this vehicle is a combination of many different types of vehicles.

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The power plant is a twin turbo 350 small block Chevy engine. The front-end of the vehicle looks like it was taken from an early Willy’s jeep while the rear end looks to be that of a 60’s Chevy Nova. The door of the passenger compartment is from a 60’s Chevy pick-up with a custom windshield added to the mix. However,

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Priced at $7,500 with the owner offering to sell the engine alone for $3,200, I for one would be very cautious with such a vehicle. The exhaust pipes in the pictures look like dryer duct tubing. While this is certainly in line with the essence of what a rat rod is, the stickers on the exhaust pipe indicate to me that the engine has not bee n used for that long a period of time in its current configuration. That would lead me to question the safety and reliability of such a set up, not to mention the individual parts making up the build.

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While I certainly applaud the creativity the builder put into the vehicle, I must seriously question the overall drivability and reliability of the vehicle, especially the engine. While it is certainly interesting, I think that the $8,200 the seller is asking for is too much for a vehicle having such a questionable build quality. However, that may be the essence of what makes this vehicle what it is.

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Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.

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