Love Those Rat-Rods


Canadian Ryan Danylchuk's rig is a good example of the rat-rod trend where less is more.

One of the questions I get asked a lot at truck beauty shows is my take on trucks sporting the rat-rod, low-rider look. My answer: Love it! Now I know some of you are going to say that makes me biased. No, it doesn’t. I’ve had a keen appreciation of custom cars and trucks (the little ones) as far back as I can remember.

My big sister’s boyfriend–and eventual husband–and all of his buddies had customized cars. I was knee-high to a goat at the time, but loved the flames and spinners on the wheels, and the sound of the V8s and glass-packs. (Apparently I also loved twisting off antennas and seeing how many times you could hit a headlight with a rock before the lens shattered.)

When I was in high-school autoshop, I spent the majority of the time hot-rodding my ’49 Ford coupe–a 16th birthday gift from my parents. It was formerly our family’s wood-hauling “pickup” on our little 10-acre spread. In the decades snce I’ve customized and hot-rodded just about every vehicle I’ve owned and many I didn’t.

So I have a great appreciation for custom big rigs, be they old-school with a million chicken lights and acres of murals or the “new school” style emulating street rods.

The way I view the new customizing trend is it takes a lot more creativity to make a rig look super cool by minimizing than it does bolting on every chrome accessory known to man. If you’ve seen what it takes to chop a top, drop a suspension, or put on suicide doors, you know what I mean. Such customizing goes back to the good ol’ days of rodding when there wasn’t a lot of money or custom parts around. To get the “look,” you had to do it yourself and let your own personality shine through. Most often it turned out less is more.

I laud those who are doing the same with their custom rigs. Every custom truck has a story behind it–just like its owner. And stories are what make good reading in our magazine regardless of the customizing “school” you favor.–Bruce Smith / Editor


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