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Home : Scrapbook : Roamin Angel Corner Index : 1927 Model T "Rat Rod"

1927 Ford Model T "Rat Rod"There is a recent movement in hot rodding called “rat rods.” Although there is not strict definition, they normally have pre-war bodies with a hot engine and little in the way of polish or luxuries. Fancy paint jobs, lots of chrome and polished aluminum are shunned. Often paint is minimal and dull-finish. The idea is to harken back to the early days of hot-rodding when the idea was to scrounge around and get the highest performance with the fewest parts and lowest cost. There is a group in the Roamin Angels that come from that tradition, known as the Buzzards and Bob D. is one. When he saw a ‘27 Ford Model T coupe rat rod at the No-Billet Show (Billet makes polished aluminum street rod parts) in Antioch, he made an offer. It reminded him of what he might have built when he was in high school. After months of negotiation, he bought his rat rod. It has a custom frame, a four link, coil-over rear suspension and a suicide front end using a stock Ford axle in front. Although space prevents a full translation, suffice it to say they are used in many hot rods. The body was channeled so that it sits low on the frame. It has a 350 CID small-block Chevy engine that breathes through side-exhaust headers with a 350 Turbo auto trans. To say that this is a “minimalist” car would be an understatement. It has no extras like power steering or brakes, air conditioning, carpet, stereo or speedometer. In fact, it doesn’t even have side windows. But that doesn’t mean Bob doesn’t enjoy making long cruises with his rod. In fact, he is going to take it to the L.A. Roadster Show in SoCal, Hot August Nights in Reno and even the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah with fellow Buzzards. Before making the long runs, he does hope to make one concession to comfort and have the seat made a little plusher. Still, it is his “outside” (ungaraged) car and he is not going to waste money on paint and a fancy interior or time on washing it. After all, it is a buzzard rod . . . um, make that a rat rod. But then, buzzard rods may be the next craze to hit the hot rod world.

1927 Ford Model T "Rat Rod" -engine & interior
Bob’s rod has Model A wheels in front and he is putting the same on the rear. It sits low and handles well. He says it is fun to drive.

Spartan is the only word that can be used for the interior. The only gauges in the dash are oil pressure and temperature, plus a vacuum gauge under it that Bob’s dad had. The skull shifter knob was made by Norm Gabowski, best known for making Kookie’s T-Bucket on 77 Sunset Strip.

With no accessories the engine is just an engine. Bob says that he enjoys watching the front wheels turn and the engine running as he cruises down the road.

2009 © Story & photos by Ron C. - Roamin Angel Corner

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