Volume III, Issue 8, Page 42

One of the hot rod trends that has developed in the last decade or so has been the “Rat Rod” movement and lifestyle. It started on the West Coast with gearheads building early rods using not-so-pristine bodies in primer, not a lot of chrome, plain steel wheels with narrow tires, and often ragged upholstery. In other words, 1932-40 Chevys and Fords like they used to showcase in those cheesy, 1960’s era teenaged, hot rodders-from-hell Universal International car flicks.

Today’s Rat Rod owner often wears retro jeans, T-shirts with a pack of Lucky’s rolled up in the sleeve, and have a girl friend with too many tattoos, mesh stockings, platform heels, poodle skirts, and flaming red hair. (Not that there is anything wrong with that). If there is a problem it is the Rat Rod movement has developed into a clique with more rules than the IRS handbook.

But here in the Midwest, where we found 18-year-old Jesse Sutton and his ’40 Chevy pickup, the Rat Rod movement isn’t quite so structured. For some young hot rodders, building a Rat Rod offers them the opportunity to build a hot rod without investing a lot of money and at the same time express their creativity.