Hooniverse Truck Thursday – A Spare Parts Special Pickup Truck, now for sale on eBay


Welcome to another edition of Hooniverse Truck Thursday, and this time I thought I would do something different. Instead of a cool classic truck, or a retired workhorse, I thought I would show you a truck that sits firmly in the “Rat Rod” end of the spectrum. Now many of you despise Rat Rods, but just pay attention to the little details of this Rat Truck!


This vehicle is a mash-up of different cars and trucks, but it is titled at a 1920 Willys Pickup in Virginia. From the firewall to the back of the seat it is a 1920 Willys Overland automobile,while the bed is from a 1929 Ford model A. The seller is pretty candid about all the parts he used to create this thing, like the hood is off an early Ford (he thinks so anyway), and the grill shroud is also from some Ford product, as are the wheels and rear end.

The engine is from a 1969 Nova (he thinks so anyway), which is an unusual engine to be used for a Rat Rod. It has been modified with a Clifford intake, and a Holly Carburetor, and keeping everything cool is a Ford Falcon radiator, with an overflow container that was once a Nehi Pop Bottle. The transmission is a two-speed Powerglide.

This is an interesting vehicle but its will not appeal to everyone. The starting bid is $5,000 with no reserve. See the listing here. At this time, I want to hear from you about the Rat Rod phenomena… Love it? Hate it? Despise it? I’m sure you have your opinions, and don’t leave out what you think of this thing.

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  1. TX_Stig Avatar
    TX_Stig

    Most of what gets labelled as rat rods are the ones that have been drug, not through a JC Whitney catalog, but a scrap heap. This one is somehow classy. Its an honest, though cobbled together, vehicle. Plus, major kudos for using a powerplant other than a small block chevy. I like these kind of rat rods, the merely unfinished, unpolished sort of rod. 5,000$ is a bit much, but I would love to put something like this together. Though, I would likely prefer a late Ford I-6 and a 5 speed. Then we would be talking…

  2. Joe Btfsplk Avatar
    Joe Btfsplk

    Nothing wrong with "rat" rods. There is plenty of room in the automotive hobby universe for all. These vehicles are primitive automotive art.

  3. tonyola Avatar
    tonyola

    Nothing against rat rods. They're a very time-honored tradition and I dub this one the Tetanus Special. Interesting and curious "stitching" at the front of the cowl. What could that possibly be for?

  4. Van Sarockin Avatar
    Van Sarockin

    It's pretty ratty alright. Seems to be an intake leak below the carb, there's probably some interference between the exhaust and the steering column, and the seats desperately need to be reupholstered. But lacing the cowl on is wonderful.

  5. muthalovin Avatar

    This is interesting, but not for 5k. Maybe at 3k. Maybe.
    I believe that the rat rod phase is coming to an end. It's been done to death, and the pinnacle is the 1928 Dodge Brothers Sedan:
    <img src="http://image.hotrod.com/f/featuredvehicles/hrdp_0911_1928_dodge_brothers_sedan/31002399+pheader_460x1000/hrdp_0911_01_z+1928_dodge_brothers_sedan+front_view.jpg"&gt;
    Anyway, the new phrase of ratting? Rat Muscle. It's going to be ridiculous.

    1. Smells_Homeless Avatar
      Smells_Homeless

      You know why the rat rod scene is starting to dry up? The builders of real rat rods have saved up enough money for paint and body now. The builders of fake-patina bearing spikes-n-skulls mobiles are going to start reaping the rewards of their poseurtude now.

      1. Black Steelies Avatar

        Give it ten years for the junkyards to fill back up. It'll be back, with a vengeance.

  6. CptSevere Avatar

    I absolutely love rat rods. This is a great example of the genre. It could have been built by a teenager back in the fifties with what was laying around the barnyard, which was what hot rodding was all about. Yeah, I'd love to have this little old misfit. I'd drive it every day.

  7. Mr_Biggles Avatar
    Mr_Biggles

    I like it. Lacing is a great idea. $5K seems a bit high.
    I really like the Rat Rod that harks back to what Rat Rods were (presumably) all about to begin with: a somewhat scabby thing put together out of whatever the builder could scrape together from the barn/junkyard/back 40/whatever, with little concern for aesthetics. I get considerably less excited about the carefully contrived Rat Rod that is meticulously built to try to emulate the spare parts special, but to each his/her own.
    Bottom line: everyone has their likes and dislikes and parking lots are big places. I lack patience for someone who would kick me out of their parking lot because my Rat Rod didn't meet their idea of what a Rat Rod is supposed to be.

  8. lilwillie Avatar

    I had a love for the rat-rods before Hot Rod and Car Craft decided to force it heavily upon the masses and took a niche and cool aspect of the automotive culture and made it the new cool thing to do.
    Can't go anywhere without seeing one. They sell for ridiculously stupid money considering the time and effort needed to build one and now instead of gear heads and hoons owning them the guys with fat check books and the need for attention own them.

  9. Jim-Bob Avatar
    Jim-Bob

    I don't mind it as a trend if it means driving cars that are less than perfect. However, the excessively contrived nature of some of them is in questionable taste. As for this one, I just question the use of the Chevy inline six as I doubt it fit there without a lot of cutting and I can see no technical advantage to using it. Then again, if I would have built it there would be a EFI Nissan KA24DE under the hood just to piss people off so maybe I shouldn't talk…

  10. OA5599 Avatar
    OA5599

    Put me in the "like" column, provided it's done right. I've seen too many fiberglass bodies sprayed with stuff to look like rust.

  11. Alff Avatar
    Alff

    Rat rods have largely jumped the shark for me but this sits on the far side of the Rat Rod/Jalopy divide. I like jalopies.
    Edit: Extra bonus points for the log home with wraparound porch in the background. This guy may well be my hero.

  12. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    Not exactly how I would've done it, but that's not the point. All-in-all this one's done just right. Anything under $4k makes sense to me.
    +1 to everyone making the distinction between contrived rat-ness and genuine "Ima throw some shit together" rods.

  13. LTDScott Avatar

    Great, Hoonibles stole my post.

  14. Ryans92L Avatar
    Ryans92L

    While awesome in its own right, sadly $5000 for a rat rod is about my limit. And even then, I would never buy a rat rod. It seems like it goes against what a rat rod stands for.

  15. P161911 Avatar
    P161911

    Nothing against true Rat Rods. Just don't give me anything you painted rust on or added patina to. Seems to me this one is pretty interesting. I like this kind of thing a whole lot better than a fiberglass '32 Ford with a small block Chevy and TH400.

  16. Black Steelies Avatar

    This is just the right proportion of rat to rod. A build that uses secondhand parts, but is in no way shoddy, with a smattering of patina for flavor. Oh and there are absolutely no kitschy iron crosses or skulls that have been overdone by any show on tv about choppers [or about half of disco channel's lineup for the past 4 yrs].
    Just like a good martini- a decent gin with a good name for the base, some vermouth for flavor and absolutely no vodka.

  17. King_Crab Avatar
    King_Crab

    These things used to be called Jalopies.

  18. ZomBee Racer Avatar

    Like Alf & Crabby above, I came to say I hate the label "Rat Rod" and all the crap that came with the popular trend. They used to be called Jalopies, and I love Jalopies. (Bats eyes, "Dreamy")
    But 5K isn't right in my mind. This thing needs to be traded for a cord of wood or a kegerator to be legit.

  19. 4DoorNoMore Avatar
    4DoorNoMore

    I think rat rods are a reaction to the street rod culture of the '80s and '90s when it was all about high-dollar show cars. Unfortunately, it's become its own little elitist scene. Now if your car's got an SBC (or if your silly anachronistic pompadour isn't greased just right) you can't play with the cool kids anymore.
    My '30 Plymouth fits the rat rod mold but I don't fit into the scene. Suits me just fine.
    Oh, the car in the post? Meh. It looks like the parts were collected deliberately for the patina. It feels forced to me. Love them stovebolt sixes, though.

  20. rocketrodeo Avatar
    rocketrodeo

    Rat rodding is not particularly my cup of 30-weight, but its detractors remind me of how segmented motorsports has gotten with the zero-sum politics of otherness. That may say more about our times than anything else. Tribalism. It's the same way with motorcycling. For cryin' out loud, people. It's a big sport. There's room for everyone.

  21. JoeyM Avatar
    JoeyM

    I love this truck.
    The latest issue of Streetrodder has an article named, "Repro Rod Returns – Fiberglass bodies and reproduction frames add up to affordable fun. The article says, "So, with a new body, chassis, engine, and transmission rolling around the floor the cost is around $22,000, once again, hardly low-buck, but not big buck, either. […] the car should be able to be completed for under $50,000, and you should hav eone very nice hot rod when it is over."
    That's crazy…..you shouldn't have to be a banker to have fun with a streetrod/hot rod. I'm glad stuff like this exists as an antidote to the "checkbook rods"

  22. Teemu Harju Avatar
    Teemu Harju

    Hi to all, I own this truck now, here in Tampere Finland.

    1. julkinen Avatar

      Can we get a follow-up story? 🙂

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