A VW Bug Rat Rod, also called a VW Beetle Rat Rod, is a type of Hot Rod or custom vehicle that imitates the early Hot Rods. A VW Bug Rat Rod is often a backyard or garage project. Usually you start from scratch with parts of two old cars. The perfect Rat Rod looks like it shouldn’t be able to hold together.
How to build a VW Rat Rod Bug?
- Get an old car. You will find many old cars at the junkyard. There are also several VW Bug Rad-rodding websites that you may consult to find a vehicle. Look for a Beetle that is not especially rusted and that has his essential shape still intact.
- Remove all interior elements from the Volkswagen Bug. Remove the door panels, seats, steering wheel and other accessories from the car.
- In order to do some welding, you need to drain all gasoline from the gas tank. This step is very important in the buiding process of your Rat Rod Bug.
- Adjust the frame however you want it. Measure and mark where you want the vehicle’s new axles and wheels to go and cut the Beetle frame with a reciprocating saw.
- The main challenge is to keep the total price-tag somewhere under $3,000. You can find cheap parts on Ebay or in the junkyard.
- Don’t save money on the essential parts. Install new axles, shocks and a descent suspension system for your Rat Rod Bug.
- Now it is time to mount the body on the frame. You can customize the body and make the rat rod you want, then weld it to the frame.
- Regarding the Rat Rod engine, there are two possibilities: you can rebuild the existing engine or you can install a new engine.
- Now that the engine is in place, it is time to install the brakes and tires to try to make the Rat Rod as safe as possible. Also don’t forget to put in a seat!
What are the differences between Rat Rods vs Street Rods vs Hot Rods?
A street rod vehicle is an automobile of 1948 or earlier that has undergone some modernization to the engine, suspension, transmission, interior and many other aspects of the car. A Street Rod VW Bug is a non-racing car used for enjoyment. We also call the Street Rod the more family friendly version of the Hot Rod. In some US states, age plays a huge role in the definition of a Street Rod. In Arkansas, Colorado, Oregon, and Wyoming, a street rod is any 1948 or later vehicle that is a minimum of 25 years old.
The Hot Rod is also an automobile of 1948 or earlier that has undergone some modernization to the engine, suspension, transmission, interior and many other aspects of the car. The biggest difference is that the Hot Rod VW Bug engine is designed for racing. The engine is often exposed.
As mentioned before, the Rat Rod VW Bug, also called a VW Beetle Rat Rod, is a type of Hot Rod or custom vehicle that imitates the early Hot Rods. The term Rat Rod basically refers to an unfinished appearance of a Hot Rod. When a part does not work or needs to be replaced, you don’t go to the shop to buy a new piece, you simply find it off of another car.
NOTE: there is an age old debate about the difference between Street Rods, Hot Hods and Rat Rods.
Vegas Rat Rod Show
Since a few years you can follow the adventures of Steve Darnell in the Vegas Rat Rod show. He works in a garage on the outskirts of the Las Vegas Strip where he builds new cars entirely out of junk.