Skot's 1932 Rat Rod

As written my Skot himself.  Yes, The Skot Ingram.

Thanks Skot and Shane for the pictures

OK, now, this is an attempt to show where I have been hiding out for the past 90 days, while recycling some old rusty junk that I've had around here for years.  There are some new folks on the email list that I'm trying to give a quick overview, while some have been along the last month, day by some of this is a rerun...oh well, thats why there is a delete X on your screen.
The whole Hot Rod / Street Rod movement has gone through lots of changes over the years...It started before the War ( the Big One as Archie Bunker would say) with guys taking old cars, stripping them down, hopping up the engines, and generally building a Hot Rod to go fast....after the Street Rod movement got into full swing during the 70's to present, the cars have gotten nicer and more professional and a whole lot more expensive !!!   There is a movement of sorts of a lot of folks that are going back to the Roots of Hot Rods and are building what is known as "Rat Rods" or "Hard Core Traditional Rods" (guess which one is easier to say).  These Rat Rods vary from rods pieced together from old rusty parts which are NOT painted and considered finished, to more finished out cars that have primer as thier finished paint, but generally have the theme of being built after the War up to the 50's.  A lot of old parts that were, just a few years ago, considered obsolete are finding homes now.  The cross section of people that are building cars varies from guys that don't have any money to those who just want to have a Old Timey Hot Rod that is similar to what they read about in the magazines of old.  The other interesting part is that Custom Lead Sleds are a intregal part of this new group, unlike the Street Rod Bunch that for years, had to be pre 1948 cars only....they really do fit together, just as the old magazine title "Rod and Custom"
My little project has been sitting in an open shed for the past 35 years (give or take a couple)..It was an old 1932 that was being turned into a circle track race car with the doors all welded shut, a basic roll cage added, and all extra metal inside cut out.....Not really good for anything else, UNTIL the Rat Rod movement started.  The engine is an old Flathead (circa 1949 to 1953) that I built up as the first hot rod engine for the Other coupe (the orange one, that I've had all these years 35+) sat in the shed next to the project 3 window for the same time....and, true to tradition of this project, it was STILL a good engine inside, only replaced 3 valves, never had to pull pistons, cam etc. just a freshen up.  There were lots of other stories like this that opened up as this "RAT" was going together.
As I started out, this was basically done in 90 days, starting out with me mainly fabricating, while having input/help from others, and turning out with lots of folks coming to this RAT to make it happen....I couldn't have pulled it off in this time period with out them...As  a real nice addition, I got "reaquainted" with my Hot Rod roots and had a lot of fun building this car along with getting closer to some of my Hot Rod friends...what a deal.
I'm gonna start out with some THANKS to folks that had some thing to contribute to the Rat Rod whether it was parts donations or physical took friends to build a RAT(new catchy phrase)
    (You may notice that everyone has a nickname...there is a story behind everyone of them...later)
Bruce "Boat Motor 32" Hord 
Graham "Flathead, Wrong Axle" Phares 
Jim "Flathead Convert" Cook
Jeff "Cowboy" Deskins
Chuy "10.32 second kid" Machado
Chris "Hot Shot Welder" Reynolds
Dave "Left Turn" Cooke
Randy "Late model 34" Pimpler
Reggie "Lots of Carburetors" Hill
Alex "da Kid" Brown
Dave "Fireball" Bacon
Austin "Military Man" Weber
Norm "Lots of Rods" Jones
Colin "Original Austin Rat Rod" Casey
Jimmy "da Pedal" Vaughn
Bill / Tammy "Cleco" Farmer
Dennis / Sue "Aluminum King" Obrien
John "Old Parts" Skrabanik
Henry "Blind Guy Driver" Hill
Ken "Blind Guy Driver" Hill
Joe "Master Machinest" White
Robert "Kept the Company Gong" Owen
I'm sure I've forgot some one, dang it... 

engine comes out of shed

here it is, had to cut a small tree to move it

Other projects to work on if I start feeling bored

The start of the Queck Change Rearend...magnesium one on the left, had to weld up some cracks...I'm really a recycler at heart, Greenpeace watch out

Seeing the light of day, looks pretty good, if you squint real hard with dark sunglasses on 

inside shot of what I'm starting with, remember the sunglasses and squinting deal

Starting to wack  brackets and such stuff off the frame, you'll see the cutting results soon

New frame horns fabricated and "new" front crossmember

The real start on the frame

Mock up with engine and rearend, piece of cake now, not much to go !!!

Front end, combination of parts off 4 different front ends (remember the tree hugger recycler that I am)

Rear radius rods mounted, note the good body to work with...

Ready for a test roll, (see the sort of things a person does late at night to give him encouragement)

Starting on the headers, for some reason, I couldn't find these down at the local parts house, dang have to make more stuff...also steering is mounted

Headers in fit up

Headers mocked up

Fabricating Clutch and Brake pedal assembly

Trying out for size...NOTE since the doors are welded shut, the way in is thru top....Also note the first shot with me in it....this means that I'm able to finally use/get outside help, cause most of the "fabrication" is done now....shoot fire, this is gonna be a piece of cake now..."nuttin to it"(words that I will be questioning later on !!!)

High class interior....(Boyd Cottington is starting to send in spys right about now)   

Combo scattershield and floorboards, this is what I get for having a fab shop to pick up spare materials

Hooking up the "pretty" steering arm, from the orange coupe recycle was short of amazing, when I turned the wheel to the left, the wheels went the correct way...what an engineering marvel.

Ummmm, what a nice body to be starting with

I always wanted to run 39 teardrops tail lights on something

Custom license plate

Future "wolf whistle". I always wanted to run one of these too...whats that about staying a kid at heart?

Get to get in a "cheep shot"....Yanking it apart...most of the fab work is done, should be a "piece of cake from here"(rememver this )

Using some of that high paid volunteer labor....some where in here I came up with the 10 minute rule...if you stayed longer than 10 minutes, you were put to work on something !!!(would you believe that some people stayed around)

Heres another shot of some of that High paid help

Sending it off to sandblaster for rust removal and priming

Got back from the blasters...note the subtle way of getting another cheep shot in there !!

Cutting out the old metal that was sort of in bad shape ( gonna make Christmas ornaments from the leftovers) 

Starting to fill the Swiss Cheese body

Full race patch panels getting installed for now

Sanding the epoxy primer, ( left a lot of the detail body work shots out that the "original band of recepients had to see")

Now this is special.....I took some rare American Racing wheels that were 6 inches wide, Bruce Hord took them to get 2" machined out of them,, then I welded them back to create some one of a kind 4" front runners....all of this is because I wanted to run some early style Firestone ribbed front tires....Dang, this is a Rat Rod, oh well picky builder.

Getting my moneys worth from that high paid help

Painting the bottom side, nice to have a crane at my  disposal

Goin Black...

Henry Ford said "you could have any color as long as it was sharp eyed folks might note that this is a Posed cheep shot(hard to believe out of me) airline hooked to the paint gun

The first parts go back on to stay, piece of cake now, nuttin to it(hummm, starting to hear this a lot now)

welding out the headers...bolted the flanges together to keep the heat controled, to keep from warping....I heliarc welded the flanges to the pipes, then later gas welded the pipes to pipes where it showed...(to fit in the time period of "fabrication" 1949...I also did some of this same sort of stuff on the frame where it shows...Ahhh yes this is a rat with detail too)

Nice windshield frame to start with, came all the way from NY( and of course the 3 window takes a special one, cause I had a spare 5 w frame)

ooooooh...fancy gauges(2 used ones and one new one) and a fancy switch panel, pedals installed....must be getting close to running(huhhh, who keeps on thinking like this?)

missed a lot of shots since the last one, but running the rear main brake lines.

"Wild" Wiring Harnass, yea all those wires do go some where, note no store bought harnass used here.

"Tame" Wiring Harnass....the guy that invented tie wraps should be put in for Hero status for coming up with those things

Making mounts for the w/s frame

pedals mounted, except for the reworking of the brake pedal on the top and bottom side before this is all over with...what was that about the fabrication being done?

The Quick Change rear end with the subtle paint job ready to go in for good....well, sort of on that one,  will be explained is a cool looking rearend even if I am bragging on it(and it was another ecology special, being brought back from the junk piles of parts from various sources, Green Peace are you taking notice?)

Chris making gas tank(fuel cell)/ Battery, Propane bottle mounts...see, I did sub out some of the fabrication items...(and what is that propane bottle for anyway?).

Quick change rearend mounted to stay(remember that thought...everything seems to be going together quite well about now, doesn't it?)

Hey, how did another cheep shot get past the censors?(also note the alert look and the dark outside look, sorta fit together more and more right about now).  Front end is in now except for another bracket needs to be fabricated(amazing finding more to build)

Put up the "Great Wall of Skotz"( those dang Chinese don't have anything on Central Texas) can see that this will allow me to work on the Rat during the day, with some seperation from the shop...This is right about the time I go from part time on my "real job" and turn into a full time Rat much for serious priorities.

Had a steering wheel delema...the sort of cool black 50's truck wheel vs the "genuine" off a race car 4 spoke wheel with some battle the choices I had to make while on this project...I'll let you guess for now which one got picked.

Factory 32 airconditioner is installed...creature comforts abound with this project

Those pesky "shop mice" were out again last night putting holes in anything they could(remember this is an ol rat rod, no details to be fussing with)


Remember picture #002....engine comes back after a minor freshen up and with a spiffy new polished look and new paint...whooooo...its ready to install, well sort of ready...

Broken head boss for thermostat being rethreaded

OK...another sort of cheep shot...Cool looking engine, even if I'm bragging on it

Mounting the fuel cell, ground wire, vented overflow line

<--(good number to all you gun folks out there) Mounted the clutch, pressure plate assembly, put in new special pilot bearing for trans


An underside shot of the inside of the engine, note the shiny pistons, block painted inside, hone marks still visible on the cylinder walls....this thing has been waiting like this for about 35 years, No real special care...It must have known it was destined for a 32 Rat Rod project!!!!


oooooh, got the chrome oil pan installed(another one of those "years ago donations" from "Boat Motor 32" Bruce)...Just had to go on the non shiny rat. That 5 speed transmission sure looks more healthy than the old ford 3 speed box....Thanks again Bruce !!!

Sure is nice having help at times like this, putting the engine in its new home.


Late Night again, Tired out...(sure you couldn't tell by the dark at night shot, but hey got in another cheep shot and I was really feeling like I had accomplished something)


Clutch pedal set up arm built and installed with adjustment holes for later

Alternator (OH, Make that an early 50's Henry Ford experimental generator, otherwise thie would look like a late model part on this car) Mount is fabricated


Heres some of the Period correct gas welding on the headers and stick welding on the engine mount that shows(more of that danged ol rat rod detail work that I HAVE to do)


Special effects on the steering rod, hey the rules are real lax on rats


Lots of "High Dollar" Krylon Cherry Red Paint (Boyd's spys are checking out the special mix)

Starting to look like a car, (wheels are sitting on the bare axles, need self induced moral boost from time to time)


Old aircraft seat that came out of my old Circle track car from years...this thing originally came in P-40's, Mustangs etc from WW2("the big one")


Shifter adaptor to mount the Hurst shifter arm( that danged ol Bruce came up with my ultimate choice in shifters, how does he keep on doing that ? )

Hummm, whats wrong with this picture?...the carbs sure to be appearing to be coming apart .....

Oh my gosh!!! another problem arises...the brake drums won't go far enough on the axles....found out the wrong axles were put in the rearend....dang, dang it( I actually used harsher words right about now, but you know, censorship and all that, can't use here) you see, this is happening about 3 or 4 days before the deadline to "Drive" this car to Rat Rod roundup...right about now I am actually asking the Big Guy Upstairs just what he is trying to teach me now!!!(the rat turns into a real religious experience, where I keep learning patience, keep getting help from friends, AND I didn't kill anyone in the whole ordeal !!!)


Carburators, where are you? to take all 3 of them apart and clean and reassemble (spare time job)


The wrong axle culprit...alive

 Scattering rear end on the table


Compare with pic 412...this is more like it, shoot just lost about a 16 hour day, nuttin to it...thanks guys, this really had my spirits down...

Brake problems, had to modify the brake pedal on both top and bottom side to get more movement on the master cylinder(you know when Boyd builds cars with all new late model parts, he doesn't seem to have this sort of thing pop up....OH, What was that you said, he is just bolting a bunch of new parts together that look old) This does sort of bring out a smart ass side of me out doesn't it.

Dang this is a small car inside...remind me again about NEVER building a car with the doors welded up!  Note the welder trick of holding the filler rod backwards , while making a 100% penetation weld...remember, its brake parts, no easy outs here.

oooh, nice drive shaft( I must have been a barber in a past life)

Gonna lower to the ground soon, gettin close

Hey, slipped in another cheep shot...The car is DOWN !!!!

Future "Glove Box" (remember this is a Deluxe 3 window coupe, all sorts of extras come standard)

Last minute mods to suspension, details, details, patience....

And we have lights(Bruce got these off a John Deere, how fitting)

Deluxe interior, so comfy for those long trips

FIRST TIME IT MOVED under its own power!!!!!YEAAAA.....I really thought I had it made now, plenty of time for some last minute additions, let the traffic die down and go for a test drive, piece of cake, nuttin to it......This wound up turning into a 21 hour day....wouldn't run past 1000 rpm, ended up changing some carbs, ignition, plugs, timng, condensers, coils....and to top it off around 9:00 on one of my test runs, it runs out of gas a mile and a half from the gas station down the road.  Now, I've really got some time to talk to HIM upstairs, and just have to look at this as another "learning experience of life".  Well "Flathead Jim" and "Long Axle Graham" come out later to try to figure things out....they leave at 3:00 am scratching thier heads, I leave it, head home get my well deserved 3 hour sleep and come back early in the morning with the Orange Coupe to use as a tow car (as a last resort, would have to show up with some class). Changed the center carb, new distributor cap, etc...nope...go to the parts store for some more new plugs, and in my wandering mind, remember in my past Flathead days of running a long reach plug(thats not susposed to work, by the way)....Guess what,  it woke the engine up and I had a Rat Rod that runs(about 12:30 noon Saturday)

Friday, shop crew that I "forced" to work on the rat....note the Horns growing out of thier heads

Showing where to chop the top...."future update series"


Smilin' Austin, running a hot wire to get the brake lights going....I trusted HIM with some wiring....oh yea, not much sleeeeep

See, this is proof that it drives down the road!!!!

And back that night....late.....runnin on mountain dews and adrenalin and runnin out of both

Late night comparisons between the "Old Orange 5 window Coupe" and the "3 window Rat Coupe"

See above, just different view

At the roundup, crusin.....This danged ol Flathead sounded so good, and sort of loud, that I had all sorts of people making comments about it(and, yea, I'm bragging on it, so there)

Here I am, made it, one tired puppy, and have only had around 3 mountain dews by now

This is Dennis "Aluminum King" Obrien, my one Yankee friend in the have to quit referring to all of them being worthless, cause there is one good one.

Now, this my friends id a "Hard Core Rat Rod in its finest rust finish on all parts with just a little of the 75 year old paint peeking through...this car is finished !!!!

OK, here's another hard core rat with an old flathead Cadillac engine and wild one side exhaust

And a Slick Rat!!!.....I'm told that for next year he is gonna finish lowering it....this was a cool ride( for short distances)

"Power Parking" spot, Dennis and I had to go rumble around a little bit, and when we were coming back Steve, show boss, asked if we would park out in the main area.....wellll, I guess so.....

Don't know how well you can read this, but it is a listing of all the folks on the first email that were a part of this project, complete with nicknames

Randy "Late Model 34" Pimpler out on Congress ave, Note: Dennis trying to be a part of the picture also

The Continental Club was the focus point for the cars that night, and dang if we were right by the front door!!! Congress ave was full when we made it and somehow a spot opened up right in front....

Like in the old days...Burnouts on the streets...this kept going until around 11:00 until some "drivers" had to add too much speed to the burnouts(my opinion, burnouts are cool but with no movement) and the crowds kept going farther into the street....the combo of the two became unsafe and here come the police...dang it... If only the "drivers" could control thier speed in the future, and there could be a self imposed ,by your peers, speed limit this could go on.....I'm politicing here folks....

Skot getting interviewed by Channel 8 News

From Web Administrator:

I have more HQ 6 megapixels of various cars at the Roundup.  Email if anyone is interested. - James