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Photos of Rat Rod Cars and Trucks at the Fall Grand Rod Run

Updated on August 5, 2013

RatRod cars in Pigeon Forge, TN

Thousands of cars converged on Pigeon Forge, Tennessee September 11-14, 2008 for the annual Fall Grand Rod Run. I walked the strip from one end to the other taking photos of all the rat rods I could find! I would like to share them with you.

Rat Rods in Tennessee

The Fall Grand Rod Run in Pigeon Forge

Hey there, I just want to share the pics I have of the Rat Rods that were in attendance at the Fall Grand Rod Run in Pigeon Forge, TN in September 2008. I apologize for not getting any information on the cars or their owners, I was trying to cover a lot of ground and didn't think ahead. If you own one of the cars pictured or know who does, then please submit a blurb in my guestbook!

I have become interested in the rat rod genre just in the last couple of years. I am a certified car nut (ASE Certified Master Technician with L1, C2 and P1 also) and have owned a 1965 GTO (my first car!), a 1970 Camaro, a 1975 Monza V8 4 speed, and a 1967 Firebird (which I still have), but work, school, and the lack of time/money/space have prevented me from doing more with my hot rod hobby. I work for Keisler Engineering, where I deal with muscle cars all day every day, but after a while, all of the 1969 Camaros, 1970 Cudas and 1967 Mustangs just seem kind of ordinary! One of those cars has to be really outstanding to get a second look. The "new" rat rod craze is interesting to me because there is so much variety and every car is truly unique. Don't get me wrong, I feel very fortunate to be working in the industry that I love, and my current job is a whole lot more interesting than when I worked for an automotive repair chain and dealt with Toyota Camrys, Buick LeSabres, and Ford Tauruses every day!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the ratrod cars I have taken pictures of, and maybe you will be able to glean some ideas from them.

I just added the last of the pics from this show, so take a look at what is here and let me know what you think!

Rat Rod defined!

A rat rod is typically a car from the 30's, 40's, or 50's that has been modified for the purpose of speed, with little or no regard to cosmetics. It very often will be in covered in primer or what is left of the original paint, and devoid of any modern creature comforts such as air conditioning or a radio. Rust is perfectly acceptable (and actually is considered a plus!) on a rat rod! The genre has become so popular in the last couple of years that I have actually seen fiberglass bodies painted so that they looked like they were rusted metal! The emphasis is on speed and performance at the lowest cost possible, and everything else takes a back seat.

The Rat Rod Culture

The Rat Rod genre has been around since the first guy on a budget put a V8 in a Model T that he rescued from a field, and made a hot rod out of it. It started with young guys without much money who didn't care what the car looked like, as long as it was fast! The recent craze has become a game of one-upmanship, to see who could make the most outrageousely ugly (and sometimes unsafe!) vehicle around. Some of these guys go out of their way to make the car as ugly and ridiculous as possible, and I think that is a disgrace to the hot rod hobby in general. I appreciate a car in primer, that the owner has tried to upgrade to make it faster and/or safer, but to purposely make it as ugly and outrageous as possible just doesn't seem right to me. Many of the cars I have pictured have been tastefully done, with some outrageous features, without going over the top. But using beer cans as air intakes, road signs as floorboards, and garden hose as fuel hose is going a little too far in my opinion. I can't imagine that the current craziness with making a car look as ugly as possible will last very long, but the TRUE rat rod genre has been around since the beginning, and will continue to exist after the others have gone away.

Rat Rod Group

I just created a group for all the Rat Rod lenses, please sign up to be included if you have a lens related to Rat Rods!!! The link is here:

PLEASE, if you are the owner of one of the vehicles, know who owns it, or can even shed some light on what kind of vehicle these started life as, post a blurb so you can enlighten the rest of us!!!

New Guestbook

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      Miata's are for gurls like Ben and Keith

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      Very cool! What, no Miatas?