Spotted in the Wild: Rat Rod Day in San Diego


No, it's not a Southern California Rat Rodders meeting. It's just another Sunday afternoon in San Diego.

I've never been a fan of the gleaming, chromed-out, trailer queen-type hot rods that their owners clean with Q-Tips. I've always found them to be a little inauthentic. Hot rods are way cooler when they consist of little more than a rusty Ford bucket cockpit mounted on steel rails, powered by a flathead V8. Additional bonus points are awarded if it has whitewall tires mounted on steel wheels or if it's constructed by a guy named Johnny with greased back hair and a pack of Marlboro Reds rolled into his sleeve. 

To be honest with you, I don't know enough about hot rods or pre-war cars to really know what we're looking at here, but I know enough to tell you that in all likelihood these cars probably consist of parts from enough different manufacturers that it's probably irrelevant. Lack of knowledge justified!

The first car lives in Normal Heights and is easily my favorite. The chopped roof, red steel wheels and flagrant disregard for anything close to California emissions standards make this pretty much my perfect rat rod. Beautiful.

The red one is obviously a little more well kept, but it's not something you'd be afraid to go cruising in once a week. Longtime Drive Cult readers might also recognize this South Park grocery store parking lot as the same one that produced the 1971 Ford Torino Cobra and the Morgan +8. I have no idea what makes this unassuming parking lot in a middle income neighborhood such a hotbed for awesome cars, but rest assured I'll be returning.

The last one also lives in South Park right down the street from my friend's place. It's, erm, taller looking than the other two cars (like I said, I don't know a lot about hot rods), but it has the same minimalist approach to exhaust engineering as the Normal Heights car. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go scour the internet for rusty 80-year-old car parts.