Diesel Rat Rod: Blowin’ Smoke
Photos by Swanee
Diesel Rat Rod blowing pure Cummins smoke!
SEMA 2009 proved to be an extreme mix of automotive genius and variety. Rat rods are becoming part of that creative pool. Rat rods, in general, are built solely from old parts and pieces that are deliberately left raw and natural. Additional trinkets are added, leaving their patina to show. The surge of this style of building is gaining support by a recent article by Car and Driver Magazine. Check it out: Car and Driver Top 10 Favorites from SEMA
Case in point, is this “Diesel Rat Rod”, a 1928 Dodge 4 door body, rusted and abused beyond restoration, was chopped and channeled onto a hand built frame. Stepping way out of the box and into the next field, a retired 1998 Dodge pickup donates its motor, a Cummins 12 valve mechanical diesel engine. The diesel motor produces plenty of horsepower and torque plus gets 20+ MPG.
The diesel rod is the imagination of Steve Darnell, owner of a fabrication shop aptly named, WELDERUP. www.welderup.com
Steve has been around cars all his life. Finding old cars is his reason for living, even better when he can drive the beauty home! Steve’s daily driver is a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air, left in its original condition.
Steve and his crew build rolling works of art. This diesel rod has so many features that every time you see it, the more it pops. The trim around the body is a bandsaw blade, a chainsaw blade surrounds the cowl. Brass screen mesh, from a gold mine, has been recycled into interior door panels. The dash is sheet metal from an old piece of farm equipment. The rear bumper is two pistons from an excavator engine and the steering support is a connecting rod from the same piece of machinery.
This entire project, as well as others, is based on the recycling of old parts. Sheetmetal, handles, gears, chains and endless other parts come from salvaging in the backfields of the farm and ranch community.
Steve jumps at any chance to cruise the streets and enjoys all the attention he gets riding in this rat. Burnouts at every stoplight baby! Fire from the propane injection and smoke bellowing out from the single exhaust pipe.
No trailer queen here, the diesel rod was built to be driven and enjoyed by everyone.
The diesel rat rod has been featured in a variety of magazines; Diesel World, Diesel Tech, Diesel Power, and Hot Rod. This rod brings the diesel heads together. Rebel Rodz teased the rat rod community and overseas e-magazines like, El Diablo (Spain) by featuring this rat and Mattblackrat (England) http://www.mattblackrat.com/ found the diesel rod to be an interesting ride.
(This is a picture of the hand crank starter. About half a turn is all you’ll need, believe it or not, to fire this thing up. I watched him do it and couldn’t believe how easy it was.)
What is next? ENJOY IT! Welderup is based in Montana but, the crew isn’t scared to drive all over the U.S… Be on the lookout as the “show” rolls into town!