Right about now, Ryan Hopkins and his crew
at Cat House
Customs are on the road to the 2019 SEMA Show in
Las Vegas with a fresh hot rod—and wondering how the hell they pulled it off.
Cat House built the 1918 Ford Model TT truck in less than 10 months as part of the 2019 RATical Rod Build Off/Drive Off. The program features builders from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand driving their cars 1,400 miles from Nebraska to Vegas to prove what they built is road-worthy. Don’t let the name fool you—these are serious, high quality cars any builder would be proud of. Visit the RATical Rod Build Off/Drive Off website for more information.
take a closer look at Cat House Customs’ creation.
Rat is a slingshot dragster-meets-Model T pickup. The car rides on a
rectangular tube chassis fabbed by Lahrs
Speed and Custom. It features a buggy spring front
suspension, a Winters quick-change rear axle located by ladder bars and QA1
coilovers, and a 496 cubic inch big block Chevy topped with a 6-71 supercharger
making about 1,000 horsepower. The Sanderson zoomie headers are so pretty
they’ll bring a tear to your eye.
Model TT cab is 1918-issue Henry Ford steel. Ryan wisely left the decades of
patina as-is under a few coats of clear. The Model T pickup bed was shortened
14 inches and fitted with a Jaz fuel cell covered by a big wicker trunk. Bet
you haven’t seen that before.
Want to hear what a blown Rat motor sounds like? Of course you do—check out the first startup of Pro Rat’s engine in this video.
The RATical Rods organization will be posting during the ride to the SEMA Show—you can ride along with them on their Facebook page. And if you want to see more pix of Pro Rat, you’ll find them on the Cat House Customs Facebook page.
Editor, author, PR man—Alan Rebescher has done it all in a 25 year career in the high performance industry. He has written and photographed many feature stories and tech articles for Summit Racing and various magazines including Hot Rod, Car Craft, and Popular Hot Rodding, and edited Summit Racing’s Street & Strip magazine in the 1990s. His garage is currently occupied by a 1965 Ford Mustang.
[…] 1918 Ford Model T pro rat build for Cam in Victoria: https://www.onallcylinders.com/2019/10/31/sema-project-car-update-cat-house-customs-pro-rat-1918-for… […]
The more time I spent carefully looking over this Cat House Customs display of advanced engineering topped off with an original steel 1918 Ford TT body shell, the better I understand the level of commitment it must take to tackle a project of this complexity. It took a minute to get my head around the fact that the body is 101 YEARS OLD !!! A lot can happen over that length of time and this original steel piece of history managed to survive the test of time so it could fulfill its destiny in the radically different life it lives in today. I wonder if it ever got to meet its father the creator, Mr.Henry Ford ?
Aside from its historical icon status, the body as it sits on Lahr’s chassis with the modern coil overs, QA1 shocks along with slicks and skinny’s on the ground, has definitely taken on a demeanor that screams badass loud enough to wake ole Henry from his eternal dirt nap in the family skull orchard .
When it comes to the various components that goes into a project of this magnitude, there are many options available. But the one item that’s absolutely mandatory is the huffer. And with some things in the performance package, size does matter. I’m sure a lot of thought went into the decision to run the 6-71 blower. It’s going to make scary power levels in this feather weight vehicle. But in keeping with the radical in-your-face impact, super size that regular order of Roots positive displacement with a jumbo 10-71 Jimmy and hang on when you hit the loud pedal.
It’s awesome to see folks tackle a project like this. It’s loaded with the sum of the builders imagination. I guess the well ran dry when selecting a unique engine to compliment this special ride.
Another BBC ? Well ok then.
And the beat goes on…..
This is Ron Lahr who built the chassis for Ryan Hopkins. I love your article and it was a great opportunity to get to work with Ryan on his SEMA build. I have been invited to be in the International RATical Rod Build Off for SEMA 2020. I am honored and super stoked to be a part of this amazing opportunity. I would be honored if you would want to do an article on my build as well. Hope to hear from you soon.