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.