1934 Dodge Hot Rod Tow Truck

Calling this Dodge unique might be a bit of an understatement. Whoever built it put a lot of time and hard work into it, but that doesn’t really explain what they were thinking. It’s packing a Chevy 350 from a race car, a custom built frame and a working tow winch. With its dually rear axle and heavy duty frame, it might actually be capable of towing a car, but I don’t think I would try. You do have to give them credit for coming up with an interesting use for an old truck cab. Find this crazy creation here on eBay in Madera, California with a current bid of $8,100.

Fast Finds


  1. steve

    Id take it for free if I could sell it, but if I had to keep it, you could not give it to me.

  2. RB

    Don’t know what it is but it is not a 34 Dodge. 33,34 & some 35’s were suicide doors. Firewall looks similar to my 35 panel. Maybe a 36? Grille is probably from a tractor.

    • Rustowner

      Looks alot like a Diamond T grille, minus the chrome trim, to me.

    • David Montanbeau

      Nothing 34 about it. Dash is a late 35-36.

      • David Montanbeau

        NOW!! Here is a real 1934 Dodge tow truck that we own. 4000.00 new.

  3. BronzeGiant

    Rolling parts car. I will be so glad when people stop ruining vehicles by building these POSs.

  4. Jay M

    Um, April Fools is over…no?
    How is this resto-ruined rat turd a “Barn Find”???
    Complete waste of time & parts.

  5. JW

    I understand these rat rods were built with parts people had laying around but rather than build something 95% of the car world wouldn’t keep in their driveway they should have just sold the parts and maybe come out ahead. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

  6. JW454

    I’ll be happy when this fad comes to an end. There is no link to the Ebay ad… Not that I would have looked at it anyway.

  7. Terry J

    Rat rods cover a spectrum from traditional hot rods the way we built them in the 50s , to this end of the scale – bizarro. Art is in the eye of the beholder and if it is well built and safe to drive then cool. But he coulda found a Mopar engine and not that sbc for cryin out loud. Terry J

  8. ruxvette

    Calling this Dodge a POS is more accurate…

  9. Wayne

    That’s why I always tell my kids, “DONT DO DRUGS”

  10. Steven Tamer

    The rat rod thing started out as a way to make a cheap low buck Hot Rod and then evolved into Freaky Crap Boxes that are more of an embarresment to builders and Hot Rodders..Its bad taste for shock value

    • Terry J

      It didn’t evolve Steve, but it did grow branches. The original low buck hot rods are still being built from coast to coast. My old Dodge P/U was built over 20 yrs ago, but would be called a Rat Rod today. My current RaTT roadster is built from major pieces from 15 ?? different old cars/trucks. I like it, that’s all that matters. The offshoots like the wrecker is very strange to me but some like it I guess. :-) Terry J

      • Howard A Member

        Well, Terry, looks like you and me on this one. I love Rat Rods. ( not to the tune of 8g’s, however. From what’s laying around the “farm” here, I could probably make my own) You can pretty much see the dividing line in car enthusiasts, when they bash stuff like this. This, to me, is as creative as it gets, car wise. I enjoy trying to determine the origin of the parts. The grill on this looks like an old farm tractor. ( Oliver?) I think your truck is really cool, but needs more “doo-dads”, like a 3 foot long shift lever, maybe? Also, the towing apparatus on this, is strictly for show. It might work.

      • JW

        Terry I do like yours as it shows a little more thought was done in it’s construction.

    • O'Dee

      Misspelling embarrassment can be kind of embarrassing too! ; )

  11. BronzeGiant

    “You do have to give them credit for coming up with an interesting use for an old truck cab.”………No, You don’t…..

  12. Beemoe

    Reminds me of a high school cheer:
    U G L Y, you ain’t got no alibi, you’re ugly, yeah, yeah you’re ugly.

  13. Wayne

    I would reply, I was born ugly, what’s your excuse.

  14. Rob

    It’s stuff like this that makes being stuck with an HOA just a little bearable.

  15. DrewP

    That is NOT a hot rod of any sort.
    A rat rod is a vehicle that is poorly executed (and should be), it is very questionable as to if it is safe to drive/operate.
    Many parts can be assembled correctly and safely so it is not a question of how many parts that are used, but how it is constructed. Esthetics is another subject, but still applies.

    • Terry J

      Well Drew, That’s your definition of a Rat Rod, but not everybody’s. Fact is there are many categories in that heading. The best article I’ve read on the subject was in Hot Rod magazine. Interesting and worth reading:


      Your conclusion that the subject Rat Rod wrecker is unsafe to drive is based on what? I for one don’t like it, but I personally think Picasso’s paintings were garbage. Just not my taste. :-) Terry J

      • Tim Rusling

        “Ah, good taste! What a dreadful thing! Taste is the enemy of creativeness.”
        ― Pablo Picasso

      • Bill McCoskey

        Drew & Terry —
        When I see things on this truck that make me concerned about driving it, such as the Brake proportioning valve assembly [gold colored block next to master cylinder] held in place ONLY by the brake lines, that’s a bit scary. Get the vibrations just right, or multiple large potholes, and the lines could shear off! Has anyone looked closely at the steering system? I counted 4 u-joints in it, and they cut about 80% of the left front frame horn to run the steering rod thru.

        Good points awarded for the creative use of an old Electrolux canister vacuum! They even left the wheels on it!

        Whoever buys it, if they live back east and above the frost line, better replace the fire extinguisher with either a CO2 unit or a dry chemical, don’t want that big water based one to freeze!

  16. John K

    I generally admire rat rods and kustoms, but this thing is a mess.

  17. Stephen

    I can’t believe they got all that exhaust work hanging off the header bolts…..

  18. Howard A Member

    Has anybody determined what the air cleaner is? It looks like a Hoover canister vacuum cleaner,,,,I love it!!! :)

    • Doug Potts

      An Electrolux canister vac

      • David Lundquist Member

        That explains why it SUCKS!

      • Bill McCoskey

        Doug & David — No, it’s Lucas vacuum sweepers that suck, here’s proof:

        [As a British car collector, this is one of my favorite posters!]

        I also had a bumper sticker that said:

        All parts falling off this car are of the finest British workmanship!

  19. Dairymen

    It probably couldn’t even pull a turd out of a litter box!

  20. Joe Nose

    Mad Max casting-call reject?

  21. Josh Staff

    Hey guys, sorry about the link. I was trying to get it done fast and must have forgotten to add it. It’s fixed now.

  22. Scot Douglas

    They say “Tow truck”

    I say “Train wreck”

    I bet it goes down the road *real* nice with that 30-40 degree angle on the steering shaft u-joint…

  23. glen

    If it’s street legal, I wouldn’t mind taking it to the local car show. It’s certainly different, it would be the only one there. I just wouldn’t be willing to buy it.

  24. Brent

    Bet it was built for a tow truck at dirt tracks. They be some weird stuff around my areas tracks. “Engine out of one of my race cars” is kind of a tip off.

    • Scot Douglas

      Not so sure – see that teeny winch?

      • Brent

        Dirt cars don’t weight much. Winch would do just fine. However, no push bumper on the front. Maybe put in on at the track. Just a thought.

  25. 70Kingswood

    fugly, nuff said!

  26. Mark S

    Not my thing but from what I can see from the pic’s it looks well exacuted in its construction. These rats are very much rolling art taken to extreme. There is a ton of effort that goes into one of these and the ones that are considered a success are the ones where the proportions are right, if one thing is off IT destroys the whole affect. You need an artistic eye to pull off the right effect. Again this is not my thing but as a custom fabricator I can appreciate the work, and to you naysayers I defy you to try to make one and get it right.

    • Howard A Member

      Thanks, Mark, my point exactly. Rat Rods encompass the epitome, zenith, if you will, the best a “backyard, shade tree mechanic” could muster up. These, I feel, are a tribute to those folks, that didn’t have a lot of money, but had a lot of crap laying around, and did the best they could. Ok, this has evolved some, but the basic idea is the same. I know I couldn’t do this, my Rat Rod looked more like this,,,https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/600×315/ee/33/5c/ee335c83bb300f453846091b6f99d30e.jpg

      • Terry J

        Haw Haw Haw. The mighty Lamb’s Tongue special at speed. :-) Terry J


    I wouldn’t trust towing anything with it, but if you want to steal a crowd at the car show this would accomplish that for sure.

  28. waynard

    Certainly no uglier than a Pontiac Aztek.

  29. Big Ed

    Put a swoopier noze on it, a covered bed and a NASCAR wing and high speed tires and tow it to the salt flats to run. Of course it would need more than this but I would love to hear those headers at mile 2.

  30. xdub

    As the old saying goes “to each his own”. Personally I see some potential,just not 8ks worth.

  31. KevinW

    Egads! I like some rat rods, but this one doesn’t do it for me. I get that was his vision and all, but it just looks too hodgepodge.

  32. Vernon

    Looks like a tractor grill

  33. Rolf Poncho 455

    Electrolux sucks but nothing sucks like kirby sucks!

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Rolf, years ago, I had a friend’s dad that had a vacuum cleaner business( did quite well, actually) We’d say, “Al, your business sucks”. He’d come back, “Yeah, but it’s always picking up”.

  34. Tim W

    I don’t know if I would ever build a Rat Rod, but some of the engineering and creativity that go into them are outstanding! The next time you’re at a GoodGuys or NSRA event,look at what vehicles there is always a crowd around….

  35. Beeman on Nevis

    Is it roadworthy ? Reason I ask I’m looking for something unusual to tour the USA in this summer …..

  36. Grid Member

    In ’79 I took a wrecked Toyota Hilux, cut all the damage from it and dropped a hot 289/4-speed in what was left. Nearly 40 years ago, it was, and that was an example of that boisterous time of my life. Today, I look at that “thing,” and that rusting ’57 Caddy in the background, shown in front of a really high-dollar home and all I can imagine the neighbors are saying is “Maybe the Clampetts are moving!”

    • Treebeardzz

      ’58 Caddy, Grid. He has it listed on Ebay now. He thinks he ought to get more than $8100 for this abortion. I’d much rather have the Eldo, just wonder how much rust is hidden by the fresh primer.

  37. Treebeardzz

    That kind of GARBAGE is what makes life rough for REAL hotrodders. You know, the kid that is learning and tries his best with what (or she) he has, on a shoe-string just to have something to drive. That is something I respect. This guy had to have spent a fair amount of money to make the biggest piece of crap he could. Not to mention that he was disingenuous in his ebay listing: “California licensed and insured” BULL: HOLE in the windshield, no wipers that I can see, NO INSPECTION STICKER, and no bumper and I VERY greatly doubt it slides under the 1500 Lb weight limit that is questionable for no fenders, as it would not qualify as a 1934 model due to the extensive modification. That without the “welding” that I would have been ashamed of when I was 9 with a 225 Lincoln, not to mention with the HUGE hole cut in the frame on which the steering gear is hung in front of just asking to crack and lose steering control.(maybe OFFROAD or recreational- but definitely NOT street legal) I have built rat rods where form follows function – A 76 3/4 Supercab(7000+ lbs) that would wheelie when dragging stuff and which I towed a ’75 Peterbuilt 160 miles at 63mph with no problems other than the stock fuel pump that couldn’t keep up under load above 65. A FUNCTIONAL “Rat Rod”. I’d much rather have the unmolested ’58 Eldo he has up right now.

    • David Montanbeau

      No inspection sticker for CA.

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