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427 Powered Rat Fink: 1931 Ford Hot Rod

There are a handful of names that are considered the “Godfathers” of hot rodding. They include Barris, Winfield, Hines, Edelbrock, Petersen, and of course Ed Roth. Roth’s art continues to remain popular today and one of his most iconic characters is Rat Fink. Supposedly Roth’s dislike for Micky Mouse led him to create Rat Fink. According to ratfink.com, “After he placed Rat Fink art on an airbrushed monster shirt, the character soon came to symbolize the entire hot-rod/Kustom Kulture scene of the 1950s and 1960s.” This awesome 1931 Rat Fink-inspired hot rod can be found here on eBay with an asking price of $17,000, the current bid is at $1,925. Located in Broadview Heights, Ohio, the seller says this car is a show winner. Check out more photos of this car below and if you’re interested in more information on Roth or Rat Fink, you can find it here on ratfink.com.

There isn’t much information in the ad regarding the powertrain, but the engine is a 427 cubic inch V8 backed by a power glide transmission. The rear end is a 9″ Ford which handles getting the power from the engine to the wide rear tires.

The interior features a nice pair of bomber-style seats. There are certainly no creature comforts, but with a hot rod like this, you don’t need much. The dash looks functional with a quick-release steering wheel, a big tachometer, and a couple of other gauges.

The radical chop and stance on this car really accentuate the cartoon style of this car. It reminds me of the custom cars that Ian Roussel builds. It takes an artistic eye to build a car like this and I’m sure “Big Daddy” Roth would think this car is pretty cool. How about you? Is this car too radical for your taste?


  1. Avatar photo Steve R

    The best thing about this car is the rear wheels. It has a pair of 1970’s Cragar Super Tricks, they would look great on someone’s restored or vintage race car.

    Steve R

    Like 6
  2. Avatar photo Joe Haska

    I was lucky to meet and spend time. With Ed Roth and I have no idea what he might think. But I would bet he wouldn’t like his art work ,t hat is his signature and logo on the side of this car.

    Like 3
  3. Avatar photo RKS

    What a waste.

    Like 8
  4. Avatar photo Arby

    Show winner?

    Wonder what the rest of the contestants looked like…

    Like 18
  5. Avatar photo RichieRich

    How do you even see where you are going !!

    Like 2
    • Avatar photo Rod

      If they are kinda pointed straight, you’re fine.

      Like 3
  6. Avatar photo Bob Roller

    Do ya suppose it can move away from the curb?Looks under powered to me.

    Like 2
  7. Avatar photo oilngas

    Front end sure is light for a big block.

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Mike

      Prolly jacked up to work on the lower end…it is a bowtie…

      Like 3
  8. Avatar photo Howie Mueler

    Maybe the RF stands for “rust find”

    Like 7
  9. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    People are judging what it is by today’s standards, not the era it represents. 1st, as time marches on, these cultural icons, like Big Daddy Roth and his “Rat Fink” moniker, will fade, but to us old timers, “Rat Fink” was huge. Not sure what, if anything, it meant, just represented the ultimate in misbehavin’,,or so we thought. While I’ve seen a lot of hotrods, never one like this, and that, to me, is what makes it so cool. Looking through the roof. Hotrods kind of morphed into Ratrods, however, this still is a good old fashioned hotrod to me. This, younguns, is what fun used to mean.

    Like 31
    • Avatar photo Rod L

      I use to draw this type of car when I was in 3rd grade. 1959. This is the ultimate cool car, both then and now. It is everything that started this whole hot rod craze. It ain’t Purdy, but it is Steve McQueen cool.

      Like 12
    • Avatar photo Ralph

      Great point Howard. I went to a smaller outdoor car show over Memorial Day. About 80-90 cars trucks displayed.
      I bet there were 12 or so “rust” rods or trucks on display. Not my favorite way to do a project, but many told me it buys time till they can afford a costly paint job. Made sense to me.

      Like 4
    • Avatar photo AMCFAN

      I tend to disagree. The traditional Rat Rod is a PERIOD build using parts of an era of the usually from the 1950’s. Guys made rats popular fifteen years ago as a joke making fun of the traditional car show. Guys who would beat the swap meets for authentic 1950’s parts and doing it right. It took off and everyone started copying. 1-800 build a car catalogs started filling up with repro parts from Japan. (Thanks Speedway junk)

      What this conglomeration of junk represents is no where near the craftsmanship of what an authentic build illustrates. So I think judging by the responses it is agreed that this is a poor poor copy. I too am glad to see less rust builds at shows. Their time has come and gone. Thankfully

      Like 1
    • Avatar photo AMCFAN

      Disagree Howard. It is a poor copy of a traditional rat. The traditional being a specific time frame to the 1950’s using authentic period pieces. Looks like someone cleaned out their garage and built this pile. If building an era piece it’s from the 1980’s by the sum of parts with an early body.

      The chop is the worst its like they started putting away the beer and got an instant hangover and quit on it. I respect a good quality build, This is a clown car and as dumb as it looks has to be just as unsafe.

      Poor Ed Roth.

      Like 2
      • Avatar photo Howard A Member

        Hi pal, I had to chuckle at your response, you seem to forget how these “hotrods” were created in the 1st place. They were low budget contraptions, made from, yep, someone cleaning out their garage! There were no plans, imagination was the rule. Coming from Colorado, it’s common for folks to exclaim, “what were they smokin”, or from Wis.,”how many suitcases did THIS take”, when, that’s not accurate. These are built by regular folks, maybe even by someone who never ran a welder or a torch, but by golly, they are doing something, whatever the outcome. I feel, it’s not a good idea admonishing someones work. There is so little of this today, and sorry, but your reasoning is why. We should encourage this, not rip on it.

        Like 2
  10. Avatar photo Morley Member

    ICON??????? It looks that someone had a lot of old farm machinery laying around. And it is a show winner????? Oh, my

    Like 4
    • Avatar photo Richardd Adams

      Morley, the show winning was before the roll over…….

      Like 1
  11. Avatar photo Bob Roller

    At one time,Rat was a term for a low life person of ill repute and Fink was a thief of any kind.I once asked a man about an item he had and he thought his low life son had “finked” it…..stolen.

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Howard A Member

      Steve Allen ( who?) had a field day with the word “fink”.

      Like 5
  12. Avatar photo Mutt

    Perfect just to leave parked in your drive way, forever, and be…
    “That Guy”

    Like 8
  13. Avatar photo chrlsful

    yeah, in the day it would have been chromed & purply. Plus a lill styled (toward Big Daddy’s ‘bent’). This is totally different – “a rat rod’. Never the twain shall meet. But then again, here it is.
    Same w/”a funny car”. Not a car at all but 4 wheeled monster w/a thin skin adhered to the outside. Do they still race them? Have they also devolved?

    Like 1
    • Avatar photo Howard A Member

      Hi chrisful, “Funny cars” do indeed still run, albeit, down the lame 1,000 foot track( funny cars and top fuel dragsters are limited to 1,000 feet since Scott Kalittas death in 2008) all others still 1/4 mile. Funny cars have gotten even faster than when in the 1/4 mile, and routinely dip into the “3’s”( 3.99) and go over 320 mph. What has diminished, is the amount of cars, with many teams cutting their entries in half. With an 8 million dollar cost to run a fuel car for a season, and many sponsors are backing out, and air pollution and noise concerns, just a matter of time before they go away altogether.

      Like 3
  14. Avatar photo Charles Sawka

    I guarantee I will never put one of my own cars on this site.

    Like 3
  15. Avatar photo Kenn

    Not sure I understand your comment Charles Sawka. Because your cars look something like this? Because there is so much criticism by folks who we don’t know what they drive?

    Like 2
  16. Avatar photo Bob Rloller

    As long as it’s not a hazard to passerby and reduces the value of the neighborhood,WHO cares.I knew an old man whose neighbors got him a food basket because of the old car he drove.It was a one of a kind Duesenberg with a Swiss built body.The car was his choice and was not decrepit like the one shown in this forum,

    Like 0
  17. Avatar photo dogwater


    Like 1
  18. Avatar photo Gary Rhodes

    Chopped up pile of junk. Part it out

    Like 0
  19. Avatar photo AMISHTRUCKER

    I agree, you show up in this at any Rat Rod Rockabilly Hootinanny and you’ll place in the top 5 if not top 3. Original, not another one out there and a big F×#* OFF to all the pretentious asshats at Cars and Coffee.

    Like 3
  20. Avatar photo Rod L

    AMCFAN. OBVIOUSLY YOU HAVE MONEY TO BUILD. Me, on the other hand have scrapped together anything that would run, just to role down the street. In the 50’s, it was about making anything run. Nothing to do with Period Certain. It was always rusty, always welded, never a good paint job, and sometimes the tires matched. But it was never perfect. It was what we had in the back yard to put together. It was just fun. Trust me, I have built my XK 120s, Chevy trucks, GTO’s, corvettes, Ford Trucks, all to show room condition. But there is nothing like scraping together a backyard Rat Rod.

    Like 0
  21. Avatar photo Morley Member

    This rat rod was never the birth of HOT RODS Hot rodding started about 2 days after the production of car building. Rat Finks and Ed Roth made caricutures of hot rods and their following in the beatnick times of the early sixties. Rat rods are very modern, an attempt to get away from billet, chrome and and high dollar show cars. When I started to build my first cars in the early 60s we tried to build what we saw in the magazines—with all the same problems of no money and life getting in the way. But we would never have built a car as ugly ,or rusty as this.

    Like 2
  22. Avatar photo Howard A Member

    Um, I agree, but how your profanity got past the filters, I’ll never know and being a self appointed BF’s promoter, please, you can make your point without using profanity, save it for Facebook, thx.

    Like 5
  23. Avatar photo RodL

    HowardA: You nailed it my friend. This is what Hot Rod was all about. Out in California, I used to watch two guys slug it out on the track. Al Pombo, and Marshall Sergeant. They had welding units sitting next to the track as they ran their cars. It wasn’t about beauty, it was about speed and having fun. That was in the 50s. Where has all the backyard mechanics, part time welders, and paint brush painters that built these cars. Where is that shade tree we used to park under to work on our cars. Now that is the lost art of being original. If that rat Fink car was a little cheaper, I would proudly drive it down to my local car show on Friday night.

    Like 2
  24. Avatar photo Bill McCoskey Member

    I have to give the builder credit for trying to illustrate the typical Rat Fink look of the RF in a vehicle; The RF as a larger than life demon, his outstretched arm and hand attached to an equally large shifter sticking way up into the air.

    This was obviously a budget creation, and I give the builder credit for using plexiglass for the roof, with the arm and shifter sticking up thru the roof.

    Like 2
  25. Avatar photo Steve Steinborn

    It needs a taller windshield and a 4 speed manual transmission instead of the 2 speed power glide automatic transmission.

    Like 0

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