FrankenRod: 1933 Buick Rat Rod

If costumes and telling scary stores just doesn’t get you heart pounding anymore, perhaps this Buick rat rod will the do the trick! I’m all for mixing old and new, but when I see builds like this, I get nervous. This 1933 Buick is riding on a custom built chassis with a 2004 Chevy 4.8 LS V8, which should get your heart pounding every time you put your foot on the throttle. The thought of climbing into someone’s home built hot rod shouldn’t be all that scary, but the thought of a modern V8 engine in a home built chassis that rides just inches from the ground, is enough to send shivers down my spine! You can find this FrankenRod here on eBay in Cortland, New York.

In all fairness, the build quality of this rat rod looks fairly high. While that might be, I still would classify this as a well implemented bad idea. It does have a rather wicked look to it though! I bet you could scare more than a few of the trick or treaters tonight with this thing. Just have it parked in the garage with the garage door open. As they start to approach, flip on the headlights, fire up the engine, start revving and let the open exhaust do the rest. If you are lucky, they will think it’s possessed and is going to come lurching out of the garage after them!

I love a good scary story, especially the automotive kind, so if you have any good ones please leave them in the comments. Happy Halloween from all of us here at Barn Finds!


  1. john from ct

    Candidly, this is the first ever ratrod I’ve ever thought just really cool. Nice proportions, bad a– look.

  2. Thomas Long

    Why RHD?

    • Harry Hodson

      Exactly my question.

  3. Mike B

    You had me at “oof”.

  4. LAB3

    Scary automotive related story? Bought a ’73 Subaru for $50 that was so rusted the metal around the strut towers weakened to the point where the tires where pointing outward at the bottom. Jacked it up then used a 2×4 and a bottle jack between the towers to get the tires back to vertical. Measured the distance between them at the inside then cut an old drive shaft to that length and put it between them. Didn’t know how to weld but did have access to an oxy/acetylene torch and brazed it in with bronze rods. Drove it a couple of months and sold it for $100 to someone that drove it two more years.

  5. Paul Steele

    Try using that car on a South Austraian roads and the wallopers would be up your jacksie like a rat up a drainpipe!!

    • St. Ramone de V8

      At least it’s right hand drive. Not sure why?

    • Fred Cox

      Wallopers—jacksie???? Just dont know!!but the driveshaft for the rust repair was pretty inventive just sayn good job–here is a 401 buick nailhead im doing

      • Tony, SA.

        Fred, wallopers, (Police), jacksie, (behind, backside,, end of lesson!

    • Tony, SA.

      Paul, you’d have to get past Regency first and with they’re record I can’t see that happening anytime soon, although we can now modify our cars but this one’s a bit over the top sadly.

  6. Jeffro

    I typically do not like rat rods. I like this. Alot!

  7. CanuckCarGuy

    That driver’s seat will be sure to keep the mileage low on this one…yikes!

  8. S Ryan

    This is nice.
    Ratty would be the nova I had in Highschool that I had to remove and install the door glass through the bottom of the door.

  9. Stan

    Call my brother and his buddy used to tear up the street s of Manitou Manitoba,in a 38 Dodge 1/2 the 50s.took a corner a bit fast and the passenger door swung open, buddy flew out, rolled over the grass boulevard,got back in the truck and away they went,no prob lem.

  10. whmracer99

    Anyone else look at this and think “The first time I accelerate hard the entire front end is going to fall off.” —— 300HP + home built chassis is not a good combination.

    • Scotto

      Depends on who built it. Not where it was built.

  11. Dan D

    I admit to not understanding the whole rat rod thing. Doesn’t seem roadworthy at all, and you almost would need to pop your head up through the roof to see over the lump! Some of the rat rods I’ve seen actually have artificial patina as well, sometimes using ‘patina’d paint’, which seems really strange. It’s a shame that they took a relatively rare car (I imagine) and did this to it, including RHD…. Would much rather have seen a ‘period’ (i.e., ‘built in the ’50’s’ look to it.

    • Tony, SA.

      Dan D, I think you’ll find the rat rod thing is more of a person finding a car that is too far gone and too expensive to restore but is still capable of being saved from the scrap heap so guys will stick anything on it to make it driveable and use it as is, so another piece of history is saved albeit no longer original which has to be a good thing surely.

  12. Glenn from Wisconsin

    Another car destroyed by ignorance. Who will want your broken dream? I’d be up for a 33 Buick RHD. Had a 132″ wheelbase and a nifty straight 8 OHV engine. Now it’s junk. Probably can tell I like factory cars, my hang-up.

  13. Tommy tutone

    Looks like a nicely assembled bunch of leftovers, with heim jointed steering and shocks. Im not buyin’ the nanny koolaid, that front end stays put at speed…

    • bog

      Tommy – I’ve done plenty of welding and building machinery for steel mill use as a much younger man, and I’m not liking that visible front shock support in the least little bit.

      • whmracer99

        Yup, I’m a mechanical engineer by training and have experience building race car chassis and this scares me — see several butt welds and seam welds with cantilevered loads that look real sketchy. My guess would be choice of materials was as hap-hazard as the design. The front shock mounts are just one of the issues.

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