The Reaper: 1952 Ford F2 Rat Rod

It seems like every time you look in your rear view mirror there is some aggressive looking vehicle with a scowling, angry face bearing down on you. It’s usually a posh SUV with a latte-sipping yuppie/hipster driving in-between sending texts, but just imagine this 1952 Ford F-2 rat rod in your rear view mirror! This is one mean looking rig. It’s located in South Lyon, Michigan and is listed on eBay with an unmet opening bid of $6,000. Let’s check out this grim reaper.

GAAA! Well now that you’re fully awake, check out that grille treatment! My dad would have been all over this thing. He used to build vehicles like this, sort of, without the actual face-looking face – just creative welding and having fun creating a rolling work of art.

In this age of twitter and short attention spans there’s too much info about this vehicle to list here, but definitely check out the eBay link to see what went into building this rad rat rod. The seller mentions a few cool things, like the grille is “a ’39 Dodge upside down” with “sickle bar teeth.” The box “license plates took a year, some of them are rare (Alaska, Wyoming, etc).  Hell, Alaska wasn’t even a state yet.”

It ain’t no posh 2018 pickup that’s for sure. This thing has “Farmall A tractor seats w/ tractor springs” for seats. And no, they aren’t heated. You aren’t going to drive cross-country in this thing but how cool would it be to drive it around your neighborhood? Very cool, that’s how cool. How about to a PTA meeting? Even cooler.

Holy homemade, Batman! Check out that engine. “This Demon has the heart of a ’95 Ford 300 I6 / C6 Trans”, so maybe you could drive it cross-country? It also has “100% new brakes (Dual circuit master, cylinders, pads, springs, lines, hoses, ALL NEW).” I’d maybe add a chair cushion to those tractor seats, but what the heck, you only live once. Have you ever created a monster like this ’52 Ford: The Reaper?


  1. AF

    Swing…and a miss. The rat rod Abarth would kill this thing if you could bring it back to life.

    • Steve R

      That Abarth was a real piece of work, at least it was built for a purpose, to ice race. Calling a beat down, used up race car a rat rod is a slap in the face to any car that’s ever been on a track.

      Steve R

  2. Michael

    Take your kids out in this on Halloween and scare the crap out of everyone!

  3. Steve R

    The trend that just won’t die. Some people complain about cars with sunburn being called patina, yet accept cars that are often intentionally built with no standards as to safety or craftsmanship. These can’t go away fast enough.

    Steve R

    • Derek

      Get back to your Porsche/BMW Pilgrim. You’ve obviously never known the pleasure and satisfaction of having built your own car from nothing.

      Like 1
      • Steve R

        Wow, I don’t know what to say. That’s almost hurt my feelings.

        Steve R

      • Brakeservo

        Ah Derek, who do you refer to? Yes I have a factory built Pilgrim “Cobra” but to say I’ve never built a car “from scratch” certainly doesn’t apply to me, I’ve got about four of ’em in my history. How about you?? I learned a long time ago it’s more efficient to work smart, not (needlessly) hard.

    • DayDreamBeliever Alan (Michigan)

      Don’t feel bad, Steve, plenty of people think along similar lines. I have rebuilt a car from the ground up, and indeed the satisfaction level was high, but…. If @Derek thinks this mess was “built”, he oversimplifies.

      Where I live, we call stuff like this a “cobbled together assortment of unrelated parts”. AKA, an “Art Project”. Automotive related, with any purpose other than to be very cheap and different, it is not.

      • Steve R

        Thanks for the positive feedback. Unfortunately I have a job where I have to say “no”, although I avoid that specific word at all cost. People don’t react well to it being used on them. Having some random stranger say something negative in the comment section of an online B.B. or forum doesn’t mean a thing.

        Besides, I have a cat, so I’m subject to a bad attitude almost 24 hours a day.

        Even though I don’t like the truck in general, I give the builder credit for having a sense of humor.

        Steve R

  4. Michael

    It looks like the preferred method of fabrication for this thing was:
    1. Measure with a micrometer.
    2. Mark with chalk.
    3. Cut with a chainsaw.

    • Frank


  5. Mark S.

    I like it. This shows a level of imagination and creativity that few have. More a piece of art than anything else.
    That 300-6 is the best thing Ford ever produced, by the way. Almost bulletproof.

  6. Derek

    Aw hell. Why buy it? All the fun was in the building of it.

  7. Brakeservo

    It certainly puts the “RAT” in Rat Rod! I’d worry though – you might get a littering ticket whenever you park it in public!

  8. MH

    Rat rods are a horrible waste of a vehicle and time! There a waste of money and resources. They should be outlawed!!!

    • Marcelo

      Here in Europa rat rods are forbidden to use in public roads.

      • Dan in Texas

        You actually have a classification for rat rod that has been outlawed? Don’t think the line is drawn that clearly here.

  9. Maybelline

    Hahaha. This one makes me laugh.

  10. jcs

    What a pile of crap.

  11. Cris Carver

    I see things like as more of a arts & craft project then anything else, proving anyone can do it & rarely do they good.

  12. UltimateOrdnance

    That looks like a whole lot of fun. Is that a vacuum/pressure gauge on the dash in place of a speedometer? I don’t think I’d drive very far on those may-pop tires, though.

  13. Tim Deal


  14. Classic Steel

    Barf! Pleased send this thru sensitivity training and removal of ugly front end crap!

    Simple and plane is good !

    A basic grill and home made fabrication
    of a top shelf cover for engine and remove all bubble gum stuck on c rap!

    Sorry wanna be Picasso

    Then a nice retro rod !

  15. Grumpy old man

    My eyes hurt. Budget builds.. I get, these nightmares NOPE. Imagination? Just lazy.

  16. Xam the Man

    Mad Max called. Someone in Michigan has his car and he wants it back.

  17. Mike W H

    I got nuthin’

  18. Chuck Cobb

    Not even a good pile of parts. Probably not safe either.

  19. Coventrycat

    That grille is awesome.

  20. CanuckCarGuy

    Big fan of rat rods, but this one has too much swap meet and not enough rat rod for my taste.

  21. jw454

    Most likely, over a case of beer, he bet his friends he could build the ugliest P.O.S. on the planet, put it on Ebay, and someone would buy it for stupid money.
    I wonder what he gets if he wins. I know if he loses he has to keep this thing.

  22. Gavin Tittle

    It doesn’t scare me, what scares me is the mind of the man who though this was a good idea…

    The article was well written, that “truck” just makes the entire hot-rod/custom hobby look like a bunch of amateurs with too much time on their hands an no respect to craftsmanship. which is the exact persona many have tried to prevent from developing.

  23. Rube Goldberg Member

    What’s wrong with some of you? Been driving “jelly bean” cars too long? Rat rods are creativity at it’s best. They don’t have to make any sense, only to the builder. Some of you naysayers most creative works are the comments you make. I couldn’t do something like this, but this person did, and I applaud that. Plus, it looks like very little welding, so all bolted together. Rat rods are like those pictures where, the more you look at it, the more pops out. While there’s several things that may not be street legal in some states, I bet they had a blast making this, and the joy of actually driving it. Problem is, in this day and age, some of you have forgotten what fun is. It’s not ripping on someone’s creation. I think it’s really cool. Maybe not 6 grand cool, but a great build.

    Like 2
    • Maybelline

      And if someone comes along who enjoys the concept too, maybe they will make a deal. If not, then at least we all got to see it and enoy it.
      Sort of like going to to a Cruise Night.

      Like 1
    • Classic Steel

      Sorry ever since rehab I been this way with ugly cars 🤗

    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Boom, well said, Rube!

  24. Frank

    Qualifies as Folk Art. Wonder what the aliens will think of us in 1000 years when they dig up this junker.

  25. Brakeservo

    If aliens, or anyone digs this up in a thousand years, their first thoughts will probably involve wonder that it didn’t completely rust away .. . . .

  26. Scot Douglas

    Oh dear lord.

    Well, appears to be about 15 miles from where I live – if anybody wants me to do a PPI for them.


  27. BDabs

    I’m not getting a lot of the responses here, but everyone’s entitled to their opinions. Personally, I think this thing is very cool- it has a lot of details I really like. Steering wheel, the lighthouse with a big red bulb in the bed, the grill (to me a work of art), huge taillights, license plates…I’d just dig it more with a shorter front end, a 327 Chev & a 4 speed, and plug up the giant hole at the bottom of the steering column.

  28. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    How about to a PTA meeting? LOL, great thought Scotty! I really like it. Safety? It’s safer than a stock 52 Ford truck. Dual circuit master, all new brakes. Way safer than my old Willys Wagon. Drive accordingly. The seller is a college student from Michigan. I hope they can finish school and move to the Motor City and design vehicles. We need someone like this in Detroit. Take care all, Mike.

  29. mike

    I’d put this right up there, with the moped…might be a lot of fun, until your friends see you…

  30. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Yes, it’s ugly. But the guy who built it is VERY creative. The red emergency light atop the howitzer shell acts as the 3rd brake light. The taillights are top warning lights from a vintage school bus and scream STOP when lit. Adjustable wrenches for outside door handles.

    But the design of the “face’ is wonderful. Using the Gravely sickle bar teeth and the 3” drill bit/cigar is excellent, but to secure the lower jaw to the front axle, so that as the truck is coming up behind you, the mouth constantly opening and closing . . . now that’s pure genius!

    I hope the owner gets a friend to film the truck from another vehicle in front, as it’s driving over an undulating road so the mouth is opening & closing, and please post the video on youtube [and let BarnFinds know the link please!]

    Did anyone else notice the bed sides made from 1951 & 1952 license plates, to match the date of the truck? No speedo, but a whopping humongous steampunk vacuum guage!

    Owner says he’s in College, let’s hope he’s studying industrial design, so in 20 years we can see how his creativity has developed!

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      Thanks, Bill, more cool stuff I hadn’t noticed. I knew the “teeth” were sickle mower, and the pressure plates for “eyes”, and some sort of antique gauge on the fuel barrel, a fuel level gauge? And I think the air cleaner is some sort of car heater. I’ve seen vacuum cleaners for air cleaners. So cool. Hopefully, this person will become an automotive engineer and re-introduce the Rambler American.

  31. Andy

    I love rat rods and I absolutely love this thing. You take this to a cruise night and park it beside the same old, same old hemis, cobra jets and LS6s and just watch where the crowd forms. Now all you naysayers, get back to your Toyota Corollas.

    Like 1
  32. Peter K

    Looks like it was built in a junkyard where everything was free

    • Rube Goldberg Member

      That’s the general idea of rat-rods.

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.