Saturday, June 4, 2016

I Smell A (Modern) Rat…Roundup

Did you know that, here at LUGNuts, we're all a bunch of happy little trendsetters? Its true. We have become the cornerstone for LEGO automotive groups. You'll never find another quite like us. We're the first LEGO group to make it through well over 100 build challenges, we may have also been the first non-geographic LEGO group to get a LEGO Ambassadorship way back when I was a horrible Ambassador. Lot of good that did us! But still, other groups brag about being successful non-region specific groups but I'm pretty sure we did it first. So suck it, VirtuaLUG! Wow, such hostility! In our illustrious ranks we have published authors, professional journalists and photographers, folks with doctorate degrees and…uh…criminals…probably. I don't know, now I'm just grasping for straws. But this month we set a new trend. We created a challenge that specified in modern rat rods; something you almost never see in the real world, and we pretty much created the blueprint for what car customizers will be doing 20, 30, or 50 years from now. We called it I Smell a (Modern) Rat and we managed to set trends with varying degrees of success ranging from "that would probably happen" to "what the hell were you thinking?" Lets see how we did, shall we?

First in the WTF category is John Marshmallow and this 1996 Toyota Supra A80 with a rainbow clown wig paint scheme, a little dude in a sweater vest, and some convoluted backstory about some crash in '97. That's nothing. It was the housing crash of '08 that spawned at least two movies about it and saw millions losing their jobs for years.

Way to bring the room down already! Anyway, next on the Marshmallow slab is this 2014 Audi R8 Rat Rod called "Condescending Quattro". It features a rainbow clown wig paint scheme again and a chop so drastic it has mail slot windows.

Laugh all you want at this 2008 Smart Fortwo but there's one thing you gotta give credit for to the human marshmallow; setting a trend with a rat rod with cambered wheels. Here's why. Who currently cambers their wheels? Young douchebags. Who builds rat rods? Old men reminiscing about their youth. Hence you're looking at the trend twenty years from now. You're welcome, I guess.

S'more of that rainbow clown wig paint scheme and camber from John Marshmallow. I've got nothing else to say about that other than… y'all gonna make me lose my mind…up in here, up in here!

For John's fifth and final entry he submitted a 2014 Scion FR-S GT3, which was about as close to what a rat rod should look like as he could get. The youngin actually evolved before our eyes, admitted to not knowing what rat rodding is all about and apologized to Nathan for ruining his cool idea. You're learning, John. You're learning.

Speaking of learning, JohnniD shows us what the world can be like if it included a chopped, lowered and fender-less Mini Cooper rat rod. The world would be crazy cool, yo!

Johnni comes back later to show us what the world would be like if it included a chopped lowered and fender-less Volkswagen Golf MK1 Rabbit Rat-Rod. Apparently it would be a world of recycled jokes!

In a world where jokes are recycled and every movie trailer begins with "in a world", Loek M recycles a 2015 Citroën Picasso and gives it a rusted out rat rod look. Also the requisite douchy camber.

Loek comes back later with a ratted out Prius Centaur for when you want that grungy, dangerous ratty look, but still want 40 miles to the gallon.

Peter Blackert starts us off with a whole slew of ratted out renders, the first being in typical Australian fashion, something that sounds like it comes from a Mad Max movie. Turns out Mad max Beyond The Thunder Dome was already taken so he went with ThunderMad.

Here's a version of the same ThunderMad in pristine lemon-y yellow.

Fun and RWD go together like obsessed creeps and restraining orders as evidenced by this Mazda Miata (MX-5). Add a V-8 engine and you have fun, RWD and fast.

Next on the Peter slab is 'Pig-Up' which is the bastard child of the 2003-2013 Ford Crown Victoria and the 2008-2014 Ford (Australia) Falcon Ute. I'm not sure if this actually happened or was a figment of Peter's imagination but he tells us they'd likely end up looking like this.

Here's the same thing except factory fresh with that new car smell.

Hot rods should be one-of-a-kind rolling works of art. Which is precisely why the Prowler flopped so hard. A production "hot rod" with a wimpy engine, what were they thinking? So Peter does right by swapping the Chrysler 3.5 lite V6 (253 hp) with a modern Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat Superchared 6.2 litre HEMI V8, with 707 hp and calling it the Hemi Howler.

Peter brings up a good point. Often rat rods don't become rat rods on purpose, but over time. Here's a case where a 1971 Nissan pickup truck licensed to an Iranian manufacturer gets an engine upgrade in the form of a GM OHV small block. Lose the hood and the tailgate and vroom, vroom, vroom!

Sometimes a good way to butter up the bosses is to mention them as often as humanly possible, grovel incessantly and pay homage to something they built before. Although I never imagined a dedication to me would ever be in the form of a Toyota Previa Minivan, this Blue Hawaiian remake would look great along the Australian surf coast.

Peter demonstrates a clear understanding of what rat rodding is all about with this VW "Dirty Rabbit". You concoct this monster by taking a VW Amarok 4x4 Pickup Frame and replacing the pickup body and loadbox with Golf Mk V Hatch (also known as the VW Rabbit in the US).

Why the heck hasn't anyone built a rat rod called a "Dirty Sanchez"? While you're all looking up that lowbrow reference, Peter shows us what rat-rodded off-roading can be like with this Toyota FJ Super Crusier with a V8 from a Toyota Tundra. Since Peter didn't come up with a name for this beast, I'm going to make in executive order and call it the Dirty Sanchez. All in favor, say aye!

It seemed like just last challenge, Peter's straight-laced engineering mind could not even conceive the notion of customization. But now, he is customizing like…well like someone with an art degree instead of an engineering degree. Take this Lincoln Town-Coupe, for example. The customizations are complex so I'll just let his own write up do the talking.

I'm pretty certain this has never happened in the history of the world ever. This is why we are trendsetters, people! PauloD takes Ferrari 550 Maranello rat rod, with a Hellcat engine swap and calls it the "Galloping Heresy".

Predicting that everyone else would do something out of Mad Max, Lino Martins instead creates a beach combing, fishing, surfing Dodge Magnum and calls it Magnum Opus. The hilarious part of that? No one built anything Mad Max.

Sam Sir Manperson submits a rat-rodded Volvo 850 and wanted to call it something like Rat-in-the-Box but decided against it. But since you already put it out in the universe you have no choice but to call it Rat-in-the-Box. You know why? Dirty Sanchez is already taken by Peter.

UndercoverWookiee submits a cambered rat rod along with a poetic write-up. Excerpts from the write-up: it's a real neck-breaker, the engine is a real shaker…and it has a big wang, apparently. That's all a car ever needs.

We know there are rat rods but I wonder if there is a such thing as bear rods? If anyone is to make bear-rodding a thing it would be the cuddly bear Tim Inman and his bear-rodded Kia Soul called "Overbite". Probably the bear from The Revenant would be much more cheery if this entered his woods instead of the yelling, screaming DiCaprio. Just sayin'.

Nathan Proudlove takes what is essentially his own Volvo V70 in real life and rat rods the bejesus out of it with a severe chop and camber and makes it into a fifth wheel hauler to hall a show truck that's too prissy and princess-like to make it to the show on its own.

The future is a scary, scary place according to Ralph Savelsberg aka MadPhysicist and also according to the makers of the movie Elysium. In order to future-proof your Nissan GT-R it is imperative that you rat rod the ever loving bejeezus out of it with weird mechanical doodads and grating across the windows. Then, and only then are you safe from future maniacs!

Senator Chinchilla knows that rat-rodding doesn't need to be extreme to be cool. Take this sporty Mazda RX-5 f'instance. It just needs to be fast and have cup holders. This surely fits the bill as evidenced by the stunning interior and under the hood shots.

Is that all of them? I think it is. Take note, young douche bags. This is what you'll be doing to cars twenty years from now when your belly gets paunchy and your hairline has receded. So cambering bear-rods with surf boards, rust, cup holders, rainbow clown wig paint schemes, engine swapping and a little something called a Dirty Sanchez; this is what your future holds for you. We have already mapped it out for you in no unclear terms. You're welcome! But long before you get the paunchy belly, receded hairline and Dirty Sanchez, what does your future hold for you like a month from now? It turns out we have that covered too. We're picking at old wounds and going back to a decade we call The Fabulous Forties. What makes it so fabulous? Well, I wasn't around in the forties but I'm sure it was a decade of…uh…Japanese, Russian, American, English, French, and German children playing nicely together in a decade of…uh…peace and harmony. And…uh…bra-lessness. Right? Aren't the forties known for hot women and rampant bra-lessness? Anyway, I'll do a little research about the forties before next roundup. Until then, sayonara suckers!

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