Last month marked the 75th anniversary of the D-Day operation where nearly 175,000 Allied personnel invaded France in an effort to prevent the German army from taking over Europe. Not only did these troops (and the supporters back home) save Europe, they probably saved the world from the Nazis. When the young soldiers returned home, they turned to cars and motorcycles to push their adrenaline. The hot rod/custom car culture was beginning to boom and would lead to the car culture we enjoy today. The military theme makes a great platform for a rat rod build. These vehicles are a great tribute to the armed forces and can serve as a reminder of the past. Let’s check out a few of these rides and you might just get some ideas for a build of your own.
This 1971 AM General can be found for sale here on Hemmings.com with a negotiable asking price of $15,000. The ride features a small block Chevrolet engine and a ton of cool military details. It has a ton of military memorabilia integrated into the build including brass ammunition cases as trim and even a grenade made out of wheel bearings!
Jeeps always make an interesting rat rod/hot rod project. There are so many that are 4WD, lifted and shined up, it’s nice to see one with a lowered suspension. This one is a 1974 M34 and can be found here on superstreetonline.com. While it has a lowered suspension, it still features mud tires. What do you think about this 2-wheel drive/4-wheel drive mashup?
Talk about wild…Have you ever seen a rat rod tank? This one is an M5 Personel Carrier that has been modified by Bill Payne of Straight Up Racing fame. Bill has been in the monster truck industry for decades and is the man behind this creation. It features “a supercharged, alcohol-fed 540ci Dart power plant that’s outfitted with JE pistons, AFR cylinder heads, and a Weiand 8-71 blower…” Bill says it puts out between 1100 and 1200 horsepower! To read more about this awesome ride, check out the jepistons blog here.
From wild to mild, a military theme doesn’t have to be over the top. O.D. (Olive Drab) green paint is by designed flat, which makes a great covering for a rat rod. This 1953 F100 would look great in any color, but with the flat green and star on the door, you have an instant military theme. So, what do you think? Are you going to be building a military rat rod any time soon?