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The Celerity Rat Rod Epiphany

Discussion in 'Other Vehicle Discussions' started by Celerity, May 4, 2008.

  1. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    I was out today with a friend of mine. he got a flat on his bike, so I arranged a truck and waited the usual six fucking hours for it to show up. While I was there, hour 3 I decided to take a walk, and stumbled upon the PERFECT rat rod body candidate.

    Now this is either going to receive the Celica 20R hybrid that I built, or the Cosworth....


    .... Now follow me here.



    [​IMG]

    Yeah yeah ... I know "Steve, how the FUCK are you going to stuff a Celica engine into that fucking 15,000 pound beast ?!"

    But here is the catch: I've never seen one of these in person. It's TOTALLY awesome. During WWII we made as many of these things as possible - in the hundreds of thousands. After the war, we gave them to Israel who later gave back whatever was left.

    Benefit realised : There are a TON of these things around.

    they have an inline 6, overhead spark (and damn if they don't look DOHC, which is entirely possible), a 4 speed transmission, "4 wheel drive"(Front axles are driven) and the tracks are vulcanized rubber bands. The rear is a dual locker axle that connects to the front and rear track wheel.

    But here is the best part: These things are unbelievable SMALL. You heard me, SMALL. like, TINY. The whole thing is less than 6 feet tall - with fully inflated tires. The body is really small, the floors are higher than my waist. And the body just sits ontop of the frame. Not even a transmission tunnel.

    It's all 90 degree angles, flat steel and flat glass. So if I take the body off of the frame (Of course, it's no longer "half track") I can just rest it on another frame. Instant lowering. I don't even need to channel or section it !

    Another con: It's light armored. Which is why it weighs a fuckton. But I'm going to talk to the shop and see if they'll part with it. Even if they don't, there are many yards FULL of these trucks spotted around the country. Abundant parts, no guilt for cutting it up, and a good resale on the tracks and stuff I won't use.

    Eureeka !
     
  2. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    By me there is a 1940 Chevy sedan for sale. No motor but its on a Camaro underbody, Camaro tilt wheel, and Camaro discs on the corners. It would have been in my price range had I not gotten in the assault trouble.
     
  3. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Shame.. I used to think I wanted to build up a powerwagon Dodge. But when I saw how small this "thing" is, in real life, it looks so easy.

    Now of course, I'm moving slowly on this project, slowly gathering stuff. (Before all you cock smokers go on and on about the two cars I have sitting in my garage). So I'm keeping an eye out, and doing more research on it.

    But if I replace each panel with a thinner steel (It's 9mm thick steel on it) it'll lighten up dramatically. Then I only need a "sit on" type of frame, like an older Corvette or the like. Not to say it's easy to find a corvette frame, but it's easy to have one fabbed up to accept mustang 2 suspension, a solid rear axle and then sit the body on top of the fun. I can spare a transmission tunnel in the body (it's wide, but seriously from the floor to the top of the windshield is like 3.5 feet)

    Makes an old Jeep Cherokee look roomy.
     
  4. BigJ

    BigJ I'm just about that action Boss. VIP

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    That thing looks ridiculous.
     
  5. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    it IS ridiculous. But I've been looking for that perfect something for the project. The project theme is "In the 20's someone built a car that would live forever." It will have a mixture of technology over the past 90 years. Stuff like upgrades from the 60s, 90s, etc. But all based on the same "car"

    I've been thinking of something other than your usual model A or what have you. plus, those bodies are really rare, some are a crime to butcher, and cost becomes a real issue. A fiberglass replica body is commonly about $8000.

    The end result will be a rat rod that's somewhat wider and a bit altered from the original. The brand of car will only matter in the radiator (I'm trying to track down a diamond radiator) The rest of the body will be typical rat rod. But this is neat, because the body is already really wide and low, giving me a distinct advantage. The fact that it's 9mm steel also means that rust or rot-through isn't that big of a problem on the NE cars. Finally, take a step back and think of it as a "1920's built Lotus 7", which is what I'm trying to acheive.
     
  6. Jeef

    Jeef NO MA'AM Moderator VIP

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    I would say you will give up on it within 6 months. I do like the idea.
     
  7. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Har Har. Like I said, for the rat rod project I'm slowly collecting bits until it's seen fruition.

    The Vega is what's got to go.
     
  8. SlushboxTeggy

    SlushboxTeggy It's only stupid if it doesn't work VIP

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    Not going to lie, I saw a primered Vega being trailered the other day and thought of you.
     
  9. klyph

    klyph Dismember VIP

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    Awesome project. Fuck the naysayers, the thrill is in the chase. The challenge is to maintain motivation and enthusiasm.
     
  10. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Dude, you've been away for awhile.. but you should remember that you can NOT open yourself up for Celerity comments like this ! :)
     
  11. efhondakid

    efhondakid My name is Byron. VIP

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    S10 chassis maybe if the WB is close. I think it would be awesome to build a rat rod out of that thing. You have to use a grenade as a shift knob though.:D
     
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  12. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    Believe it or not, it's about the size of an S10 .
     
  13. klyph

    klyph Dismember VIP

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    If you're going to be replacing all the armor with sheet metal, wouldn't it be easier to just reproduce that body from scratch? A simple 90 degree sheet metal brake could do about 95% of that. All you need is reference dimensions. Hell, just dimension it to fit the frame that you're putting it on. It doesn't have to be exactly like the M3, just similarly proportioned and styled, or not styled at all really, uh, designed I guess.
     
  14. dacheat

    dacheat ..is grounded.

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    rep for awesomeness.
     
  15. newb

    newb phresh VIP

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    Hey, I dunno if your mind is made for a frame, but have you thought of a 60's chev pickup frame. The bodies sit on the frame similar to your description of the half track. You could get a half ton short box frame and it would already have IFS and coil spring rear. Also, since its a chev its super easy to find parts for. And if a low ride height is wut your after you could get a $200 c-notch kit (beltech has a kit that fishplates the factory frame rails) for the back, throw some air bags on it, and damn near lay the frame on the ground.
     
  16. BodyDroppedNikes

    BodyDroppedNikes ...PENDEJO.... VIP

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    i think that thing would be sic as fuck as a rat rod. if you can weld like a sumbitch then i would suggest building your own frame using 1/4" thick 2x3 box tubing. you would also need to maybe run a 4-link as well but im not sure if you do because of the tracks. also i would ditch those tires and add some wide whites. i got more ideas if you want them.
     
  17. klyph

    klyph Dismember VIP

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    Will you be adding steampunk elements, like copper sheetmetal for the body or wood wheels?
     
  18. BodyDroppedNikes

    BodyDroppedNikes ...PENDEJO.... VIP

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    hey newb...you can get a c-notch kit WAY less than $200. you can get a standard c-notch from suicidedoors.com for about $100 BUT if he builds his own frame, he could just incorporate the notch into the frame.

    another thought i had, why not run Chevy S-10 suspension system up front and get the upper and lower control arms as well as air bag mount stuff for it.
     
  19. Celerity

    Celerity Well-Known Member

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    What I'm thinking is getting rid of the tracks. It's neat, but simply not going to go along with the use of the end result.

    Yes, it will be steampunk. Copper plating, no wood, fluid filled gauges and the whole shibang. Manual fuel pump (With a plunger that you have to pump occasionally)

    As far as building it from scratch, that too isn't too tough. But I can register it as a White, instead of a composite build. It'll have a VIN ... of sorts. All I need is the cab. The front bonnet will be remanned, and the front radiator grille with the slats may or may not remain. I'm leaning towards keeping as much of the White as possible. If I get this down to 4500 pounds dry, then it will be a lot like a tweaked Toyota Truck in performance off the line and for fuel economy.

    Going with a Chevy frame is a good idea. It seems easy to make a frame when you look at it, but frames are precision items. The front end alone will magnify any alignment issues a hundred fold when it comes to take it around the block. The C10 frame is a good idea. As much modern front suspension as possible is another project goal.

    I know I can find lots of people who have abandoned their rod project (Look at my fuckin yard) that they would sell me a setup, dropped frame of my choice, at a bargain. First thing I need to do is lighten my load of one of the projects that I already have, and then locate the graveyard.
     
  20. newb

    newb phresh VIP

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    I forgot to mention one thing in my first reply. Another option for an IFS setup is a Pacer frontend. They're similar to the Mustang II's, and if I remember correctly theyre rack and pinion.They used to be the more reasonably priced option, but I havent priced one for a while, and considering how quickly they gained popularity, Im willing to bet they arent too much more economical than a Mustang II.

    Ya I hear you, building a frame isnt childs play. At least if you get a decent platform you can take it to an alignment shop and have it all worked out. Thats also one reason I favor the half ton chassis, its less likely to be tweaked outa shape or overly stressed from years of abuse on a farm lol. Now that I think of it I also see a lot of Lincon chassis gettin used too.
     
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