Eye-catching 'Rat Rod' made to use

Hundreds of people enjoyed viewing vehicles ranging in size from a Mini to a restored bus at the Autospectacular 2012 held at the Edgar Centre on Saturday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
Hundreds of people enjoyed viewing vehicles ranging in size from a Mini to a restored bus at the Autospectacular 2012 held at the Edgar Centre on Saturday. Photo by Gerard O'Brien.
The advantage of owning a one-of-a-kind hot rod is that motorists tend to let you pass when they see your machine looming up large in their rear vision mirror.

That is the advice from David Jeffery whose 1928 Rat Rod was a crowd pleaser at the Autospectacular 2012, held at the Edgar Centre on Saturday.

"You never have to overtake anyone on the open road. I don't mean to scare them, but when I come up behind any slow motorists, they just pull over and let me pass."

See the slideshow: Autospectacular 2012 

The Christchurch man said it took a year to build the distinctive vehicle. Four months were spent on making it driveable, while air bags were added due to the poor road conditions caused by earthquakes.

The vehicle was largely built from a 1928 Dodge, but a large number of parts were substituted, while the suspension was from a Jaguar: "Because if you are going to drive it a lot, it has to be comfortable."

Since the road-legal hot rod debuted on the road two years ago, he had not been pulled over by police, but wonders what they make of the visible shotgun shells near the front windscreen and the police-hat-wearing skull on the grille.

"Part of the fun is building something like this and seeing what you can get away with."

While people have asked him to build something similar for them, he prefers to concentrate on his tree-topping business and keep the hot-rod construction as a hobby.

"It is not like a normal hot rod which you can't touch.

You can touch and it is designed to be used whenever I need to shoot into town."

The 1928 Rat Rod was just one of dozens of vehicles that delivered an early Father's Day present for hundreds of car enthusiasts.

American muscle cars competed with immaculate Minis, a stately Packard and even a rare GT 40 for the attention of car fans, while motorcycles, a bus, a swap meet, and entertainment also warranted closer inspection.

This year's charity is the Chair of Neurosurgery Campaign.

-hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

Photos

Why do photos/mentions of Japanese cars/bikes hardly ever feature in articles like this, or in some magazine coverage of similar events?

A Nissan Skyline (green) won the best Street Car, and a Japanese bike won Best Motorbike.

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