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The Radical Rat Rod has been sold and has a new owner! There are some exciting new changes being planned for the car. We will try to keep you up to date on any major modifications. Here are the very first photos of the changes being made to this Radical Rat Rod; new engine and transmission, pin stripes, some minor body modifications and OLD SCHOOL TIRES AND WHEELS. Keep checking back and we will have the complete coverage of this revised devil in steel.
Here are some new updated photos of the Paul Tracy Rat Rod.
Check out the “trap door” roof modification as well as those wild pipes.
Changes to the cooling system radiator in the rear continue.
Very unique bumper and how about the spider and its web?
The following photos are prior modifications by PT.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, the “Rat” is now the proud possession of Paul Tracy, yep that Paul, PT. Indy Car driver and all around controversial racer.
You will note the new tires and wheels as well as the big new power house up front.
Pin stripes and the number “3” have been added to the side. I asked PT if he was taking the Rat to Indy this year and he said YES. If you are in or around Indy during May of this year look out for this wild ride.
This is not PT! You will also note that the rear grill has been modified.
Prior to being purchased by Paul Tracy, this Rat belonged to Jamie Land and Kelly Smotherman. Jamie made a lot of mechanical improvements to the car over what the original builder had constructed.
THE FOLLOWING IS THE STORY OF THE PREVIOUS OWNER AND OUR FEATURE ON THIS RADICAL RAT ROD.
You saw this Rat Rod in our coverage of the Nashville GoodGuys show and wanted more so we went out and got more. I spent quite a bit of time with its owner, James Land and came away very impressed with how wicked this car really is. Don’t get me wrong, I am not spry enough to double up into a ball and get into the car nor do I have the guts to take it out on the interstate and drive it either. However, James and his girlfriend and co-owner, Kelli Smotherman, neither share my short comings and drive one of America’s most radical rat rods regularly. Take a look at the detailed photos below and then read some comments from Kelli as well as some technical notes about this wild ride at the bottom of this page. There is also a VIDEO at the bottom of the page.
You know how low this car is. How do you get in and out? You better be young and limber!
You have seen waist high, how about bar stool high!
Check out where the outside rear view mirror is located.
This is looking through the passenger side window, the front one.
Here he comes!
There he is! Kids, don’t try this at home. Note the steering wheel on the ground to ease exit.
A rat just escaped from the junk pile!
This is the front of the motor under the grill shell, look closely and you will see the plumbing for the front air bag for the front axle.
This is the gas cap.
The top looks like an old dance floor, really cool.
Here the Rat is sitting next to a slightly lowered 1959 El Camino. The Rat looks like a go-cart!
This is the underside from the rear. You can see the battery, radiator hoses running to the rear, some suspension and rear-end.
This is not what antique car guys mean when they talk about Brass Cars.
What to drive it? This is what you see! Note the El Camino parked beside it.
How small does it look next to a pickup? You decide.
The following is just a summary of the modifications made to this vehicle. In addition, the radiator is in the back behind the seat; the doors are mounted suicide style, the brakes are drum, there is no glass other than the windshield which is Plexiglas, the roof insert is wood; the interior is strictly a two seater with a lay down low Indy Car style driving position. The steering wheel is quick release to ease entry and exit. The outside rear-view mirror is mounted on the B pillar behind the door so the driver who is now in the back seat location has some marginal rear vision. ITS WILD!
Owner: James Land and Kelli Smotherman, Franklin, TN
Photo Date: July 30, 2008 Engine: 307 Cube In. Pontiac Intake Manifold:Edelbrock Carb: Holley 750 Distributor: HEI Headers: Home Made Mufflers: Motorcycle Transmission: 5-Speed Manual; Borg Warner Differential: Chevy 10 bolt Wheels:Boyd Coddignton Shadow, Aluminum Size: 20″ Front; 22″ Rear Steering Wheel: Go-Cart Interior: Brass Body: 1930 Ford 2 door sedan Color: Rust and Dents Modifications (short list): -Roof chopped, body sectioned, 37 Ford Grille -Suspension; Front: Wishbones Ford truck I Beam axle with single air bag -Rear: 4-Link with dual air bags
My name is Kelli Smotherman; I am the other owner of the rat rod with Jamie Land.
I’m not sure where to begin with baby rat. Yes, we refer to the car as baby rat. We also have another rat rod that is not as radical but just as fun to drive. The first rat rod is about 41″ tall and this one is just 34″ tall, so we refer to the first one as Papa rat and this one as Baby rat. So the story goes that we found the car on the Internet with a link to a video of the car. Once Jamie watched the video it was over, I called and a deal was made. The car was in Phoenix, Arizona and we made arrangements to have it transported in time for Good Guys Nashville. It was close; we got her the day before Good Guys. She has some “issues” when we got her. The first time Jamie went to take me for a ride in her, smoke filled the inside of the car and we were scrambling for a fire extinguisher to put out the fire that had started near the battery. Needless to say, she got completely re-wired that night. The nubs were still on the tires since it was mainly built to be a show car but Jamie recognized the potential for it to be able to be enjoyed on the open road as well. Jamie has gone and given her almost a complete overhaul underneath. The headers leaked and after looking at a way too many on the Internet and in catalogs, he decided that he would build just custom build a pair. 1 1/2 inch tubing, motorcycle baffles, flat black exhaust paint and baby rat now had non-leaking custom made headers. The baffles lasted for a little while, but the 307 slung them out after a bit. You can hear us before you see us. The radiator and electric fan are located in the rear of the car but because the entire interior of the car is brass, it gets hot in there…quick. Jamie kept the radiator in the rear but moved it to the center and welded in a louvered panel to help the air flow through the car to keep it a little cooler in the interior. He also reconfigured all of the radiator plumbing to clean up the looks underneath the car. The homemade gas tank that was in her leaked so new ones were made, out of old fire extinguishers. They are mounted in each corner in the rear and are connected by steel braided fuel line. The car is on air bags but the original compressor was wore out and wouldn’t hold pressure for very long so a new Viair 480c compressor was installed and now raises up and down with ease. A little tuning on the carburetor, and she runs like a champ! She is a blast to both drive and ride in. We are never short of looks, questions and comments when we take her out. My favorites are, what color are you going to paint it and how do you drive it(Jamie always tells people you start by opening the door, get in, start the motor….)?
This is Papa Rat with its proud parents.
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