Rat Rod vs Restomod: Which One is for You?

rat rod or restomod

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Rat Rods

Rat rods are custom cars that are intentionally left unfinished or rusted, giving them a rough, vintage look. They are typically built from older vehicles and feature modifications that improve performance and give them a unique appearance.

Pros of Rat Rods

  • Unique appearance: Rat rods have a distinct look that is unlike any other car on the road.
  • DIY-friendly: Rat rods are often built using parts and materials that are readily available, making them a great choice for those who enjoy a hands-on approach.
  • Affordability: Rat rods can be built on a budget, making them an attractive option for those who want a custom car without breaking the bank. Check out our post about building a rat rod on a shoestring budget.

Cons of Rat Rods

  • Safety concerns: Rat rods may not meet modern safety standards, making them less safe than newer cars.
  • Legal issues: Rat rods may not meet emissions standards or other legal requirements in some areas, making them difficult or impossible to drive legally on the road.
  • Lack of comfort: Rat rods may not have modern amenities, such as air conditioning or power steering, making them less comfortable to drive.


Photo by Courtney Cook on Unsplash

Restomods are custom cars that have been restored to their original condition or slightly modified, but also feature modern upgrades and technology. They are typically built from older vehicles and feature modifications that improve performance, safety, and comfort.

Pros of Restomods

  • Modern upgrades: Restomods feature modern amenities, such as air conditioning, power steering, and modern sound systems.
  • Safety improvements: Restomods often feature modern safety features, such as seat belts and airbags.
  • Legal compliance: Restomods are more likely to meet emissions standards and other legal requirements, making them easier to drive legally on the road.

Cons of Restomods

  • Cost: Restomods can be expensive, as they often require significant restoration work and modern upgrades.
  • Lack of originality: Restomods may lose some of the originality and character of the original car.

Which One is Right for You?

The decision between a rat rod and a restomod ultimately comes down to personal preference and priorities. If you’re looking for a unique, DIY-friendly project that won’t break the bank, a rat rod may be the way to go. If you’re looking for a car that combines classic style with modern amenities and safety features, a restomod may be the better choice. Whatever you choose, be sure to do your research and make modifications that are safe and legal for the road.

Author: Jake

My main passion is anything rat rod, cars, trucks, bikes and even lawn tractors. But I also just love anything rusted out, To me nothing makes a better lawn decoration then a piece of history (which happens to be rusty).

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