Ratty Muscle Cars: Cool or Lazy?

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During our trip from Los Angeles to North Carolina for the start of HOT ROD Power Tour 2014, we were pretty much accosted by Austin Griggs. He was driving a loud, ragged 1969 Dodge Super Bee—rusty, lettered, and well flogged, but loaded with cool Cragars and a decent 383 under the Six-Pack hood. Austin’s mission: to promote the use of ratty muscle cars. With a Facebook page dedicated to the cause, he’s all about encouraging people to actually use their old V8 iron whether it’s in perfect shape or not. “What good’s a muscle car rotting in your yard because you’re going to fix it some day? Fix it enough to get it street worthy, and use it!” he says. This matches my own philosophy in the face of time and money challenges: don’t get it right, just get it running. Too often, perfect gets in the way of good.

Check out the pics of Austin’s Mopar below, then scroll all the way down to vote in the poll. Are you ready to overlook the perfect paint and chrome and hit the road in ratty muscle?

photo 21 650x446 imageThis Mopar was a yard find that wears much of the original paint and stripe. It’s rotten around the edges, but semi-presentable when viewed from a block away. Austin let it sit forever thinking he was going to restore it before he decided to just get it on the road.

photo 211 650x446 imageOne of the keys to the style is not too let the junky part go too far, hence cool wheels and tires and the fiberglass hood.

photo 12 650x446 imageSometimes the patina of weathered original parts can provide more character than nice clean replacements. Or is this just garbage?

photo 3 650x446 imageThe interior in the Bee isn’t totally shot, but far from show quality. The keys are function, comfort, and ability to drive it anywhere without ever worrying about it.

photo 5 650x446 imageThe car’s original 383 B-motor has been freshened up and carries some speed parts—not including headers.

photo 41 650x446 imageHere’s where our opinion and Austin’s part company. We’d leave the sketchy retro lettering to the rat-rod crowd.

photo 31 650x446 imageIn addition to the door art, the car has reproduction drag decals slapped all over it. Want to see more? Check out Ratty Muscle Cars on Facebook and @RattyMuscleCars on Instagram.

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Source:   – Hot Rod Magazine