Cigar Lifestyle

Egads! Rats Have Eaten the Rulebook

Recent laboratory experiments on rats reveal that not even their own DNA can thwart their efforts to redefine themselves. In fact, that generational bangshift appears to be an integral facet in the evolution of all species.

And so it is in the hot rod microcosm, where rat rods have kicked seminal traditions across the generation gap, triggering a fear-based overreaction that promptly landed them in the path of panic-driven highbeams.

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From humble beginnings as a backlash to 1990's customization elitism, rats soon progressed to bona fide folk art status, elbowing their way into America's love/hate relationship with punk rockers, skateboarders and graffiti artists.

Most observers expected them to choke on their own exhaust and scurry away, but rats are a resilient lot. Today, Generation X has declared the rats to be their mechanical identity, tattooing the history books with a vivid epilogue.

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The resilient labyrinth of DNA cannot be denied. Like their forefathers, rats celebrate a freeform expressionist ethos that attracts vermin from all generations, economies and cultures. Irony of ironies, the outlaws have now gone mainstream. Does this classify rats as an endangered species?

C'mon, you know how rats are – they'll be using the carbon of our remains to fuel joyrides across what's left of the transportation infrastructure, even if only to chase the cockroaches around. And they aren't going anywhere until the Orkin guy arrives.

During a momentary lull in the migration cycle, automotive book publisher CarTech Inc. asked me to study the rat phenomenon and report my findings. The results were published in Rat Rods – Rodding's Imperfect Stepchildren. My research spanned the globe, revealing rats (and their owner/builders) from every walk of life doing the dance of a thousand cultures.

Language barriers be damned, their mischievous eyes and crooked grins spoke unmistakably of out-funning their contemporaries. They carry an honest message of prioritization, delivered with open headers to ensure that you hear it.

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Scotty Gosson

Scotty Gosson

Automotive photojournalist Scotty Gosson began building street/strip hot rods in the mid-sixties and continues to do so. A longtime freelance contributor to myriad high performance magazines, Gosson also authors books for CarTech Inc. He’s currently building a Model A roadster in his “spare time”.

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