Posts Tagged ‘rat rod’

RAT CAT: Paul Lonergran’s incredible DIY 327ci Phantom ’28 Dodge

28 Jun

Paul Lonergran's Insane 1928 Dodge Rat Rod


Paul Lonergran’s incredible 327ci phantom ’28 Dodge is a snake-belly-low rat rod that sets the bench mark for all others to follow – and does it cheap
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Paul Lonergran's Insane 1928 Dodge Rat RodWe’ve run some bloody cool rat rods in our time here at Heavy Duty Hot Rods. Rat rods, when built to their true ethos of remaining cheap, encouraging parts scrounging and making rodding fun and hassle free, can really test a builder’s skills of sourcing and repurposing old bits and pieces into something new and exciting.

Sure, there have been some instances over the last decade of guys building big dollar ‘rats’ with the look of a rat rod, but offering mod-cons. We’ve even seen a fibreglass mid-’30s rod repainted to look like it was rusty. But the best rat rods will always be the ones that have risen from the pile of rusty parts that have been wasting away at the back of the shed.

For 39-year-old Paul Lonegran of PTL Fabrications on the Central Coast of NSW, building a rat rod hadn’t seriously entered his mind until someone planted the seed. “Well, actually a guy called ‘Black Plug’ inspired me to build this,” Paul says. “He asked me at a club meeting if I had anything to do with hot rods. As I’d been around rods all my life and have owned more than 20 cars over the years, I decided to build this to shut him up.”

Having previously owned and built a number of cars including a 1961 Studebaker, ’36 Terraplane and a couple of ’37 Ford coupes, Paul was no stranger to vintage tin. And as you may have guessed from that list, he’s no stranger to old cars that are just a little bit different.Paul Lonergran's Insane 1928 Dodge Rat Rod

This here low-slung rusty bucket definitely falls into the different category. Paul tells us the body – hand fabricated by Paul – is meant to represent a 1929 Dodge. From a few metres back you’d be forgiven for thinking it might actually be some original chopped, channelled and sectioned vintage tin. But get closer and you’ll see the square tube frame underneath onto which Paul bent up the steel body panels before coating them in red oxide primer and scallops.

Behind all the surface rust and corrosion is a plethora of parts from Paul’s apparently extensive collection of goodies that he says he’s had gathering dust for around 18 years. Indeed, when quizzed on the final price of the build project, he smiles and tells us it came to a grand total of $42.

Paul Lonergran's Insane 1928 Dodge Rat RodPaul’s rat is powered by a 327ci small-block that Paul rebuilt himself using the stock crank, Carillo rods and Arias pistons. With a static compression ratio of 11.8:1 when squeezing the AVGAS against the ported cast heads, it’s no slouch, providing 480fwhp to this light weight go-kart.

This is backed by a T350 and HQ Holden Salisbury rear end with steep 4.44:1 gears. We’d be surprised if the rat was ever able to get traction on those old Goodyear stock car slicks with a combo like this.

Look inside and you’ll find the epitome of Spartan cockpits. Considering it’s always open to the weather and the interior of a rat rod, it’s probably for the best. But just look at it: custom buckets fabricated from a 60L drum, rusty custom instrument fascia with vintage gauges and decaying Anglia steering wheel and column.

“Installing that Anglia column and wheel was probably one of the highlights for me,” Paul says. “I used to sit in one and steer it when I was four years old with my grandfather.”

With an insane completed cost of under $50 and a build time of just two weeks, Paul certainly stuck it to old ‘Black Plug’. And with a trophy for Best Rat Rod at the 2010 Taren Point Rat Day as further vindication, who can argue that this is one of the coolest rats you’re likely to find?

VEHICLE: 1928 Dodge (phantom)
OWNER: Paul Lonegran
BODY: Hand-built cab, red oxide primer, pin striping, scallops
ENGINE: 327ci SBC, stock crank, Carillo rods, Arias pistons (11.8:1 compression), Thompson rings, ARP mains studs, ported cast heads, stainless valves, Isky springs, Corvette rocker covers, Offy breathers, Isky solid cam’, solid lifters, chrome moly pushrods, Crow 1.6:1 rockers, Melling oil pump, custom sump, custom pulleys, 1946 International radiator, 850cfm Holley, Holley intake manifold, Bosch coil, modified Chev’ dizzy, Holley fuel pump, Reg Rocket ‘Hillbilly’ headers
TRANS: T350, 4200rpm stall, manualised
DIFF: HQ Holden Salisbury, 4.44:1 final drive, 1-piece tail shaft, LSD
INTERIOR: 1949 Ford Anglia steering wheel and steering column, custom seats made from 60L drums, custom instrument fascia, vintage gauges
SUSPENSION: “Suicide steer, Ford style”, front transverse leaf spring, Monroe shocks, rear leaf spring
BRAKES: Deleted front brakes, HQ rear drums
WHEELS: 13x5in Holden front steel wheels, custom 15x9in rear steel wheels, Goodyear Stock Car Special rear tyres

Feature Car: Manuel Vassallo’s 1958 Volkswagen Beetle

01 Mar

Manuel Vassallo’s retro-chic, patina-loving 1958 Volkswagen beetle is the real deal. No faux rust or patina here. It’s all legit, weather beaten history on wheels and was featured in the Feb-Apr 2018 issue of VW Magazine Australia.


As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.

Manuel Vassallo's 1958 Volkswagen Beetle

Manuel Vassallo's 1958 Volkswagen Beetle

Manuel Vassallo's 1958 Volkswagen Beetle

Feature Car: Paul Lonergran’s Insane 1928 Dodge Rat Rod

04 Feb

Issue 20 of Heavy Duty Hot Rods (aka Genuine Hot Rods) is on sale now and boasts four photo shoots and feature stories by Hosking Industries, including one on Paul Lonergran’s insane 1928 Dodge Rat Rod, pictured here. Paul’s beastie has been built on the cheap, using parts from around his shop and home collection and Paul claims he did it all for a measly $42!

The phantom ’28 Dodge is powered by a high-revving 327ci small-block Chevrolet V8 and the car features more patina than a rusty boat anchor with corrosion and rust at every turn. Rat rods don’t come much more genuinely ratty than Paul’s. Who’d have it any other way?!

As always, we’ve got a series of FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to enjoy and strobist fans will find our lighting information and EXIF data on each image’s caption, too. Simply CLICK HERE or on the thumbnails below to visit our Flickr page where all the goodies lay in wait for your visit.



Paul Lonergran's Insane 1928 Dodge Rat Rod


Paul Lonergran's Insane 1928 Dodge Rat Rod     Paul Lonergran's Insane 1928 Dodge Rat Rod

Feature Car: Jason Davidson’s 1935 Ford Pickup

07 Dec

Jason Davidson's 1935 Ford Pickup

We scored the cover spot on issue 19 of Heavy Duty Hot Rods (aka Rat Rods &  Hot Rods)! It goes on sale any day now and boasts Jason Davidson’s incredible 1935 Ford rat rod pickup, pictured here.

Powered by a high-revving, 6/71-blown 327ci small-block, Jason takes this machine to car shows up and down the east coast of Australia, including the annual Summernats, where he enters it in the world-renowned burnout competition. He says the engine was originally in his Chevrolet Impala in which he also pulled some huge skids. Amazingly, the engine has never been torn down for a freshen up, despite all the punishment. Read all about it in issue 19 of the magazine.


As always, we’ve got six FREE desktop wallpaper images for you to download and as usual, you’ll find our photos on Flickr complete with EXIF data and lighting information for the strobist fans. CLICK HERE to view the entire gallery or on the thumbnails below:

Jason Davidson's 1935 Ford Pickup

Jason Davidson's 1935 Ford Pickup     Jason Davidson's 1935 Ford Pickup

Wicked Wednesdays: FREE High-Resolution Patina Textures

07 Sep

Yeah, we know… it’s only been a couple of weeks since our last series of high-resolution patina textures. But come on, the 2011 Taren Point Rat Day was just on again this last Father’s Day and the place was full to the brim with brilliantly rusty cars. What would you do!? Yeah, thought so. heheh

As always, Hosking Industries high-resolution texture images are FREE for personal and commercial use. However, you may not resell, repackage or redistribute these textures or generally pass them off as your own for monetary gain etc. Use them in your design projects, but don’t use them for commercial gain.

Click on the thumbnails to download the super happy-time high-res versions (you can right click and Save-As, too!):
FREE Patina Textures FREE Patina Textures FREE Patina Textures FREE Patina Textures FREE Patina Textures FREE Patina Textures