You are looking at the winner of the SEMA Auto Show international Rat Rod Build off, and the team that built this car is from surprise, surprise....Canada!
Image credit: Gasoline Alley Rat Rods Facebook
Jason Groulx is the lead builder for Gasoline Alley Rat Rods, a company from Red Deer Alberta. It took six months of steady full time work to build this car. The project began when the team pulled an old 1928 Dodge out of a farmers field. When they discovered the car came complete with authentic bullet holes, no extra charge, a vision began to take shape. A vision with a 1930's gangster theme.
"We wanted to have fun with it, we wanted to build a car that the average person, even if they're not a car person, that could come up to it and appreciate some of the details." Jason Groulx.
The Canadians were competing against the best builders from the United States and Canada. In the end it was details like the grenade on the front of the car, and the Tommy Gun Shifter that made this Canadian car a show winner.
"I mean if you get the chance to look around us, we've probably got a half million dollar Ferrari ahead of us. A $200,000 Corvette behind us and its just been steady people here the last two days. People have just been all over this Rat Rod, it's been a lot of fun," exclaimed Jason Groulx.
Building the car and getting it from Red Deer Alberta to the SEMA show in Vegas was nothing short of an adventure. The team was up against the clock. When the car was finished they had just 24 hours left to drive it to SEMA. When the arrived in Vegas it caught fire.
"One of our big sponsors, he's interested in purchasing the car and he's standing there watching it
and we're testing the stuff and it actually caught fire on Friday night. What happened was our battery box, we have a chain that holds our batteries in place and it actually flipped up and caught the back of the car on fire so you talk about pressure, there was huge pressure," said Jason Groulx.
There is a misconception out there among many that a rat rod is just a bunch of rusty old car parts thrown together. In truth a rat rod is a piece of rolling sculpture. This car is truly a work of art. Everything that has been welded into place has a purpose and reinforces this Rat Rod's theme, message and mood.
"Everything that we tried to do like the Tommy Gun Shifter and some of the other parts in the car,
works with the bullet holes, the whole gangster kind of thing," exclaimed Jason Groulx.
Not only was this car the best in its class at the world's most prestigious custom car show, bidders are now lining up to to buy it.
"We've had a couple of offers already, it was kind of funny we had one offer of $80,000 which is huge for a Rat Rod," said Jason Groulx.
What will the Gasoline Alley Rat Rods team do for an encore? Jason Groulx says building this car was a labour of love, but it was so all consuming, that they have no choice they all have to go back to their jobs fixing and building cars for clients. So the team will not be back next year but with a trophy and a new international reputation as a premier car building team we're pretty sure we'll be seeing great things from these Canadians down the road.
Rick Walker SST- at the SEMA Auto Show in Las Vegas.