Video: Big Muscle Goes Rat Hunting In The Hollywood Hills

Nothing quite beats a rat when it comes to personal expression, and while that may be an opinion that some disagree with, we love our rat rods here at Rod Authority (when they are built right). That’s why we were excited to see this week’s episode of Big Muscle on the DRIVE network. Check out the one-of-a-kind rat that Mike Musto examines in the video above.


Call us crazy, but we’d rather have the one on the right!

In true rat rod fashion, this car, nicknamed “Gretchen,” is about as unique as they come. While you may recognize the body from a 1931 Ford, chances are you won’t recognize anything else on this beast.

The engine, transmission and rear tires propelling the rat rod forward are from a 50s Diamond-Reo tractor, and while the engine only makes 275 hp, it belches out an astounding 1,640 lb-ft of torque. That’s enough oomph to put you through a concrete road barrier in a fraction of a second.

Having this much torque, one might figure that the rat has some high-tech chassis or suspension system, but they’d be dead wrong. In fact, the chassis is made out of old Hollywood light poles, the wishbones out of fence posts and the suspension is a combination of shocks and air bags from an old RTD bus. But don’t worry about the potential hazard of these haphazard components coming together because the owner of this beast, Henry Kessler, vows that the rat is virtually bullet proof.

You definitely see some wild things in Hollywood, where this Big Muscle episode was filmed, but even the regulars to the star town seemed to be awestruck by such a vehicle in the Hollywood hills and hot spots like Rodeo Drive. Funny, because that’s exactly where we’d like to see more rats like this strutting their stuff. Stay tuned for a full feature on “Gretchen” coming your way!


About the author

Lindsey Fisher

Lindsey is a freelance writer and lover of anything with a rumble. Hot rods, muscle cars, motorcycles - she's owned and driven it all. When she's not busy writing about them, she's out in her garage wrenching away. Who doesn't love a tech-savy gal that knows her way around a garage?
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