Rat rods have taken the nation, and the classic car hobby, by storm. Where rust, corrosion, and pitting chrome were once things to be repaired, they are now the characteristics of a sought after naturally occuring patina that can only be achieved through a couple decades in a field or in the woods. Rat rods take the rust and embrace what nature has done to their cars rather than fight it. They love what time does to steel and these cars and trucks are a true expression of self. With rat rods, there is no limit to what you can do.
This particular truck is made from the body of a ’47 Ford, the bones of a ’99 Chevy S10 frame, and the heartbeat of a 355 cubic-inch small-block Chevrolet engine and turbo-400 automatic transmission. It’s a mixture of different brands and different styles that aren’t trying to be anything more than what the truck is—a rat rod. The owner of this truck, Lynie Staus of Sequim, Washington, built it and customized it to be exactly the rig that he wanted.
This rat rod started life as full-sized truck on a 2-ton chassis. It’s clearly gone through a little bit of a change since then, and we talked to Lynie to get his thoughts on the truck he built and the ratrodding community that’s grown up in Sequim over the last few years. “Rat rods are all about hanging out with family and friends,” Lynie explained. “It’s about cruising down the road with a smile on your face.” Lynie is part of Olympic Peninsula Rat Racers group; a bunch of rat rodders that are always ready to help one another out and build rats together.
Lynie bought the truck three years ago and it didn’t take long for him to get it on the road. “It took one year in my one car garage to get it built,” Lynie told us. It was a group effort though, and from the beginning Lynie had lots of friends around to lend a hand. With motivation and a little elbow-grease, you can get a lot done in just one short year.
The community aspect of the truck is part of what makes it so valuable to Lynie. The truck is local to the area and is part of the community all on its own, going way back in its history before Lynie even got his hands on it. Lynie wanted to make sure to thank Andrew Symonds for the cab, Joe Larson for building his custom grill surround out of a trailer fender, Josh Henderson for the genuine 1939 Case tractor hood he is using as his transmission tunnel, Mike Gunderson for lending a hand wherever needed, and Ed Neet from Peninsula Recycling.
“I also thank my lovely wife for making my gunny sack seat covers,” Lynie said. “There so much into this truck, there is so much that I’ve been given by family and friends, there is too much to list it all.” The Shock Top tap handle on the air cleaner was given to him, and the front blinkers are actual pistons from his niece’s Geo Metro that they rebuilt the motor on together. Every piece of this truck is a story.
When Lynie takes his truck to a show, he doesn’t ask people to stand back, he asks them to get in. He wants to encourage people, especially kids, to get in the driver seat and check it out. He wants to make sure that kids becoming interested in the hobby and keep it alive and keep building cars and trucks for years to come.