• May 17, 2011
eBay Find of the Day: Mazda-powered Rat Rod – Click above for image gallery

Let's play a quick game of word association; if we say "rat rod", what would you say in return? We'd wager that "Mazda" wouldn't be the first thing to come out of your mouth. Hell, it wouldn't even be the last thing. Unless, of course, you're a person looking for cheap transportation as you being graduate school in Georgia. It's hard to believe the car in the lead photo started life as a Miata, and has since been transformed into a real ratty rod that's fitted with parts from a variety of vehicles.

The owner states the he was rear-ended in the Mazda Miata, and this started him down a path to turn the wrecked vehicle into a rat rod. The engine, transmission, rear differential, gauges, suspension and steering components are all from a 1996 Miata. The frame was custom-fabricated from the remains of the crash-damaged car. The front and rear sub-frames were attached to the custom frame that was created, and this allowed for the stock steering and suspension points to be retained.

Up front, the grille of the rat rod was created by turning two 1960's Ford fender covers sideways, then welding them together. The headlamps are from a 1940s Packard, while the hood ornament was plucked from a 1941 Cadillac. Inside, the seats were wrestled out of a '70s-era Monte Carlo. Oddly enough, the entire package works well together to create that rat rod aesthetic, and the Mazda motor has no problem moving custom rig down the road.

The asking price is $8,000, and you can find out more about the Mazda-powered rat rod by clicking over to the eBay listing.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      JayP
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is more of a hotrod than those crate-engined, fiberglass bodied, fake rusted sleds that were popping up a few yeas ago. Nice. Looks like a blast to drive.
      JonZeke
      • 3 Years Ago
      The frame needs some serious beefing up, but otherwise this is pretty sweet. The wheels need to go too, painting them rust-red just doesn't feel right.
      SloopJohnB
      • 3 Years Ago
      Steampunk might work here with that radiator grille!! Saw a rat rod the other day in Smithsburg, MD...radiator grill said Hudson Terraplane. Ratty is the word, rusty is the look.
      Opplock
      • 3 Years Ago
      >The owner states the he was rear-ended in the Mazda Miata... Let's not perpetuate the stereotype. Not that there's anything wrong with that ;)
        eskimo810
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Opplock
        funny, but I can't believe you just called the miata gay. It's cheap, rear wheel drive, front engined, small, light, agile, and cheap. Did I mention cheap? For that it's got kudos, and doesn't deserve to be stereotyped. Hell, I wish I had one for a second car, even if it was only to buy fancy tires and take it to the track.
          Opplock
          • 3 Years Ago
          @eskimo810
          The comment was in jest and about a well known stereotype that is almost as old as the MIata. P.S. And I own a '90.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      maxwellarmand
      • 3 Years Ago
      I dunno, it seems this whole rat rod thing meant something when you had a bunch of model T and A's floating around, but now just seems lazy in the talent department. Would have figured more creative things our now.
      Bill
      • 3 Years Ago
      Not my cup of tea and I don't really get it, but I admire the crazy.
      longducdong
      • 3 Years Ago
      Normally I object to the horribly overused term "rat rod", but in this case it works. Why? Because its certainly not a traditional rod with a Mazda powerplant, thats why. I think the overall execution is semi-decent, but the Mazda engine just doesnt mesh with the overall theme of the car. Its like the equivalent of taking a pristine, historical Toyota 2000GT and swapping motors for a big block Chevy. Some things just shouldnt be done... and a hot rod with a Japanese motor is one of them. Flame away.
      James C
      • 3 Years Ago
      That actually works really well I wonder if making smaller 4banger rat rods will be a trend given the price of fuel these days... also I kinda want to see a K20 powered rod just for curiositys sake
        Hazdaz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @James C
        I would not be surprised at all if this car gets around 30-40 MPG. Miatas are already feature-light and this rat rod is missing most of its body panels. The ones added on for looks can't possibly weigh that much. Its gotta weight in at under 2000 lbs. (a regular '96 Miata was abour 2300 lbs)
          longducdong
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Hazdaz
          Therein lies the problem... you dont build a hot rod for gas mileage. You buy it to cruise. You buy it for looks. You buy it for speed. You buy it for the sound. And anyone who buys an old historical hot rod and shoves a Mazda engine in it to save on gas deserves the world's biggest pole shoved up their bum.
          mtmnznsk
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Hazdaz
          The owner/builder of this car drove it from Georgia to upstate New York and back and (I think) got over 30 miles per gallon the whole way. I've driven this car, and it's a blast. It's very tiny in person, which might not be obvious from the photos. And it sounds exactly like a rat rod should. The lake pipes do a lot to improve the sound of the Miata engine.
        longducdong
        • 3 Years Ago
        @James C
        Sacrilege!!!!!!!!!!!
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's freakin' sick. Love it. As much as I like the style and the ingenuity of using Miata parts, I have to say that frame looks sketchy as hell. If this rat rod started life as a rear-ended Miata, you'd think the owner/builder would have put a little more thought into safety. It just doesn't look all that sturdy.
        cynicalrick
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        it doesn't look much different from the model-t frames under so many other hot rods out there today
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      Very creative with the grille, and seems like a really cool idea, but looks like it needs a little bit more love for the asking price.
      David S.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ah, yes, how can we forget those wonderful velour seats from the 1970's Monte Carlos?
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