No Smoke No Poke

The insane one million mile tractor hot rod made from lamp posts and Learjet parts

23rd July 2013 | BY Adam

Hot rods come in all shapes and sizes, from show cars worth hundreds of thousands of pounds to rat rods worth hundreds of…well pence. The beauty of ‘Rodding is that it’s not how much you spend on your car that matters, it’s the attention to detail and heart and soul that goes in to making it that counts.

Today’s feature car is Henry Kessler’s 1931 Ford which sports the engine, transmission and rear wheels from a diesel powered 1952 Diamond Reo truck. It doesn’t cost half a million dollars, it doesn’t have a twenty grand paint job and it’s certainly not all shiny chrome and fancy parts. It has however covered over one-million-miles, has bonnet scoops made from steel toe cap boots, uses a suspension linkage from a Learjet airplane and rides on air bags from an old LA RTD bus that used to ferry commuters around the city - oh yeah, it also make over 1600lbft torque.

Hit the jump for the video and a load more photos of this insane diesel rat rod.

According to owner Henry Kessler, the engine in “Satan’s Rat-Rod” has covered over one-million miles and has never been opened up. It belches smoke and spews oil from deep within but runs like a dream and will probably see out another million miles given half a chance.

Originally coming from a Whites Water truck, the agricultural nature of the motor means that if it was happy lugging around five tonnes of truck in the fifties, it’ll be more than comfortable being retired in to a small rat-rod for it’s twilight years.

The parts that make up the car are scavenged from various places, like the lights from a Buick and the chassis rails from a lamp post found in the Hollywood hills - I shit you not.

However low tech meets high tech here and there with the wishbone rose joins coming from a Learjet private jet.

The function over form mentality extends to every nook and cranny of the car, including the pedals made of welded up steel bar and bolts found laying around the workshop - this is a tough car and it’s built to be driven.

The engine produces a conservative 275bhp but a monstrous 1600lbft torque, which is what this ‘rod needs considering it’s made up of lamp posts. There’s no comment on the kerb weight, but our scientific estimate would be “really f**king heavy”.

Health and safety checks were bypassed in the creation of this beast, which is most noticeable when you realise the 6 gallon fuel tank made from on old propane bottle actually forms part of the structural integrity of the car. The chassis cross members are welded directly to it, so in the event of a crash the fuel tank doubles up as a crumple zone…they say there’s a fine line between pure genius and total insanity and we’re pretty sure we know which side of the line Henry Kessler was hanging out on when he built this thing.

But what you have to remember is this isn’t a car built to race around tracks and it’s not going to sit at 80 on the LA freeway. This car’s mission is to cruise around in the sunshine and draw in bigger crowds than a Bugatti Veyron on Hollywood Boulevard.

Judging by these pictures, “Mission Accomplished”.

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