1948 Rat Rod (Willys Jeep pickup) aka Raticus

I have been building a nostalgia styled rat rod from a 1948 Willys Jeep Pickup. This is my first attempt at making a rat - but it won't be my last...

Back half of frame was rotted so I cut it out and replaced it with 2 x 3 boxed frame that I made. I Z'd the frame 14 inches in back. I removed the front axle and made a suicide perch and put in an early Ford straight axle. I located an old set of Ford wishbones and split the puppies....

A friend, John, provided me with a Chevy 307 V8 that had 69,000 miles on it. He also provided a 350 turbo trans. He also gave me a 4 barrel carb and aluminum manifold. That is a good type of friend to have!  I brought a Speedway motor mount kit. John also helped me to get the motor started. Then I found a 3:08 chevy open rear from craigslist.

Chopped the top 5 inches and channeled the cab over the frame 6 inches...What an experience. A lot of work but a lot of fun too....I cut down the original grill to make a rat rod grill. I also cut down the hood and made a sun visor for the rat.

I purchased a 50's something Ford bed (no floor) for $20 and cut out 40 inches to shorten it. The finished bed is about 40 inches in length.

I made my own cab and bed floors and while I was at it, I made 2 'bomber' styled seats.  I also fabricated my own shifter linkage and shifter (No high $$$ Lokar shifter for me)....

I located some ol' steelie style rims from the junkyard and painted them satin black and put Coker wide whites on the front and Towel City Cheater Slicks. I went with Towel City because they were about 1/2 the price of ANY other cheater slick that I could find ($300 for both!)

I recently primed it with epoxy primer (gray). I plan to leave it this color.

This weekend I shortened the original Jeep steering column about 8 inches and then fabricated a steering box mount on the top of the frame (couldn't use the original in frame location because the radius rod is now in the way)...This too was another experience and then some!

I still have to put rear brakes, master cylinder, and some electric before I can take it for a ride.

Side Note: Since my dads passing I researched the ships that he was on during the Navy (WWII and Korea), and plan to use the call letters on the truck as a dedication to my ol' man. He was 'from a time of Iron men and wooden ships' (as he used to say) - so I will also have that lettered on the truck.

Below are some pictures as it currently sits....

Happy building everyone!


Steve Krozser


Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)


48willys's picture


Philippians 4: 13

Showme's picture

Very cool project!


The Hammerhead project.
One off custom 71 vette roadster,c-4 susp,TT6.0lsx.TKO 5spd.
If your hands don't shake when your done driving,It's not fast enough!!!

Crash's picture

that is looking great ,,,, keep it up ,,, I myself love the primer grey look

Satisfaction comes when you can say "I built that"

alvin's picture

thats very cool. good job!!

think outside the box
Old Bull's picture

Good looking rod!

TimeTraveller's picture

Nice! someone building a rat that's NOT using black! I like it!


I can see the light at the end of the tunnel....Hopefully, it's not a train!

Time machine's website... http://gentlemansmusclecar.tripod.com/
Follow me on Twitter....@RC_Hindle

chargerc1500's picture

awsome project

jonester123's picture

Congrats on a really nice truck build man, looks awesome and enjoy.Cool

Thomas R Jones

fast_firebird_400's picture

man thats cool


cacarmi's picture

Have two willys truck and an a model roller with 350 700r4 and 9in ford disk brake rearend.Was about to scape the idea. Had never seen one I thought was really cool.Until now I had a vision But needed to see one done .As imove forward with mine I'll post on here so you can check it out


1951sms's picture

I'd like to find a step by step on chopping the top on a 56' Willys tk if someone would help me.......