A passion for old farm vehicles has turned into a new business venture and hobby for two Sault Ste. Marie entrepreneurs.
Kevin Koprash 24, and Red Culberson 34, started Rusty Rat Chop Shop in behind the Trading Post on Highway 17 north and creating quite a stir when the boys are working on their rat rods.
Now, if you aren’t up to speed of what a rat rod is, it’s a hot rod that , in most cases imitates or exaggerates the early hot rods of 1940’s through the early 1960’s. Most Rat Rods appear “unfinished”, regardless of their status, as only the vehicle’s bare essentials are driven.
Koprash is fairly new at the rat rod craze but Red Culberson has been interested in fixing old cars since he was 16. Culberson has worked on 6 vehicles and is currently working on a 1931 Ford Model A bought for $1,000 from a farm in Heyden. “We already have interest in this one from a few buyers in the Toronto area”
Once complete, the car could sell as high as $30,000
“It will take about a month to finish it” Koprash said. All cars are mechanically fit and sold with a safety. The pair reconstruct the frame in most cases and completely strip the car down to start working.
Unlike traditional “hot rods” don’t look for any fancy chrome or sparkling paint jobs, when completed, they might look like a jalopy or clunker and that’s a true rat rod.
“There’s a market for fully restored cars and there’s a growing market for rat rods” Koprash said. “It’s the most horsepower you can slam into an old car”
The rat rod craze continues to grow with television shows like “Vegas Rat Rod” and several hot rod magazines focusing on the art of restoration of old clunkers.
Once Koprash and Culberson are done with the rare four door Model A, they have a 54 Dodge Truck and a 1941 Mercury to tackle. “We’re always looking” Culberson said.
Check out the Rusty Rat Chop Shop facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rusty-Rat-Chop-Shop/769337306446478?sk=photos_stream