02
Jun
09

You are such a Rat Fink!!

The other day I was hanging out with my girls. We were laughing and teasing about a particular subject…..men… when one of the girls spouts off with “You are such a Rat Fink!”. That immediatly started me thinking…….what ever happened to my plastic model of that crazy “Rat Fink” car.

Let me explain to all you readers that are too young to remember. The “Rat Fink” character was developed by Ed Roth aka Big Daddy Roth. He drew other rather grotesque looking extremish characters that were coupled with cars resembling the very hot rods he built. Sometime in the 60’s Revell model company made a plastic model of the Roth vehicals, one of which I had the pleasure of owning after my cousin helped me…actually did all the work… put it together. I loved that thing! The “Rat Fink” had a crazy look in his eyes, mean pointy teeth and looked like he was high on crack. Put that in the tank of your car and you have one mean machine!!

Now, Ed Roth was quite a guy. Born March 32, in Beverly Hills, California, he was an artist and cartoonist. He was also in a band called “Mr Gasser and the Weirdos”, circa early 60’s and a custom car builder. He was a key figure in the “Kustom Kulture” (custom hot rods) of Southern California and the part of the country I grew up in. He helped turn hot rods into more than performance vehicles but artforms where aesthetics were equally important. He started out in the 50’s as a pinstripper and flame painter at his shop called “Crazy Painters” He broke new ground with the fiberglass bodywork to drastically change the looks of the everyday car. He became known as the “Guru of fiberglass and metalflake paint “. Although he was less known for them, he did creat some motorcycles and a few trikes in his day. He financed his inventions and projects by selling drawings of his crazy characters and would personally airbrush t-shirts of the characters driving a particular car, name of a car or car club, or your name. The crowds loved them.

I had read a few things about this man a few years ago. It wasnt long after he passed away in 2001. He was working on an innovative hot rod project at the time of his death. They commented that in his later years he had had his telephone number listed and encouraged fans to contact him. He was said to be very generous with his time and enthusiasm. Thats my kind of guy, share the secret of his success.

So, somewhere in the world is my little plastic model of the “Rat Fink” car, all crazy eyed and cracked out. I miss the little guy! I hope whoever has it now takes special care of it. Its probably worth a small fortune.

Lady Godiva on wheels.

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