What’s it like to drive a 1950 CHEVROLET RAT TRUCK? Only in Malibu…

You never know what might show up here in the town, automotive-wise. 

People have all kinds of hidden gems stored in garages, backyards and top secret bunkers —but the hunt is on, and I’m the hunter.

Today brings a super cool Ride of the Week from local hair stylist Michael Sparks, co-owner of CIE SPARKS Salon here in the ‘Bu. 

I’ve known Michael for a while now and know that he loves three things more than just about anything: styling hair, cars and surfing. 

Such a bummer way of life, you gotta feel for him. But despite his horribly cool lifestyle, Michael has a great demeanor and an awesome attitude. Right off the bat, as you enter the salon at Cross Creek, he and his team greet you with warm smiles, almost knowing that what they do will improve your self-esteem 10-fold. And they’re right.

But when Michael said he had a cool car, I was intrigued. 

“A 50’s truck,” he calmly remarked with an evil glint in his eye. And in that moment, I knew that a Rat had entered the building.

Cut to Michael rolling up a few weeks later in his 1950 Chevrolet Rat Truck. Chopped, slammed, dented and dirtied, this truck was slicker than shingles. At 350hp, it’s get-up and go is more than enough for PCH and its curves. 

“I purchased the car from a guy on Craigslist back in 2011,” Michael said. “Just really wanted a rat rod and a truck that I could play with.” 

And that’s exactly what Michael got. 

Surfing, being a dad, croozing for surf activity and getting to the Salon. Yes, it’s rough being a spark like this dude. Imagine the struggle he must endure with all that sun, waves and a gorgeous girl on his arm. I feel for you, buddy.

“I love that the car is chopped with a patina finish,” he said. “I would never get the body restored because I just love the way it looks. It’s a rat rod.” 

And since Michael only uses it to roll around Malibu, he gets some cool stories. 

“One time I was pulled over by the police, and I was terrified because of the Jack Daniels bottle I have for my shifter; however, the officer just wanted to look at the car up close,” he said. 

Whew, that was a close one. Next thing you know, cops will want Rat selfies and all will break loose. Zoiks!

Being a lot like Michael in many ways, I can relate the challenges of being a car guy here in Malibu. The “Cararazzi” are everywhere and you can barely get into town to buy Cashew Milk. 

I don’t mean to rant, but you gotta understand the plights of automotive life. You think movie stars have it bad? Not even close, but it looks like Michael has things under control. 

Next up will be a drive for my show and that will be a challenge. But I’m up for it. Michael… are you?

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