Fireball to be a Judge at this month’s ART CENTER CAR CLASSIC…

If you plan on hitting the ART CENTER CAR CLASSIC this month on October 22, then check out what Fireball’s bringin’ in…

This year, his pick was Joe Magliato’s amazing MAD HAMMER RAT ROD. Soon to be a crowd favorite due to Joe’s incredible attention to detail, the Fireball crew will be on hand to Judge, Vlog and mix with some design greats including Henrik Fisker, Dereek Jenkis, John Sahs, Tom Peters and the infamous Dave Marek.

Join us!


FIREBALL DRIVES THE AWESOME MAD HAMMER RAT ROD! – FIREBALL MALIBU VLOG 683 – After a stint on the Radio Show “Horsepower for an Hour” and lunch at Leo Carrillo in Malibu, Fireball gets a visit from Blacksmith Joe Magliato and his MAD HAMMER Rat Rod.

A rat rod is a style of hot rod or custom car that, in most cases, imitates (or exaggerates) the early hot rods of the 1940s, 1950s, and early-1960s.

The style is not to be confused with the somewhat closely related “traditional” hot rod, which is an accurate re-creation or period-correct restoration of a hot rod from the same era.

Most rat rods appear “unfinished”, regardless of their status, as only the vehicle’s bare essentials are driven.

These are built to drive, not exclusively for show.

The December 1972 issue of Rod & Custom Magazine was dedicated to the “beater”, a low-budget alternative to the early car models that were slick and customized. Due to the beater’s cheap upholstery, primer covering (instead of paint), and lack of chrome or polished metals, it has been considered a progenitor of the rat rod.

The origin of the term “rat rod” is the subject of dispute.

Opinions regarding the term’s origins were based in one of the following perspectives: The term first appeared in an article in Hot Rod Magazine, written by Gray Baskerville, about cars that, at that time, continued to be covered by primer; or, the first rat rod was owned by artist, Robert Williams, who had a ’32 Ford Roadster that was painted in primer.

However, Hot Rod magazine has verified the latter view.

Gray’s use of the term was in relation to “Rat Bikes,” motorcycles that were assembled from spare parts, to be enjoyed and ridden, and not necessarily for the display of the builder’s skills.

It is believed that the term is likely to have originally been used in a derogatory or pejorative sense, as this remains the case among sections of the hot rod community; however, the term has also been adopted in a positive light by other parts of the sub-culture.