Steampunk builds are kinda interesting, but honestly they’re the automotive equivalent of a hipster with a perfectly coiffed handlebar mustache juggling studded sex toys while balancing on a unicycle. In other words, just weird for the sake of being weird—and something you don’t really want to be caught gawking at by your friends. But rat rods were and are still socially acceptable gearhead manna. Spawned in the dirty underbelly of the automotive realm, rat rods repurpose the discarded, embrace the eschewed, and often provide a gritty glimpse into the character of their owners. So it was with little surprise this super-cool rat rod iron works vehicle on display in the ESAB booth had a decided slant towards cutting and welding. Built by Welder Up, better known to most as the shop from Vegas Rat Rods, this build carefully walks that line between steampunk weirdo flavor and rat rod purposefulness. There’s a diesel generator with twin turbos, a super-scary-looking vintage welder, a bitchin’ blacksmith anvil, an old-school hard hat, a scary PTO winch on the front bumper, vises, a work table, and so many other cool yet useful things. And all that neat vintage gear is blended with a modern suspension design featuring coilovers, a crazy twin-turbo’d Cummins diesel, a (what looks to be) pneumatically shifted automatic transmission, and more modern stuff than you can notice in one quick view. So, feel free to let your friends see you staring, and try to count how many vintage field repair items you can spot on this cleverly executed idea.
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