Photos and Article by Victor Venter
Built by Frederik Viljoen
In South Africa you cant talk about Rat Rods with out the name Frederik (Frikkie) Viljoen coming in to the conversation. He is the man behind Rat Rod SA (@RatRodSA), I have been dealing with Rat Rod Magazine (USA) and The International International RATical Rod Build Off/ Drive off for about 4 years. His builds have featured in Magazines like SA HotRods, Speed&Sound, CAR magazine, Popular Mechanics, The Red Bulletin and Wegry. Frikkie is not only making waves in South Africa but all over the world.
The Ratical Rod Build off community found out about me through Rat Rod magazine and at first wanted me to help them select some of SAs finest car builders. Seeing as we couldn’t figure it out at the time , they selected me to be part of the 2018 build off.
Frikkie goal, ultimately, is to get South African Rat builders and car builders together as a tight community and create opportunities for them to enter the global Rat Rod industry.
Frikkies latest project is a Rat Rod in every form. We take a look at Frikkie 1933 Plymouth RAT ROD.
My wife Amelia Viljoen wanted her own Rat Rod so the search was one.
I found the 33 Plymouth online and knew that was a project me, so we packed the trailer and whent to go get it from a farm on the outscirts of Johannesburg. The body wasn’t in that bad condition but it still needed a lot of work. The 33 was fairly complete and it was still rolling on its original chassis.
We got it to the shop and the project began. I had a Half and half vague initial idea for the look I wanted to go for, but the further i progressed with the build, the clearer my plan became.
The body was taken off the chassis, the chassis was cleanded up and strentend. The original front solid axle was turned over. The diff from a Ford Sierra was mounted in the back. Fikkie decided tu user the original drub brakes for the front, as the rear diff came with disc brakes that would mean better stopping power. Amelia said she didn’t want a loud V8 motor, so Frikkie opted for a Ford V6 motor while still running the 4 speed manual box that came with the motor. A build like this has a bit of everything in it Frikkie exsplained for instens the steering colum is from a VW. Frikky also added his own toutches. I kept the original radiator in the nose and mounted a new radiator behind it.
On the body Frikkie and his team sanded and grinded the body clean, The interior wood structure was removed and reinforced with steel . However Frikkie did keepthe original wood section on the roof to keep the Ratty look. The floor was russted away so frikkie hand made the floor.
The headlights are from a 1929 roadster and the wheels are from a 1941 Plymouth.
On the interior Frikkie had a plan, I wanted to create an old – school, hard core steam punk all steel feel. I added a personal touch by letting my friends and family write messages on the doors.
With a build like this they always take shape as you build them, we asked Frikkie if the end result was what he had invitioned?
Yes! I was beyond happy with the outcome. I was relieved that my idea was now tangible and i did it all myself which makes it so personal.
For its first road trip Frikkie decided to tak it to Dust and U in Upington. It was the cars first trip and it was an estimated 2600 km round trip. It was awesome but like a first build always goes , you build it in the shop and fix it on the road. It wasn’t a bad first time runner and remember the owner of the car , my wife Amelia, drove my rat, together with hers all by herself the whole trip! That’s why we call it the “mom” of Rat Rod SA.
However Amelia has decided the V6 has got to go so Frikkie will be dropping in a V8 in the near future.
My next build is for Sema 2018 in Las Vegas and im building a South African Safari themed car, however it will be bullet fast! Surprise!!!
We cant wait to see the next build so stay tuned to SAHotRods for updates on the build.