Derelict hot rods

Sunday, March 04, 2012

It's also great that it isn't a '50s Chevy; it's a '52 Chrysler Town & Country wagon with a '52 DeSoto front clip. Virtually no one knows what it is, but everyone sees it coming, and it wouldn't be so appealing if it didn't have the kind of patina that money can't buy. It's got that perfect combo of surface rust, burned paint, and slightly pocked trim while also being totally complete and not punched in or laced with rot. Still, patina is just decay until it's stuck to an excellent car. Which this is. Jonathan's goal was "to create something respectful of the original design values, to keep the brilliant patina, and to hide a modern chassis focused on modern performance and utility. More of a wabi-sabi style influence illustrated on an automotive platform." Wabi-sabi is a Japanese worldview that seeks beauty in the imperfect, the simple, and the modest. The car and the wabi-sabi aesthetic reflect what seems to be a growing trend in hot rodding: the rat machine and rat cruiser. Though the label rat stirs enormous conflict when applied to a hot rod-ish build, it's a common term now and is creeping into the world of '50s through '70s cars. We're starting to see more beater muscle cars and earlier, bigger cars with patina and sometimes full-on rust sitting on good suspension and drivetrain hardware. The most expensive part of building a car almost always comes down to bodywork and paint-what if you just ignored that and concentrated on the rest of the car, even if the exterior was an eyesore? The Derelict, as this '52 Chrysler has been named, is a rat cruiser done perfectly.

From Hot Rod's The Derelict - 1952 Chrysler Town & Country - Beauty In The Beast.