Electric Mini Rat Rod Starts ‘Em Young

An electric mini rat rod made from mostly recycled parts.

These days, a lot of people barely even say hello to their neighbors. But not [dewey302]. They’re so tight with the people next door that they built this bad-ass electric mini rat rod for the neighbors’ five-year-old kid. Talk about community!

Nearly every bit of this rod is recycled — the body is a wheelbarrow, the transaxle is from a mobility scooter, and the frame was welded together from scrap tubing including the wheelbarrow itself, and old bike or two, and some broken lawn chairs. The rear wheels are also from the ‘barrow, though the front ones were purchased (one of few new parts. Power comes from a pair of 18 V tool batteries wired in series and running through the Curtis controller from the scooter. Depending on the weight of the driver, this baby will do 10-12 MPH.

We love the look of this little rat rod, and wish we were [dewey302]’s neighbor. When you’re done poring over the pile of build pictures, be sure to watch [dewey302] and [The Kid] tear up the cul-de-sac in the video after the break.

You may have noticed the mailbox grille. Surprisingly, this is not the first mail-themed rat rod we’ve covered. Here’s one that really delivers.

4 thoughts on “Electric Mini Rat Rod Starts ‘Em Young

  1. I would not have thought of using a mail box door as a faux radiator.
    (mind blown!)

    Great build, I just hope the child doesn’t get hurt using it.
    (yeah, I know, it probably isn’t any worse than a Power Wheels toy)

  2. Electric? You’ze guys are kids! Mine was wood with ropes to a steering column, kinda………. and there was this BIG hill at top of the street !!! Soap box derbies were all the rage among the kids and Scouts. Ropes wrapped around the steering column, barely functional.through crude holes drilled in the wood as guides. Days of the Soapbox derbies and Scouting’s Pinewood derbies! Happy to see you’ve move on to better ’cause there was a car and I nearly didn’t make it.

    I thank you all for the early 70’s memory. Made my day. God Bless!

    1. One of my school mates electrified one of those awesome machines. It was probably just as rustic as you imagine to start with. Then the addition of a car battery and a starter motor (which was shoved against a wheel), made it electric.

      The switch was a couple of screws, a hinge and some elastic bands to open it. Elastic generally wasn’t strong enough after the screws welded together upon closing. The innertube stuck over the motor’s gears to form a friction drive was equally good.

      Fortunately there were no steep hills near where he lived. Just nice spikey thorn bushes to conveniently slow things down when they got too exciting.

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