In 2013 we created the first 30 day, $3000 Build-Off. Now – we’re blowing the whole thing wide open.
The 2016 iteration of the Rat Rod Build-Off is simply put: a celebration of rat rod culture. Simplified, open, and geared toward the Average Joe builder. Build the coolest rat rod you can with the least amount of money and bring it to Grafton Illinois September 24 – 25 to participate in our first open invite free-for-all build off.
Build-Off Event Dates September 24 – Grafton Illinois September 25 – St Louis Missouri (including the Great River Road cruise from Grafton to Shapiro Steel in St Louis to start the morning.
Who can participate? Almost anyone can enter. We’re doing away with the random name draw and the limited entrants to give more people a chance to get involved.
We do NOT want people registering if you are participating in any other build-off competitions. Why? Our competition is meant for people who may not normally have the chance to do this type of thing… and we don’t want to encourage “professional build-off contestants.” As more and more build-off competitions keep popping up, we don’t want to host competitors who jump around and compete in build-offs regularly. Want to enter our contest? Awesome, but please do it exclusively.
The only other restriction is if you have competed in our build-off for two years in a row, we ask that you not compete for at least one year, preferably two to give other people a chance to participate. Team leaders must be 18 or older. (Team members may be any age)
Team leaders will be asked to sign a participation waiver during reception on September 24th.
No time limit? Nope. Take your time. Build over the summer.
Look, we love the challenge of the 30 day build off – that’s why we started it. But the reality is, people sacrifice quite a bit to pull that off and what we really want to get back to, is enjoying the build process. The challenge is awesome… but so is the strain. This year, it’s all about doing your thing, at your speed – and enjoying the build. The only rule here is that your entry must be built and titled during the 2016 calendar year.
No budget? This competition is absolutely a budget build off. We’re looking for the builder who has done the most, with the least. But with that being said, we don’t want bitching and whining about who-has-what into their vehicle, we’re not nit-picking and getting into ridiculous arguments about how much someone’s bits and pieces cost. The fact of the matter is, parts, labor, supplies, everything is subjective and debatable and once again it brings negativity into the competition. So it’s gone. If Joe Blow wants to build a$20,000 rat rod – that’s on him, that’s what he wants to build. We’re looking for blue-collar, home-built, resourcefulness. If you’re in it to win it, that’s how you should approach this competition.
Everybody has their own unique vision. Their own style, skillset, ideology. This is what makes the rat rod scene so amazing… individuality. We’re here to inspire and encourage – not limit this creativity. Let it all out and build YOUR way. You tell us what you think a Rat Rod Magazine cover car is.
So are there any other rules? Of course – to ensure the safety of our builders and integrity of the competition, there are certainly some rules.
Number one: build a rat rod. We don’t want classics, restorations, art cars, whatever – we want RAT RODS. Can you push the limits? Sure – you can build whatever you want. But understand what we’re looking for.
Rule number two: BUILD IT SAFE. Whatever it is, make sure it’s roadworthy, legal, and safe.
Rule number three: your entry HAS to complete the drive from Grafton Illinois to St Louis Missouri on September 25 along the Great River Road under its own power. No exceptions.
Rule number four: no sponsorships. Other than the name or brand of the team building, sponsors are prohibited. Why? Because we want to challenge the build teams to be resourceful. With this kind of exposure, it would be too easy to get free parts, cash, etc., and would destroy the integrity of the competition.
Rule number five: don’t be a dick. The magazine (and rat rod culture in general) represent respect, integrity, and comradery… and this competition should reflect that. We don’t want drama and we don’t want pot-stirrers. If that’s what you’re bringing – don’t bother. Rat Rod Magazine retains the right to deny entry to those who A) demonstrate behavior detrimental to the event(s), magazine, or build-off process as a whole, or B) are disrespectful towards other competitors, magazine staff, or event partners.
Winners and announcements Unlike the previous three years, winners of this year’s competition won’t be announced until approximately one week after the big events. Why? Because we want ample time to go over all the entrants and review the weekend’s activities – and also give the public time to chime in as well.
The overall winner will receive the Dec/Jan Rat Rod Magazine cover as well as the largest feature inside the magazine.
The Build-Off Issue will include a Top 10 section, a Top 20 section, and additional designations like “People’s Choice,” etc., as well as full event coverage.
FAQ’s Can I show up on Sunday the 25th for the drive and not the day before? Yes. The drive is the important part. Can I trailer my entry to Grafton? Yes. As long as it completes the Great River Road drive on its own power. Can I build a bike? Absolutely. While it won’t win our cover, bikes are still welcome. Does this cost anything to enter? No, aside from whatever it takes to build and attend the events. There are no entry fees. Will there be any trophies? Probably. I’m competing in another build-off this year, can I still join yours? Nope. What if I pre-register and then decide not to show up? Then you don’t show up. There is no obligation.