Rat rods are a style of hot rod or custom car that often imitates or exaggerates the early rods of the '40s, '50s and '60s and lack noncritical/nonessential parts. Most of them appear unfinished and are made from pieces of different models, makes and aftermarket parts.
Rat rods were designed as a counter-reaction to the highly priced customs and typical hot rods, many of which were rarely driven and were meant to serve as decorative possessions. The inception of rat rods indicated a throwback to the hot rods that were being driven in the earlier days, but they were built with the intention of being driven and in accordance to the owner's abilities. However, rat rods have undergone transformation over the years, going through several phases that have led to designing of highly improved and better designs.