Gavin Smith & his 1947 Ford Rat Rod

In this article, we will meet Gavin Smith and talk about his 47 Ford Rat Rod.

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What type of vehicle is it?


My rat rod is a 47 ford

When was it purchased?

How it looked when first purchased

I got it about 2 years ago, (2015) but did not work on it at all last year due to work.

Was this a father, son/Daughter project?

No, I’ve done most of the build myself with the occasional help of my younger brother who has since joined the Navy.

Give me some information about the condition of this project when you first bought it.

I found it as a rolling project on my local classified.


It came as a cab on a rolling frame that originally had a ford 9 inch rear end and a ford straight axle up front on leaf springs.

The cab had a bunch of random mostly useless parts. Once i got it home and inspected the frame i decided it needed to be redone completely.


So, with the condition you got it in, what have you done to it so far?

I built a new frame out of box tubing.

I fabricated a bed for it out of sheet metal I got from the floor of a storage warehouse I helped demolish.

The engine I decided to use was a jeep 4.0 out of a rock crawler that I had sitting in the back yard. I found an ax15, 5 speed manual transmission out of a 2wd Jeep pickup in the junk yard. After I had fabricated mounts and a cross member I decided it would be fine to use the jeep axle. That way I wouldn’t need to have a special drive shaft made.

It has a locker and 4:10 gears in it already. When I did the axle swap i decided to go 4


link. I found a kit on e bay for $180. With some fabrication work for new axle mounts it worked out perfect.

I had to dumb down the previous fuel injected motor to run off a carburetor setup. This took some thinking outside the box. The answer was a HDI style distributor and an older after market 4 barrel style (liquid cooled) aftermarket intake.

I then had to convert it all to v belt rather than the original serpentine style because I wouldn’t be using the A/C compressor or power steering.

Find Rat Rod Related Items Here

With an electronic inline fuel pump I started it up for the first time in December one year after i originally bought the project.


Where is it now, in the rebuild stage?
All I have left on it to run/drive is some wiring for lights and the charging system, brake lines and a proper fuel system that can handle boost.

Gavin’s Rat Rod build is not his only build. He is also working on a motorcycle , which will be addressed in another article. Check back to see the future article on The Bullet Bobber and on his earlier motorcycle built, Aftermath. Both will be coming shortly!

Gavin’s “Bullet Bobber” The other build in his life.

Gavin’s fabrication work and use of non-traditional features and parts is consistent with the original intent of the Rat Rod. You can see my article on Rat Rods here.

Below are the pictures of his project to view

Feel free to leave comments below, let us know what you think.

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