1931 DeSoto


Rat Rod Pickup

Bill Flocchini

I guess I would describe myself as a biker first, as there were few moments throughout my life I can recall not owning a Harley. But as the years went by I always had a fascination with hot rods. While attending a hot rod show with my brother-in-law, I saw a cool looking Rat Rod cruise by and remarked that it would be cool to own one of those someday. He turned to me and said, “Why wait, let’s build one”. He had the body shell of a four-door sedan parts car sitting out beside the barn, and claimed that and the frame would make an excellent starting point.

We sourced parts from all over, for the build, with only three real goals in mind. First was to keep it cheap, as anybody can build a car by opening their checkbook and throwing money at it, but for us the challenge was more aggressive and would rely on our resourcefulness. Second was to keep it safe, although we were dedicated to keeping costs in-check, we were equally dedicated to ensuring the car was safe to drive. And lastly, to keep it fun.

We succeeded in all respects, the completed project, cost less than $2,500. All new braking and steering components were used to help ensure a safe ride, and we had a blast building it.

Want to share your own ride with us? Send a photo and your story to MemberRides@ClassicCarRestorationClub.com.

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5 Responses to “1931 DeSoto”

  1. mike

    2nd question.(still waiting for answer on 1st) is it street legal?(exhaust looks illegal.Why not list what drive train/motor brakes ect Maybe others would enjoy doing this if they could keep it around 3k.

    • Customer Service Techs

      Yes, The car that is pictured began life as a 1931 DeSoto 4-Door Sedan. It was purchased years ago as a parts car for another car that was being completely restored. While the frame was solid the back end of the body was victim of the elements. The four-door was shortened to a pickup cab, chopped three-inches and channeled over the frame another 4-inches.

      The box was fabricated from sheet metal, The rear axle came from a ’94 Firebird, the engine is a low mileage 350 Buick that was discovered on Craigslist for Free. It is backed up by a 350 automatic transmission, with owner fabricated shift linkage. Many of the parts to build the car were sourced from local swap meets, salvage yard hunts, and online sale sites. As Bill mentioned the project was a lesson in resourcefulness, and many of the parts were acquired for little to no money.

      Is it Legal to Drive? Simply… YES! … and a lot of fun too! Bill fabricated his Zoomie style exhaust from scrap lengths of tubing from a local exhaust shop. True to his biker roots, Bill incorporated motorcycle baffles into each of the exhaust pipes, giving the car throaty but “Legal” rumble.
      We agree, More information is always better than none at all. That is why encourage fellow members to submit pictures of their rides for inclusion on the Member Rides Page and tell us everything about your ride as well.

      It’s as simple as sending an email to: editor@classiccarrestorationclub.com

      Wrench Safe, Mark