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Everyone's vision of art is different. To some, art might be a cherry red Chevy Camaro cruising down the interstate. To others, a somewhat rusty 1938 Dodge leaving rust dust on the highway whenever it hits a bump in the road. Both vehicles can be considered art, it's all in the eye of the beholder. At Resurrected Rides in Sioux Falls, owners Scott McDanel and Richard Lin literally bring vehicles back from the dead and keep them on the road for owners to enjoy as the newest version of rebuilds, Rat Rods.
McDanel and Lin are true recyclers with their craft. When they get a break they can be found cruising around the countryside looking for their next project. Most of their vehicle bodies and frames are found in people’s trees. These guys save them, and breathe new life into them so that they may continue doing what they were made for; the road. Many of their projects come from people wanting to clean out the iron from the trees, and they are more than happy to take it off their hands if the promise of a project comes along. Sometimes, these finds lead to something truly special. Like their Federal truck: Out of 166,000 produced, only 185 have been found, and Resurrected Rides has number 185. Decked out with total meats for tires and power for days, this is truly a project that screams badass.
Don't be swayed by their appearance and stigma, these vehicles have been checked out and put together with a priority of safety and drivability. In fact, the first step McDanel and Lin take is to update the frame, brakes and steering to ensure driver and rider safety. Whether a customer wants a new frame or an updated one, these guys deliver with certainty of their craftsmanship. But it cannot be denied that these vehicles are screaming with character! A little rust is natural for these Resurrected Rides, whose next trip might very well have been the junk yard if they are not saved.
The term Rat Rod has a tendency to turn people away with the assumption being that these trucks are the poor man’s hot rod. That assumption is about to be blown out of the water. Yes, getting these vehicles finished as a Rat Rod is much less expensive than being completely restored, but these vehicles have original character that cannot be denied. And let’s be honest, these are the vehicles everyone has to stop and look at. They truly are unique pieces of work crafted by their surroundings and nature.
Although these two are brimming with ideas and concepts, they have an amazing eye for knowing when something is working and when it’s not working. It’s all about the flow and vibe that the vehicle gives off, and if it’s not right, it’s not going to work. It’s definitely not something you can force. When you use a newer frame with an older body, everything has to fit correctly and at the same time, look right for the project to be a success. McDanel comments, “The vehicle has to flow. You cannot try too hard to get things to work together that just don’t. There’s always another option you can try that would probably be ten times better.” And they make sure every resurrected ride is oozing of swagger and character.
For these guys, these projects are a true labor of love. Getting a new project is an addiction for which they have to get their fix. Lin notes, “A new body or frame coming into the shop is like ‘car crack’ for Scott. He gets giddy about the promise of a new project.” They got their start with their own projects, and started taking them to cruise nights and shows. Lots of vehicle owners have been asking them to update parts of their older vehicles that they couldn’t get completed anywhere else, and thus Resurrected Rides began. Lin adds, “Lots of the technicians at dealerships have never dealt with vehicles of this age before. Many of the vehicles we work with were made before their parents were born, and they aren’t able to help this niche of customers. That’s why we started Resurrected Rides. We fill the void for customers with this age of vehicle.”
And whether customers want the whole works, or just a little updating, McDanel and Lin are ready for the challenge. The Resurrected Rides shop is prepared for full frame updates, or if a customer would just prefer their vehicle was updated to power brakes and steering. So whether you are ready to get on the Rat Rod bandwagon, or if you just want a little updating, Resurrected Rides is the place for your next project! These guys are ready for some new projects, and cannot wait to put more of these iconic vehicles on the highway, even if they leave a little rust dust on the shoulders.