This is where it all started... with a burnout at Sema 2015
Back in 2015 Bryan Dagel was attending SEMA for the first time with a 1935 Chevy sedan,, one RATical rat rod. After attending the the SEMA show we did the drive over to the Ignite show just across the street to hang out with the crowd. Tons of builds made there way over to the show, lots of filming going on and people just hanging out and talking about what they had just witnessed at the SEMA event.
Hanging out with my buds the talk was that the Rat Rods weren’t getting the love they deserved. Don’t get me wrong we were getting looked at,, but taken seriously?? Some one said. “You should do a burn out”,, ya right I thought,, jail here we come. Pretty sure it was Garage Mike who stirred my pot up enough to get me to say “go get some water”. Mike took off running,, he came back with a few bottles of water. After wetting down the Firestone Drag Masters I lit them up. Well we lit them up is to say the least,, about a full minute burnout. Then Tommy Lee Byrd came a running over from Coker tire,, “can you do that again”? Asked Tommy. Sure, I responded,, another 30 seconds of burning rubber and the cops came a running,, I shut her down. Got out of the 35 to find huge crowds of people filming and loving the show. This sparked a conversation with a few of my buddies. Jason Groulx, Patrick Wilson, and Sam Hard and myself were talking about getting more traction for the Rat Rod scene,, and what we could do to help that. Jason said “we should have a build off,, then drive them to SEMA”. We all kinda laughed and said “ya, great idea”. Jason was serious.
The seed was planted that night in Vegas.
The 3 teams that stepped forward that first year were,, Team Canada, Jason Groulx from Gasoline Alley Rat Rods built a killer gangster sedan. Team UK/ Mexico, Sam Hard and Micheal Lightborn built a unbelievable Rolls Royce sedan limo. And Team USA, Kyle Lauman with a awesome 40 Chevy lead sled. After looking the builds over we had a winner from Canada,, Jason Groulx won with his killer gangster sedan. Jason was pumped and we planned on pouring the coals to our event,, bigger and better things on the way for next year.
Sometimes life doesn’t always go as planned. The passing of our loved Brother Jason in a boating accident was hard to handle. But I know Jason is smiling down at all of us cheering us on to go on and do bigger and better things,, and I am listening Jason. So here we go.
Four teams were signed up for the RATical Rod Build Off Drive Off in 2017. Only 3 made the SEMA sponsored list. The RATical Rod Build Off Drive Off isn’t just the building and driving,, it’s doing business. Selling yourself to the manufactures. Sell yourself on your ideas, what you can do, what you can build.
The 4 teams were,, Team USA 1, Team Flaming 8 Speed shop, Jeramie Kitching Rosencranz and crew. Team USA 2, Team Cutters with Charlie & Elmo. Team Canada, Team Norseman, with Ken & Dave. And Team Canada 2, Team Swartz, with Grant Swartz, sorry to say Grant didn’t land a main sponsor into SEMA so he didn’t make the trip.
All builds were worthy of SEMA, but only one can come out on top.
Team Cutters won with their unreal 1941 International Semi Rat,, Congrats to Team Cutters!! Charlie and Elmo and the crew did a great job!!
To be written in history as the best ever. Will write this up after the big show.