Mahtowa, MN (NNCNOW.com)
Rat rods are the newest thing in old cars.
They're hot rods built out of old junk.
Minnesota DMV vehicle inspector Paul Smith has seen an increased number of the home built bombers seeking titles.
"I have seen so many things that are unbelievable!" said Smith.
Things like this slant six powered manure spreader.
This is the fifth annual Rat Rod Rendezvous in Mahtowa.
Northlanders and even Canadians hit the town every Labor Day weekend to share their love for rusty metal.
"I just finished my own rat rod last week but I'm still too nervous to take it the 40 miles from my place to Mahtowa.
A distance like that is nothing to some rat rodders. Last year after the rendezvous, they hit the road to Las Vegas." said reporter Dave Anderson.
"We left with 14 cars. How many made it? All of them!" said rat rodder Roger Rentola.
That doesn't mean there weren't any troubles at all, though.
"We had one car that hiccupped at the 10,600 foot level in the Rockies." said Rentola.
After this year's rendezvous, the rust buckets will hit the road for another long distance rat tour.
"We're going to Louisiana. We're going to Alexandria, Louisiana." said Rentola.
Mahtowa native Roger Rentola will take the tour in a 55 Chevy wagon.
"It was what they call a Flintstones car. The floors were shot." said Rentola.
Now, it's patched up just enough for a comfortable cruise from the far north to the deep south.
From even farther north, several rats from Thunder Bay will make the journey, too.
Those guys drive their rods in any kind of climate.
"It's entertaining going sideways in a rat rod in a snow storm and it is fun to drive a rat rod across the desert, too." said Canadian rat rodder Patrick Wilson.
"Louisiana, here we come!"
In Mahtowa, Dave Anderson, KBJR 6 and Range 11.
The road plan for Rat Tour 2013 is to follow historic Highway 61 as far as possible along the Mississippi River to Louisiana.