Dead On DO21C-1 2014 Dead On DO21C-2 2014 Dead On DO21C-4 2014 Dead On DO21C-5 2014 PUBLISHED by Dead On DO21C-7 2014

VW Chopped Rat-Rod

What Happens When You Chop A Bug?

Take a light bodied classic, chop the chassis and insert a powerful engine from the 1970s; what do you get? You get this: The KDF Mangler, designed and built by Ohio based steel fabricator Drew Strunk. Strunk has been welding before he walking and works with his father at a hot rod custom shop in Cincinnati. Dropped Axle Productions have been making awesome Hot Rods for years, so if anyone knows how to build one, it’s this guy.

This custom Volksrod chassis was hand made and unlike many other Volkswagen Hot Rods, this one hasn’t been stretched in any way. Strunk took his inspiration for this awesome vehicle from the works of Tim Roth and the more modern styles of Fred Hadilgo culminating in this mind-blowing design.

The engine is from a Covair sand buggy that had been specifically built in the 70s for a Porsche road racer. It’s been outfitted with Salih pistons, a reverse cam, Ieco intake, an Offenahuser oil pan and Mallory ignition; basically, it kicks out 220hp and looks seriously meaty.

The build itself took 12 months and Strunk used every single fabricating and welding skill he knew and threw it all together to create this incredible machine. It’s a mangle of parts and skills, hence it’s name: The KDF Mangler. The KDF part comes from the original name for Volkswagen, KDF Wagen – KDF stood for Kraft durch Freude meaning ‘strength through joy’.

This thing got a lot of attention when it made its debut a Bonneville; maybe it was because the original semaphore signals had been converted into bottle openers but it’s more likely that its style and craftsmanship caught the onlooker’s attention.