Big Daddy Ed Roth

Rat Fink

Big Daddy‘ Ed Roth (1932 – 2001) was an artist and cartoonist who created the hot-rod icon ‘Rat Fink.’ As a custom car builder, Roth was a key figure in Southern California’s Kustom Kulture and hot-rod movement of the 1960s. He grew up in Bell, California, attending Bell High School, where his classes included auto shop and art. Roth is best known for his grotesque caricatures — typified by Rat Fink — depicting imaginative, out-sized monstrosities driving representations of the hot rods that he and his contemporaries built.

Although Detroit native Stanley Mouse is credited with creating the so-called ‘Monster Hot Rod’ art form, Roth is the individual who popularized it. Roth is also well known for his innovative work in turning hot rodding from crude backyard engineering, where performance was the bottom line, into a refined art form where aesthetics were equally important, breaking new ground with fiberglass bodywork.

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