Phoenix, AZ is known for sandstorms that can reach for as far as the eye can see. These walls of sand might make some residents hunker down and weather the storm, but Randy Ellis Design opts instead to race head on into them with their chopped and dropped 1945 Jeep Willys CJ-2A Rat Rod.
Randy Ellis himself is well adapted for the off roading lifestyle and is best known for building everything from desert race trucks, monster trucks, professional rock crawlers, drag cars, motorcycles, and yes even rat rods.
This hand crafted Jeep went from being a military vehicle to a new military standard in only 5 weeks time. Built during off hours and on weekends, Randy’s ride is more than just a show car. In fact as soon as it was done being constructed he took it on an 800 mile round trip from Phoenix to Las Vegas and home again and made it back with time to spare.
Everything about this ride is custom. A hand build chassis and suspension with custom 12 bolt rear axle and 3.73 gears were put together to support the chopped and channeled body. Painted O.D. Green and incorporating military markings as a finishing touch, Randy’s rod definitely has a personality of its own. It wasn’t enough to chop up a classic Jeep, Randy had to swap in a motor that could withstand the sun’s scorching rays. A Chevy 350 motor and TH 350 tranny replaced the tired old setup and gave it enough juice to take it up and down Piestewa Peak in no time flat.The font windshield was sliced 9″ so randy could see clearly as he was tearing up the hillside. A custom made aluminum steering wheel and hand crafted interior pieces ensure just enough comfort to keep him in control of his beast at all times.That custom suspension we mentioned earlier wasn’t made for looks, it was necessary to house the front and rear Air Lift 2500 double convoluted sleeves. A 3 gallon tank sits neatly behind the aluminum fuel tank and holds just enough air to supply it through a 3/4 HP compressor through the 8 cylinder, 3-position 200psi, 10mm 40watt coil (3/8″) Orifice, air-engine valves by AirBagit.com. This Randy Ellis Design one of a kind Jeep sets a new standard for rat rods all over the world and brings a fresh perspective to the culture in general. It has won several shows and has even been featured in a CarTech book titled “Rat Rods” by Scotty Gossen. Drop by the Rockabilly Reunion in Lake Havasu, Arizona February 17th – 19th 2012 for your chance at seeing it in person and maybe even taking it home at the end of the day as it is currently for sale. If you do take it home, be sure to drive the long way back and cut through as many back roads as you can so you’ve got something to bring a smile to your face when you’re ripe and old.