Hot Rod / Motorcycle Monsters – Lethal Threat
Monsters are always among our top selling designs. Not so much your typical horror movie monsters, but the Rat Fink style monsters, made famous by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, during the late 1950’s and early 1960's. You never heard of Ed Roth or Rat Fink? Big surprise if you are into the Hot Rod / Custom Motorcycle Kulture. I guess it’s time to school you folks.
Ed “Big Daddy” Roth was an artist, cartoonist, illustrator and custom car designer and builder who created the hot rod icon, Rat Fink and other monster characters. During the late 1950’s, with worldwide popularity of Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse and the Magic Kingdom, Ed Roth saw that things were not so wonderful for everybody in the USA. The depiction of a perfect life and happy family enjoying all things Disney inspired Roth to come up with his anti-hero to Mickey Mouse, Rat Fink.
If you were born on the wrong side of the tracks and life was not a bowl of cherries, Rat Fink, was for you. Rat Fink is usually portrayed as either green or gray, comically grotesque and depraved-looking with bulging, bloodshot eyes, an oversized mouth with sharp narrow teeth, and wearing red overalls with the initials “R.F.”on them. He is often depicted as driving cars or motorcycles.
Ed Roth began airbrushing and selling ‘weirdo” tee shirts at car events across California in the late 1950’s. Along with Rat Fink, Roth created a series of other ‘weirdo” style monsters that became popular in the Hot Rod scene. Roth’s designs and influence is still popular today in the Hot Rod and Kustom Kulture world all these years later. The Big Daddy died in 2001, leaving the rights to his famous characters and creations to his last wife.
Since Ed passed away, an annual “Big Daddy Roth” open house has been held at Manti, Utah around the anniversary of his death. A museum, that his wife created, hosts the party as a tribute to her late husband and all his artwork.
At our Lethal Threat office, we have a collection of all things Rat Fink. Check out our embroidered monster work shirts and decals inspired by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth.