Surf Fink Rides the Wave to Unique Creations of Koolsville
Photos and story by John McCartney
Model Tara Murphy
Over his historic career Ed “Big Daddy” Roth created many iconic and famous pieces of art in many forms which came in all shapes and styles. Whether it be any of those crazy car creations or his cool artwork.
Perhaps one of his most famous creations was his very iconic Rat Fink –that crazy cool character that was and still does stand the test of time in the hot rod culture world. With that thought in mind, if Ed “Big Daddy” Roth was still around today he would no doubt be very impressed with the latest creation that came from the creative minds of Dead Man’s Curve Car Club members Mark Glaz and Mario Colasuonno who both came up with an idea to do a tribute to Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. Every one of the Dead Man’s Curve Car Club has a love for Big Daddy Roth and the famous Rat Fink. It was from this love that both Glaz and Colasuonno came up with the idea of putting the iconic Rat Fink on a full-size motorized surfboard. And from that thought, the Surf Fink and the project was born.
Well, like any good project, you must start at the beginning and with the Surf Fink it came in the form of finding a giant Rat Fink that could be mounted on a full-size surfboard. Both Glaz and Colasuonno looked around but giant Rat Finks are a little hard to find. Lucky in the world we live in today there are many gadgets around which can make and produce a lifelike Rat Fink. So Glaz and Colasuonno reached out to David Lynshue of Capture It In 3D to scan a Rat Fink that they had laying around. The idea was to superimpose the Rat Fink onto a surfboard that another Dead Man’s Curve club member, Johnny Belair, was kind enough to donate to this project. From there they contacted John Arzayus of Voxel Magic to 3D print a 3.5 foot tall Rat Fink.
While waiting for the rat to be completed, Glaz and Colasunno started to work on building the frame made out of .5 inch by 1.5-inch flat steel. Just like Ed “Big Daddy” Roth would have done back in the day, they hand-formed the steel frame. From there they fabricated the front axle using golf cart hubs and wheels. They also used a 1953 Pontiac rear axle housing that made up the rear end. Colasuonno had two Ansen Sprint mags with tires on-hand to finish the rolling chassis. From there the frame was glued and bolted to the surfboard. For power, they both decided to use a Chevy big block engine with a 6-71 blower. The motor featured 3 Holly 94 deuces carburetors, which were rebuilt and fine-tuned by Steve of Steve’s Carburetor fame located in Lyndhurst, New Jersey to power the board. Using 1.75 pipe, they turned that pipe into a pair of chrome Zoomie headers. They located a 1950 bronze propeller which was mounted under the board to help with pushing the wind.
Once the Rat Fink was completed, they fitted it to the board and reinforced it internally with steel rods. They decided that Rat Fink needed a shifter, so they used 1/2 inch aluminum solid rod. They then hand-formed the shifter and linkage with an 8-ball shifter handle to complete the look. A classic Moon tank was mounted on the back of the surfboard to fuel the motor. After the mockup was complete, they disassembled the board.
From there everything that would require chrome was sent to Super Chrome in Asbury Park, New Jersey. For paint, the rat and the surfboard were sent to another fellow Dead Mans Curve club member, John Sbrigato of Brighton Collision in Brooklyn, New York. All the bodywork, base green, and red paint were done by John Sbrigato. From there they needed to decide on the color for the surfboard itself. They decided to go with a special blend of aqua, candy, with heavy flake and white inserts to give it the surfboard theme. All of the paint once again was applied by John Sbrigato.
Once everything was painted at the body shop, the board and the rat were assembled. Work began on putting the whole project together which measures at completion 9 1/2 feet long and 5 feet tall. From there it was sent over to the world-famous pinstripe legend Julian Braet better known to all as Mr. J where the rat really came to life. Mr. J went to town doing extensive airbrushing and hand pinstriping the entire rat and board. To finish off the tribute to Roth, “Big Daddy Ed Roth rides again” was done in gold leaf.
From start to finish the entire project took just about six months, which is very impressive to complete this one-of-a-kind creation. The Surf Fink, which has not even been seen out in public, has already gathered the attention of some famous folks in the car show world. Those being noted car show producer Bob Larivee, Sr. as well as Chuck Miller of Zinger’s fame (who both signed the blower belt). In the future, there are plans to get the Surf Fink out to be shown to the surviving members of Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s family. You can look forward to seeing the Surf Fink at many of the shows which Dead Mans Curve Car Club put on throughout the year such as the Wild Hot Rod Weekend in Mahwah, New Jersey, and their show at the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.