James Nova
La Porte, IN

This is a story about a restoration and building of the only RV - Rat Rod known on the road at this time. We have traveled the country six months out of the year (in another class A motorhome) for the past seven years and we have never spotted any Ratted RVs of this creation or this model. When we travel with the Ratted RV, usually to car shows, regional racetracks, NASCAR races, special events, football tailgating, and more. Every stop along the way we make new friends, and everyone wants to take pictures.

The following is a list of the restoration features and story lines.

1. RV is a 1983 Swinger by Georgie Boy.

2. Purchased from Kathy's parents in 1996 with around 14,000 miles on it. Restoration started the

 next year after driving it several miles.

3. Kathy & Jim along with his friends & mechanics: Glenn Smudde, Max Mangold (has passed), &

 Andy Coulter had a major role in design ideas, fabrication, and a lot of mechanical input.

4. The unit/ Rat Rod known as the Urban Assault M-50 vehicle was featured in Motor Home Magazine

 in June 2020 issue.

5. As you know a Rat Rod RV is never finished and starting in 1997 to date there are still changes and


6. Inspiration behind the theme and design comes from the family's connection to NASCAR driver Ryan

 Newman and his family.

Over the years we changed the exterior design, colors, and emblems to match Ryan's NASCAR sponsors. When Ryan was sponsored by ARMY, we started adding military features such as: ammunition, rocket launchers, turret gun, grenades, military shovel & axes, and thousands of military-style rivets outlining all features and body lines. The Army theme stayed even when Newman's sponsors changed.

7. The original RV (see photo) does not look anything like it looks today inside and out.

 The following changes were made:

 A) Front & rear suspension rebuilt with racing shocks & torsion bars, air bags, Big Foot hydraulic

 leveling system on a P-30 chassis.

 B) The Chevy 454 engine was re-cammed, and a racing Holley Carb, racing electronic ignition, exhaust

 headers, large oil transmission coolers, and many more high-performance features were added.

 C) All engine functions are monitored by fifteen various gauges (including tire pressure). The

 cluster resembles an airplane cockpit.

 D) The interior was a complete makeover: solid oak cabinets were refinished, all appliances

 updated, all lights switched to LED's, counter tops recoated to give a granite appearance,

 and all plumbing fixtures replaced. A racing header detail which lights up, replaces a cabinet support divider.

 E) Kathy has decorated the interior with a NASCAR theme: blankets, front window covering, bed-

 spread, shower curtain, and other miscellaneous accents. Also has a front cab roll bar over

 driver and passenger.

 F) The entire interior walls & partial ceiling is wrapped with chrome diamond plating. At night the

 blue LED lights reflect off the diamond plating creating an appealing effect.

 G) The original frame & side body panels are both thick and strong. The front & back panel

 assemblies are only about an eighth inch thick.

While on a trip to Canada, numerous wildlife sightings led us to consider that a collision with a deer or moose would completely destroy the motorhome’s front nose and there would be no replacement panels available. So, Jim and his mechanic designed, fabricated, & built a protective grill they named the "Deer Shredder". Complete with a 1950 Studebaker Bullet nose. This assembly protects the frontend but can be used as a ladder to clean the front windshield.

General final comments:

A.) Creating a rat rod from a classic motorhome is not a job for anyone. Living close to the "RV Capitol of the World", Elkhart, Indiana, I had many RV resources, surplus part stores, and RV system repair services.

B) Jim Nova has a master’s degree in Vocational Building Trades and Architecture Drawing, and years of experience with a business he created - dealing with foundation repairs and structural problems. This background has been helpful in the Georgie Boy's renovation. His wife Kathy is a retired Physical Education teacher, swim coach & lifeguarding instructor.