Fatman Fabrications, Hot Rod Chassis, Fuel Curve

Fatman Fabrications, the Last Man Standing, First

Fatman Fabrications has stood the test of time. Back in the day, cutting coils, dropping axles and flipping leaf springs were different tricks in altering a vehicle’s ride height and handling. Back in the 1970s and early 1980s Mustang II, Camaro and Volare front clips were all the rage among hot rodders wishing to upgrade the suspension on their rides. In most instances, it took a tremendous amount of skill and fabrication to subframe a vehicle. There had to be a better way to do it.

Fatman Fabrications, Hot Rod Chassis, Fuel CurveHistory is filled with fables and legends of the last man standing. For instance the O.K. Corral, the last man standing was Earp and his crew. That is one way to gauge the victor; perhaps there is another way to view history and the victorious. What about the man that stands first? Fatman Fabrications and its founder Brent Vandervort can be counted among the few as the first to stand.

Fatman Fabrications, Hot Rod Chassis, Fuel Curve

What started as a cottage industry, building hot rods for himself and friends at home quickly evolved over the years. Vandervort pulled the trigger in 1985 and opened his own hot rod fabrication shop, Fatman Fabrications. Armed with a business degree, engineering degree and skill, Vandervort was soon producing his own line of off-the-shelf suspension upgrades for a myriad of vehicles. Their offerings have expanded over the years to include complete rolling chassis (everything from a ’37 Chevy, the gamut of early Ford rods and trucks all the way through tri-five Chevys), front clips, control arms, IFS systems and more. Made in the USA in Mint Hill, North Carolina, all parts and process are locally sourced and produced by American craftsman.

Fatman Fabrications, Hot Rod Chassis, Fuel Curve

Fatman Fabrications, Hot Rod Chassis, Fuel CurveMany of those craftsmen, have been working at Fatman’s for well over twenty years. One welder commented, “I could probably work somewhere else and make a bit more money, but then I wouldn’t be working for Brent Vandervort.”

Fatman Fabrications, Hot Rod Chassis, Fuel CurveThe crew here are your typical dyed-in-the-wool hot rodders, tinkerers and fabricators; they just don’t work at a job, it’s a lifestyle. Most own their own hot rods or motorcycles and understand the dynamics involved in hot rodding.Fatman Fabrications, Hot Rod Chassis, Fuel Curve

Fatman Fabrications, Hot Rod Chassis, Fuel Curve

With over thirty years in business Vandevort’s mantra is “Our approach is to favor function over fluff.” At Fatman’s you won’t find sterile gray walls, and neon lights like at a local auto parts store, where the clerk behind the counter knows very little.

Fatman Fabrications, Hot Rod Chassis, Fuel CurveA magnificently motley crew of seasoned fabricators and characters whose work ethic is the secret to the longevity of the company is what makes Fatman Fabrications an American success story.

Fatman Fabrications, Hot Rod Chassis, Fuel CurveWhat’s also cool is Brent is more than willing to share tips and secrets from chassis set up to other helpful suggestions to garage guys and hot rodders the world over. For the last 17 years, he has penned the monthly “Good Tips” column in the Goodguys Gazette. He even published a book featuring the majority of his 200-plus columns. It’s a must-have item for anyone that builds and works on their own stuff.

You won’t find a cooler guy in hot rodding than Brent Vandervort. His shop, his products, his crew and his infinite knowledge make him a valuable resource for any hot rod enthusiast. The Fatman is the real deal!

Photo Extra!

Without question, Mike is a brilliant photographer who has a keen eye for composition and color. Having nearly two decades of experience in the magazine business, Mike has spent the better part of his adult file photographing cars and the people connected to them. Sealing his fate as a gearhead, Mike's first car was a '73 Camaro. Currently, he is working on bringing a '62 Ford Galaxie and '58 Chevy Apache back to life.