60s Rat Fink Airbrush Hot Rod Racing Sweatshirt Medium

$499.99 USD

Chest 20.5 in.

Length 20.5 in.

Content: Feels like cotton blend

Tag Brand: No Tag

This amazing airbrushed sweatshirt was made back in the 1960s and it is a unique keepsake representing Kustom Kulture from around the time. The short sleeved shirt features stripes going down the shoulders and a cartoon graphic on the front. The character depicted is not copyrighted and doesn't show a signature from any specific artist, but the image closely resembles Rat Fink, a character conceived by famous illustrator Ed "Big Daddy" Roth. Rat Fink was created as the antithesis of more wholesome mainstream cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse, and he was purposefully made to look comically grotesque with his bulging eyes and gnarly mouth full of sharp, rotten teeth.

Roth started selling shirts printed with Rat Fink and other weirdo designs at car shows during the late 1950s. He also drew similar imagery for hot rod publications like Car Craft magazine. This launched an entire wave of Car Craft inspired "weirdo shirts" that depicted crazy characters like the one showcased here. These outrageous designs were dubbed Kustom Graphics, because of their association with Kustom Kulture, and other influential artists that helped to popularize the movement included Von Dutch and Robert Williams.

Kustom Kulture is intrinsically tied with the early days of hot rodding, hence the drag race imagery included on the graphic pictured here. It has evolved over time to branch off into other subcultures like the mods and rockers of the 1960s, the punk rockers of 1970s, the rockabilly music of the 1980s, and the eventual emergence of psychobilly in the 1990s. This sweatshirt is an excellent souvenir from where it all started.    

Fits like a modern unisex adult medium. There are some light spots and several holes, see pics.