Annual Rat Fink reunion attracts antique car enthusiasts for unique gathering of art

May 31, 2018, 9:48 PM | Updated: Jun 1, 2018, 1:06 am

MANTI, Utah – It’s an art show, it’s a car show, it’s a celebration of history. That may be the best way to describe the Rat Fink reunion underway this weekend in Manti.

Yes, Rat Fink, a character Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth created in 1962 that became an icon in the era of hot rods and pin striping that lives on 17 years after his death, at this annual gathering of fans from around the country.

“It is the greatest thing ever, I can’t imagine anything better than sharing his talents with people,” said Roth’s widow, Ilene.

She began inviting Rat Fink fans to her backyard after Ed’s death and now 16 years later, the reunion has become a big event in his hometown of Manti, the first weekend of June.

It’s not just the antique, custom-built cars that attract people here. Roth’s unique style of art is also a big draw for the many talented artists, who show off their skills pin striping anything you can imagine.

“This is something I learned from my dad, and something I share with my son, and my dad’s dad before him, we all did the same type of stuff,” said Matt Wood, a Rat Fink artist.

Local businesses don’t mind the extra traffic – it’s one of the busiest weekends of the year for the bakery in town.

“Rat Fink does really well for us. We double up on doughnuts and about everything, just go go go, all day long,” said Travis Miller, owner of Miller’s Bakery.

For those who come to Manti, the Rat Fink reunion is a chance to go back in time and celebrate the good old days together.  The event runs Friday and Saturday. On Saturday, more than 300 antique cars are expected for a car show in the city park.

“The neatest thing about the Rat Fink reunion is the gathering of the Rat Fink family and all the new friends that we have enjoyed,” Roth added.

And a place to make even more friends who all share an interest in what Roth himself called, a “hideous, exaggerated rodent.”

RELATED LINK: Rat Fink Reunion

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Annual Rat Fink reunion attracts antique car enthusiasts for unique gathering of art