'Nerdy Stripper' loves Vegas Rat Rods

The cast of Vegas Rat Rods (Courtesy of Discovery)

The cast of Vegas Rat Rods (Courtesy of Discovery)

Bill Harris, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:40 PM ET

Twiggy Tallant's trek from “The Nerdy Stripper” to rat-rod grease monkey to reality-TV star is one of the most fascinating I've heard.

First things first, the Toronto native is part of the new series Vegas Rat Rods, which debuts Thursday, April 17 on Discovery. In the show, Twiggy serves as an apprentice at a Las Vegas rat-rod shop called Welder Up, run by acclaimed fabricator Steve Darnell.

“I actually had no intentions of ever being on television, nor did I think anybody ever would put me on television,” Twiggy said. “How wrong I was.”

So here's the odd chronology of Twiggy's involvement:

Twiggy has an alter-ego, “The Nerdy Stripper.” You can find her on various social-media sites and she has performed internationally at shows and conventions. But about five years ago she was modelling at a car show in Toronto and she eyeballed her first “rat rod,” which are custom-made hot rods based upon, and utilizing, cars from bygone eras.

“It was a very love-at-first-sight situation, and I'm not a love-at-first-sight kind of girl,” Twiggy recalled. “I just completely stopped caring about my job and wanted to know everything about the car.”

Twiggy was hooked on rat rods, but she didn't want to own them, she wanted to build them. She took an automotive technology course. Then, through a friend, she became an apprentice at Welder Up.

“(Steve Darnell) told me after I got down there, 'A TV show might be in the works,' and I was like, 'Well, cool, good luck with that,' never thinking it would happen,” Twiggy said. “And even if it did happen, I could see Steve being on TV, but I never thought it would involve any of us who were just working there.

“It's very weird, when you're covered in dirt and oil, you're exhausted from working on these cars, you just want to go and have a shower, and someone with a camera stops you and says, 'Hey, what's going on?' And you're just like, 'You need to leave, now!' The fact that these guys pulled it off is a marvel.”

Twiggy said everyone at the shop knew about “The Nerdy Stripper" side of her, even though she really doesn't have much spare time for it anymore, because she didn't want them finding out on their own. But I imagine there's a sports locker-room mentality at Welder Up, and her cohorts probably kidded her about it, right?

“Most strippers have pretty tough skin, and you also need a tough skin to be a woman in this (rat-rod) industry,” Twiggy said. “I'm definitely not ashamed of (stripping), and they were pretty understanding about the whole thing. I mean, some of them are Vegas locals, so they're pretty used to people making money on their looks. That's a big part of Vegas.”

The irony is, Twiggy didn't go to Las Vegas to make money on her looks. Unusual career path, huh?

Model/stripper becomes infatuated with rat rods, pursues the trade, travels to Las Vegas to learn more, then unexpectedly finds herself on a TV show.

Twiggy Tallant does not have a boring life.

Twitter: @billharris_tv

Bill.harris@sunmedia.ca

 


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