2011 Don Ridler Memorial Award Winner Announced!
At the 59th Detroit Autorama this year's winner of the Ridler goes to Bruce Ricks for his '56 Ford Sunliner.
The highpoint of any Detroit Autorama is the awarding of the Ridler award from the Pirelli Great 8. As is the case the competition is close enough you are never quite sure who will win until the judges "open the envelope." It is befitting that on the day the Oscars are handed out that the 2011 Ridler winner would be announced.
Bruce Ricks of Sapulpa, Oklahoma took home the honors for the incredible effort put forth on behalf of his '56 Ford Sunliner (convertible). The car features numerous modifications, to be expected at this level of competition. For instance the body is wedged (becoming narrower as you move forward) and channeled, hood and front fenders drooped with the fenders re-peaked, A-pillars leaned, custom bumpers and grille, side reveals softened, "spine" added to the trunk, full-belly pan, custom side trim, and the soft top was chopped. Speaking of the top it was stitched by Gabe's Street Rods Custom Upholstery and they also got the nod for the interior. Applied over the sheetmetal is a DuPont Hot Hues custom mix in charcoal.
The car was built at the shop of Steve Cook Creations utilizing RideTech RidePro e3air suspension on a stretched wheelbase coupled with a Tiger quick-change, a Tremec TKO-500 five-speed gearbox, and a full complement of Baer brakes featuring six-piston calipers with 14-inch rotors in front and 16-inch rotors in back. Schott Performance supplied the wheels measuring 18x7 and 20x10's with Pirelli 225/40ZR18 and 295/40ZR20's rubber.
The key to any hot rod, and Ridler winner, is the powerplant. Bruce's Suncammer is no different with the use of an original Ford Single Overhead Cam 427-inch V-8. The motor sports a unique one-of-a-kind cast aluminum intake manifold with a pair of Autolite inline four-barrels. Firing the fuel is a Ford Flathead distributor mounted on the driver-side cam. How's that for a step back into vintage rodding.
Congratulations to Bruce and the crew at Steve Cook Creations and all the others who supplied the teamwork to make this Suncammer the 2011 Detroit Autorama Don Ridler Memorial Award winner.
Presenting the Ridler trophy...
Presenting the Ridler trophy to Bruce Ricks (center) is Pete Toundas (left) of CASI and Jim Campbell (right) the U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles & Motorsports for GM.
GM Performance crew (gold...
GM Performance crew (gold shirts) and Jim Campbell the U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles & Motorsports for GM present Ridler check for $10,000 to Bruce Ricks (center)
Jim Campbell (right) the U.S....
Jim Campbell (right) the U.S. Vice President, Performance Vehicles & Motorsports for GM congratulates Bruce Ricks (left) for winning the Ridler award.
Pirelli Great 8
Jim Marciniak of Andover,...
Jim Marciniak of Andover, Minnesota with his '63 Buick
The 59th Annual Detroit Autorama has plenty of variety within this year's Ridler contenders
The Ridler contenders is always an exciting competition and this year is no different but the first thing we did notice was the variety of cars (and truck) in competition. Unlike recent past where there were a number of pre'49 cars in competition this year there is only one. Is there a change on the horizon? Only time will tell.
The Pirelli Great 8 that will make up the contenders for the Don Ridler Memorial Award, one of the most prestigious in the hobby, and comes Sunday night we will know who takes home the prize.
The contenders are Jim Marciniak of Andover, Minnesota with his '63 Buick, Mike Lethert from Roseville, Minnesota with his '39 Ford convertible, Tim Gunsalus from West Alexandria, Ohio with his open-cab '47 Chevy pickup, Bruce and Toni Milyard of Grand Junction, Colorado with their '62 Corvette, Bruce Ricks from Sapulta, Oklahoma with his '56 Ford convertible, Kenny Frederick from Greismer, Louisiana with his '57 Chevrolet, Kenneth Tallent of McKinney, Texas with his '40 Ford coupe, and Derrick Samson from Marshall, Missouri with his '51 Chevrolet.
We wish the Pirelli Great 8 the best of luck with the Ridler competition.
Mike Lethert from Roseville,...
Mike Lethert from Roseville, Minnesota with his '39 Ford convertible
Tim Gunsalus from West Alexandria,...
Tim Gunsalus from West Alexandria, Ohio with his open-cab '47 Chevy pickup
Bruce and Toni Milyard of...
Bruce and Toni Milyard of Grand Junction, Colorado with their '62 Corvette
Bruce Ricks from Sapulta,...
Bruce Ricks from Sapulta, Oklahoma with his '56 Ford convertible
Kenny Frederick from Greismer,...
Kenny Frederick from Greismer, Louisiana with his '57 Chevrolet
Kenneth Tallent of McKinney,...
Kenneth Tallent of McKinney, Texas with his '40 Ford coupe
Derrick Samson from Marshall,...
Derrick Samson from Marshall, Missouri with his '51 Chevrolet
As is always the case the Detroit Autorama, this year is the 59th edition, always has some highly unusual and spectacular new hot rods. This year is no different and to prove our point here is our first sampling from this year's show.
Steve Grimes of Westerville, Ohio brought out his latest and possibly his wildest creation in this '27 Ford roadster that is in competition in the Altered T-Roadster class. He built the body performing all the modifications and also the fabricated the unique chassis. Where do we start, well how about the rear since that's where we find the '48 Buick straight-eight engine that is mated to a TH350 automatic. In back with the straight-eight is the rear-wheel steering via a VW rack and pinion. In front you will find a Winters quickie that is used to give this roadster four-wheel drive.
Propping up this unique roadster are four 1927 Chevrolet wheels painted in an Apple green and mounted with the vintage correct rubber.
Steve tells us that the top is more of a tonneau cover as he must take it off in order to drive the car, which he does. What an incredible ride and addition to this year's Detroit Autorama. (Editor's note: Steve built the car in honor of the memory of his very good friend Dave Gale. Well done!)
The First of the Pirelli Great 8
Bruce Ricks and his Suncammer one of the Pirelli Great 8
Bruce Ricks of Sapulpa, Oklahoma brought out his incredible 1956 Ford convertible. Named the Suncammer for its blending of the venerable Sunliner line of the early Fords and the infusion of the 427 (SOHC) cammer motor. The car is competing in the Radical Custom Convertible class.
Clearly the focal point of this hot rod is the engine, even though the body has numerous major and minor modifications, but having an original SOHC motor will get any hot rodders blood to a boiling point. The one-of-a-kind cast aluminum intake manifold supports a pair of Autolite inline four-barrels. Note the Ford Flathead (yep the first Ford V-8) distributor mounted on the driver-side.
Getting the power to the Tiger quick-change is a Tremec TKO-500 five-speed gearbox. Braking is housed around Baer six-piston calipers with 14-inch rotors in front and 16-inch rotors up back.
The RideTech suspension works with the Pirelli rubber and Schott wheels at the corners. The rubber measures 225/40ZR18 in front and 295/40ZR20 in back wrapped around 18x7's in front and 20x10's in back.
The charcoal tinted paint comes by way of DuPont Hues custom mix.
Hot Rod Kool Comes in All Shapes
Brian Paul's Model A sedan is all hot rod.
Brian Paul of New Baltimore, Michigan brought out his fenderless '29 Model A sedan to compete in the Altered Street Sedan Pre-'35 class.
Packed with a Desoto Hemi (topped with a single four-barrel and Caddy air cleaner) this rod is a load full complete with a five-speed, real 45-fin Buick brake drums, and folding roof that allows a birds eye view into the interior. The twin bomber-style bucket seats made out of aluminum are all business. While there is plenty of traditional hot rod goodies like a drilled I-beam front axle and split wishbones you get a hint something is up with the underslung frame and the inboard mounted Indy-style coilover shock absorbers.
The red painted Artillery style wheels feature trim rings, chromed lug nuts and a bullet center cap. Of course, the cheater slicks in back and bias-ply in front provide plenty of vintage appearance.
Plenty of bodywork such as the chopped roof line and the sectioning require other modifications such as the taillights mounted into the body three-quarters of the way up the rear sheetmetal.
2011 Detroit Autorama Builder of the Year Bobby Alloway is Hot Roddings Man in Black
Bobby Alloway of Alloway's Hot Rod Shop in Louisville, Tennessee was on hand with 15 of his finest cars from his storied career. Starting with his personal ride a '33 Ford coupe to his latest creation a '63 Corvette coupe (affectionately known as a "split-window").
Bobby is also know for painting his cars in black and outfitted with big-block power, usually a Chevy. (He is known as hot roddings "man in black.) He would flame his builds for those owners who wanted something other than black. The split-window is outfitted with a 502 big-block Chevy that appears to be running a big-box Rochester mechanical fuel injection unit. Which it is but neatly hidden are all of the required electronics to turn this once mechanical injector into a modern electronic EFI.
Bobby is also known for the SpeedStar body-style of hot rods. Reminiscent of the '33 Ford the SpeedStar came in a roadster, coupe, sedan, and phaeton models. For the first time in the cars history one of each body-style is present at this years Detroit Autorama.
Best Ford in a Ford
Once again Ford Racing sponsors the Best Ford in a Ford award for the Detroit Autorama and this year Larry Lyke with his '34 Ford sedan took home the honors.
The 59th Detroit Autorama once again comes up with another Best Ford in a Ford sponsored by Ford Racing. This time Larry Lyke of Novi, Michigan took home the honors for his '34 Ford Tudor sedan built in a resto-rod theme with gennie headlights, cowl lamps, and bumpers.
Equipped with a Ford 302 (345hp crate motor) is backed by a Temec five-speed (matched to a Centerforce clutch) on the way back to a Currie prepped Ford 9-inch rearend. The engine is topped with an Automation tri-power, GT-40 aluminum heads, Sanderson headers, MSD ignition, and chromed Ford Racing valve covers. The wiring comes by way of a Ron Francis kit and the potent small-block is cooled by a Walker radiator and Cooling Components two-speed fan. The all-steel original body is sprayed in a two-tone maroon and black by Cas Schulty of Motor City Steel.
The chassis sports a Super Bell 5-inch drop I-beam axle, four-bar, Aldan coilover shocks, Totally Stainless bolts and fasteners. The rubber comes by way of Coker mounted to wires. The BFGoodrich Silverton radials are P185/70R15 in front and P255/70R15.
The Street Rodder Driven Award sponsored by Lokar Performance Products is given to Brian Paul for his Model A sedan.
Once again Lokar Performance Products sponsored the Street Rodder Driven Award presented at this year's 59th Annual Detroit Autorama. Always keeping in mind this award is for a street rod that exemplifies what it takes to have a nice car but once that is also driven. It is all about fun with cars and driving cars is what hot rodding is all about.
This year Brian Paul from New Baltimore, Michigan took home the honors with his '29 Model A sedan. The body, chassis, and drivetrain were handled by Hot Rod Dynamics of Lenoir, North Carolina. The body features a 5-inch chop and a 3-inch channel and a retractable soft-roof insert (maybe the original Sunliner?). The chassis features a few unique touches such as the vintage Indy car push rod-style rocker coilover front suspension, while the rear is modern NASCAR with its truck-arm control bars.
The paint, interior, and custom touches were neatly applied by Brian and fellow hot rod buddies. The pinstriping was applied by Brush by Brock. Interior appointments include bomber-style buckets with leather seat cushions by Willies Work Shop, Mooneyes metalflake steering wheel, and '56 DeSoto gauges it to the original Model A instrument cluster. The '56 speedo rests within an old spotlight (Appleton) housing.
The engine is a '56 330-inch DeSoto Hemi filled with a Clay Smith cam, reworked heads, an Edelbrock 650 cfm EnduraShine carb, and custom headers. The air cleaner is a '56 Caddy unit.
Getting the power to the 12-bolt Chevy rearend is a T-5 five-speed. The braking are original 45-fin Buick brake drums resting behind the red steelies featuring chrome lugs and center caps and trim rings.