Larry Lyke Novi, Michigan ’34 Ford Tudor sedan
This year we want to give recognition to the following awards: Best Ford in a Ford, sponsored by Ford Racing and presented by Street Rodder; the Driven Award, sponsored by Lokar Performance and presented by Street Rodder; and two Editor’s Choice awards, presented by the AutoRama World of Wheels Extreme (the traditional rods that reside in the basement and sponsored by Ol’ Skool Rodz).
Best Ford in a Ford
Larry Lyke of Novi, Michigan, took home the Best Ford in a Ford honors presented by Street Rodder Editorial Director and Editor Brian Brennan. The 1934 Ford Tudor sedan built in a resto-rod theme with gennie headlights, cowllamps, and bumpers was clearly an outstanding example of a Ford-powered Ford.
Equipped with a Ford 302 (345hp crate motor) that’s backed by a Tremec 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 wiring kit and the potent small-block is cooled by a Walker radiator and a 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, and 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.
Brian Paul of New Baltimore, Michigan, brought out his fenderless ’29 Model A sedan (5-inch chop, 3-inch channel) to Detroit and was surprised and elated to take home the Driven Award, sponsored by Lokar Performance Products and presented by Street Rodder Editorial Director and Editor Brian Brennan.
Brian Paul New Baltimore, Michigan ’29 Model A sedan
The fenderless Model A is jam-packed with a ’56 330-inch Desoto Hemi fed by an Edelbrock 650-cfm EnduraShine carb topped with a ’56 Caddy air cleaner. This hot rod is a load as it is filled with a T5 five-speed, real 45-fin Buick brake drums, and folding roof that allows a bird’s-eye view into the interior. The twin bomber-style bucket seats made out of aluminum are all business. A unique gauge treatment is the use of an old Appleton spot housing that now wraps the speedo used along with the original Model A instrument cluster.
While there are 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 rearend is a 12-bolt Chevy held in position with NASCAR truck-arm control bars.
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, like 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.
Editor’s Choice: What a Pair!
Detroit is really two shows in one. There is the Detroit Autorama that we have all come to enjoy, celebrating its 59th anniversary this year, but over the past five years or so something new has taken shape and shows signs that it will be here for some time to come.
There’s a basement at Cobo Hall and it is here where the Detroit Autorama began decades ago. For many years the basement sat empty and dark until the idea was hatched to hold something special. How about a place where traditional hot rods could have a show within a show, a place that they could show off their cars and have their awards? (The basement trophies, which Brennan and Geisert handed out, were designed and crafted by artist Keith Coleman.) It’s just an escalator ride away from upstairs and all of the “bling” associated with high-profile car shows. Well, it has proven to be a success. This year the basement cars were referred to as the Autorama World of Wheels Extreme sponsored by Ol’ Skool Rodz.
Street Rodder has enjoyed the good fortune to be involved with the award presentation since the first year but recently SR’s presence has blossomed into two awards; both are Editor’s Choice, one handed out by Street Rodder Editorial Director and Editor Brian Brennan, and; a second presented by Street Rodder Senior Editor Eric Geisert.
First up was the ’41 Ford pickup belonging to Jerry Warnack of St. Claire Shore, Michigan. His Editor’s Choice was presented by Brennan for his pickup that features a modified hood to accept ’39 Ford trim, has a stroked small-block Chevy sporting 383 inches, a TH350 tranny, and a 3.42 posi-equipped Ford 9-inch rearend.
The interior sports black and white vinyl over a Glide Engineering bench seat with 3 inches cut out of the riser—giving more of a “down low” ride for Warnack. The stock dash maintains factory gauges restored by Classic Instruments and converted to the obligatory 12 V while a tilt steering column from Flaming River finished off the interior.
The Lobeck chassis sports a disc (front) and drum (rear) braking along with a Mustang II IFS, and the rear is outfitted with coilover shocks and Pete & Jakes ladder bars.
Next on the Editor’s Choice award list was the channeled ’31 Ford Model A coupe belonging to Jeff Knudsen of Holland, Michigan. Presenting Jeff’s award was Street Rodder Senior Editor Eric Geisert.
Knudsen has enjoyed modified cars of all types for 30-plus years but his interests usually center on vintage sports cars. You wouldn’t know that by looking at his channeled ’31 Model A—his first American hot rod with a Z’d frame (4 inches in front and 8 inches in the rear) coupled with a no-chop profile.
Jeff’s Ford is powered by a ’57 265-inch Chevy bored 0.060 over and topped with an ultra-rare Nicson 2x2 manifold and a pair of Rochesters. Inside a leather interior greets the driver as does a boat steering wheel and seats from a ’58 Alfa (now how many hot rodders can say that!?).
Alexander Brothers Award
As prestigious and well known a car show award as there is, the Alexander Brothers award (for Larry and Mike Alexander legendary customizers from the Detroit area) is given to a custom that best typifies how the A-Bros. work would translate today. (Mike is finalizing his Magnus Opus for next year’s Detroit Autorama to be in competition for the coveted Don Ridler Memorial Award; which both he and his brother have won in the past.)
This year Mike selected a black and gray ’70 Buick Riviera belonging to Keith Dupuie of Leonard, Michigan. Paul and Carl Arft handled the fabrication while all mechanics were trusted to James Elsarelli.
The car sports the original body trim, upholstery, and engine—a 455ci monster. On the custom side—let’s face it, it’s a custom—the top was chopped 3 inches, ’52 Buick grille mounted upside down, shaved tail, custom air suspension, and custom exhaust.