Here’s the ’48 Bentley of Lyle and Kathy Smith of Troutville, VA.
Most classic car enthusiasts go to a show expecting to see Fords and Chevys with a few Buicks, Dodges, and Chryslers thrown in for good measure. This year’s 2011 Street Rod Nationals Plus in Louisville had all the usual suspects: ’32 Fords, ’40 Ford coupes, early Chevys, and multiple Mopars, but it also boasted a lot of rare and unique pieces as well.
Possibly the oldest Nash in attendance was the ’29 Nash of Larry Wolz of Fairdale, KY.
A short list of the makes outside of the Big Three include Studebaker, Graham, Hupmobile, Packard, Morris Minor, Bentley, Terraplane, Anglia, Hudson, Rolls-Royce, Delahaye, Mercedes, and most predominately the Nash/Rambler/Metropolitan family. Unlike many of their pastel and chrome-painted counterparts, these cars, for the most part, have retained their originality in paint selection as well as few body modifications. It’s what is on the inside that sets them apart from their stock restored cousins.
Stock in appearance, aside from the wheel and tire combo, this ’60 Rambler wagon was broug
Two of these unusual cars found their way into the Pro’s Picks. Those two cars included a ’34 Hupmobile Cabriolet and a ’62 Rambler American. The copper-orange metallic pro touring Rambler of Eric and Pam Brockmeyer of Viera, Florida, is Hemi-powered and looks road-ready, much different than the one you remember your grandmother driving! The Hupmobile is believed to be the last remaining model K421 and is also Hemi-powered. It was built by owners Butch and Donna Downs of Colona, Illinois.
One of the unique street-rodded classics was the ’32 Studebaker President belonging to Joe Klinkhardt of Hayti, Missouri. Klinkhardt loves this car so much he has owned it not once but twice. He originally bought the car as a partially completed project back in 1976, had it on the road by 1978, and sold it in 1981. He bought it back in 1999, gave it the twice over, and put it back on the road in 2001. Only 30 Model 91s were produced, making this car very rare. The wooden trunk on the rear as well as the skull canes found inside of the car were created by none other than hot rod legend Norm Grabowski. Grabowski built the trunk for the car back in the ’70s and the canes have been since added.
The ’40 Packard 120 of Sid Leonard of O’Fallon, IL.
Not to be left out of the trend, the Brits were also well represented in the trend of strange and unusual street rods. The ’59 Morris-Minor pickup of Don Burch of Evansville, Indiana, sported a nicely dressed Flathead, including finned Offenhauser heads. Same year but much different, the Anglia of Larry Stauter of New Bern, North Carolina, looked ready for rally while still sporting a stock patina salmon pink paintjob.
The only Graham in attendance, here’s the ’39 model owned by Vic Peco of Crestwood, IL.
Probably the most notable of all of the rarities was the invasion of the Nash/Rambler/Metropolitan family. Multiple years, makes, models, and body styles were each represented, centering around the late-’50s and early-’60s. They varied from completely stock in appearance to an extreme custom LS1 Corvette–powered Metropolitan convertible. The brand, once popularized by Lois Lane’s Rambler convertible on the Superman TV series, is finding a new resurgence in the hot rod circuit as evidenced by their attendance at this show.
One of the many Rambler wagons in attendance, this tidy example belongs to Connie Thacker
In addition to the street-rodded classics brought by participants there were also a few rare, off-brand cars on display within the vendors building. In the lobby area Joe and Patti Shortino had their ’22 Rolls-Royce recently completed by Hercules Motor Car Company of Tampa on display. Within the vendor’s booths a Delahaye and a ’51 Mercedes could both be spotted.
The next time you’re hunting a new project don’t forget to look beyond the Fords and Chevys. You just might be surprised at what’s out there and the potential they hold.
The orphan rides
This is the ’35 Terraplane of Jim Racinowski of Whitewater, WI.
The twice-owned ’32 Studebaker President of Joe Klinkhardt of Hayti, MO.
The ’59 Anglia of Larry Stauter of New Bern, NC, looked ready for street or strip with its
The wild end of the many Nash/Ramblers/Metropolitans in attendance; this Corvette-powered
Pro’s Pick’s ’34 Hupmobile Cabriolet belonging to Butch and Donna Downs of Colona, IL
One of the more eclectically colored wagons of the Rambler variety there, this green examp
If you wanted to be a part of the Nash/Rambler/Metro craze, this Rambler wagon, belonging
Much like many of the other Packards there, the ’34 Packard four-door sedan belonging to R