12th Syracuse Nationals
Fun in the sun, East Coast style
From the March, 2012 issue of Street Rodder
By Chuck Vranas
Rob Green hammered his ’31...
Rob Green hammered his ’31 Ford hard with a 5-inch chop followed by a 3-inch channel and 20-inch steelies to get the look. Sage glimmer and a hot 350ci V-8 completes it.
There’s nothing better than filling up your fuel tank and hitting the road on your way to a national event. It’s as much about the time getting there as the time spent at the event that creates a level of excitement that continually builds throughout the weekend.
While heading out to the 12th Syracuse Nationals, it was easy to dig many of the local area sights, including dramatic architecture, great restaurants and nightlife, and numerous noteworthy sights, including the Finger Lakes region with its amazing views. Once you got into town check-in was a breeze at the host hotel, and if you arrived on Thursday, you had the chance to cruise over to Oneida Shores Park in nearby Brewerton, where the Right Coast Association hosted a free picnic barbecue for all entrants.
Haulers like Paul Lopus’ ’61...
Haulers like Paul Lopus’ ’61 Olds Fiesta wagon are reet, especially on Coys wheels, dipped in Sunset pearl, and filled with a custom interior by Gillin Custom Design.
The New York State Fairgrounds are massive, encompassing 360 well-manicured acres, including loads of tree-lined streets to cruise on, enormous vintage buildings, countless horse and livestock barns, and enough open-air eateries to make you reminisce back to when you were knee-high to a Deuce bumper. The magic to a venue this big is that once you park your ride and get settled, you can head off with your program in your back pocket and explore all of the cool stuff waiting to be found. As you walk the event, you’ll find bitchin’ rods, customs, muscle cars, and restored originals lining every inch of the venue, including countless areas on the outskirts that aren’t heavily traveled. On Friday and Saturday there were a number of informative tech seminars offered by industry leaders, including Meguiar’s who hosted five-step paint care, PPG on their waterborne paint systems, and SSBC Performance Brakes on brake technology, to name but a few. With hundreds of vendors lining the roadways as well as inside many of the numerous exhibition halls, it was a perfect time to stop by and check out some of the hottest offerings available for your ride.
Traditionally styled, Bob...
Traditionally styled, Bob and Carol Schofield’s ’47 Ford had its lid lowered, suicide doors, Fiesta-styled caps, and a yellow suede body, making it a tasty custom.
One of the neat opportunities at the Nationals is the chance to meet up with some of Hollywood’s legendary artists, and this year the crowds were deep at the Happy Days reunion, featuring Henry Winkler and Erin Moran, well known for their roles on the iconic TV series. You also had the chance to meet up with Candy Clark and Cindy Williams of American Graffiti fame, and Brock Yates and Dan Woods to talk about their incredible careers. Visitors could also have met up with Jerry Dixey and the AMSOIL/Street Rodder Road Tour when he rolled into town behind the wheel of the new scorching hot ’55 Chevy Road Tour car. It was a perfect chance for readers to talk with Dixey about many of his experiences from his countless years on the road.
This unearthed ’32 Ford speedster...
This unearthed ’32 Ford speedster was built by Floyd Camp in 1954 to compete at Bonneville but was never finished. It was influenced by an article in Mechanix Illustrated in 1951.
With the continued success of the Old Skool Roundup, the mini-event once again had its own digs within a huge open-air pavilion where traditional hot rod and custom owners could call their own. Packed to the rafters with culture, including vendors and artists, it possessed its own unique vibe for participants and the endless flow of weekend visitors. The roundup has also become famous for its homemade specialized awards and searing musical entertainment with this year’s performers, including The Fabulous Ripcords, Krypton 88, Pete Paycheck, Tombstone Hands, Steve Southworth, and even an Elvis tribute and DJ Joel Shipley.
Another stoke part of the weekend festivities included the return of the Winfield Award, a special signature award for the Syracuse Nationals, presented by legendary customizer Gene Winfield. Through an application process, Winfield hand selected 12 cars from which he decided on a final six recognized as the “Winfield Select Six.” Car owners arrived from all over the country to compete for the award, which was presented by Meguiar’s and included a custom-made trophy, jacket, and check for $5,000. This year’s winner was Lenny Legere and his ’71 AMC Javelin.
A flash back to the dry lakes–era,...
A flash back to the dry lakes–era, Roger Cavallaro’s ’33 Ford coupe had a neat chop, louvered hood, black bucket interior, and Moon gauges, making it cool.
It’s not every day you catch...
It’s not every day you catch a souped-up ’34 Chevy coupe like Roy Arter’s, featuring an ivory rolled interior, small-block Chevy power, Moon discs, and custom rear bumper.
Gene Winfield was on hand...
Gene Winfield was on hand again this year to award the winner of the Winfield Award from his final Select Six. This year the honors went to Lenny Legere for his radical ’71 AMC Javelin.
Richard Jack (left) with event...
Richard Jack (left) with event promoter Bob O’Connor (right) who was the lucky one to take home the giveaway car, a Factory Five Racing ’33 hot rod built by the students at the Automotive Technology program at Morrisville State College.
Still want more . . . Artie’s Party was back with its massive pinstripers panel jam (featuring 50 pinstripers and airbrush artists) turning out an amazing array of artwork, which was auctioned off throughout the weekend to benefit charity. If this sounds like a wicked fun weekend you haven’t seen anything yet! As the sun begins to set, it’s time to hit the road and grab a bite, top up the tank, and head back to the grandstands at the fairgrounds to await the start of the evening’s festivities. Everything got started with old timey Figure 8 races, followed by a demolition derby and car rollover contest. Once everything started to heat up the crowds were dazzled by a scorching flamethrower exhibition by some of the country’s top pyrotechnic artists capped off by a brilliant fireworks display to complete the night.
On Sunday afternoon excited crowds of registered attendees assembled at the main stage for the start of the highly anticipated Syracuse Nationals giveaway program and announcement of weekend award winners. The main event surrounds the announcement of the winner of the yearly giveaway car. This year, it was a vibrant red Factory Five ’33 hot rod assembled by students enrolled in the Automotive Technology program at Morrisville State College. The lucky award winner was Richard Jack of Albany, New York, who received the keys. As the weekend came to an end over 7,500 cars had cruised through the main gate (arriving from 30 states and five Canadian provinces) along with over 86,000 visitors who stopped in to check out all the fun.
Thanks to the tremendous support of the Central New York Car Club Association (who are the hosts of the show) and area service clubs, donations were made from proceeds of the event in the amount of $89,200, (which included $67,000 from the Panel Jam auctions) to a number of local charities, bringing the 12-year donation total to an incredible $521,678. This is one event that continues to grow larger with each passing year, and we can’t wait to check it out again in 2012! You can see more at www.rightcoastcars.com.
Painless Performance Products presents Street Rodder TOP 100
For the Top 100 program, Street Rodder attends 10 particular car shows each year and picks 10 vehicles at each to make up the Top 100. For more on where those shows are and how they’re voted on, check www.streetrodder.com.
Jim Alley, St. Petersburg,...
Jim Alley, St. Petersburg, FL / ’55 Chevy Nomad Tucci Hot Rods of Marcy, NY, infused plenty of style into Alley’s Nomad. Starting with an Art Morrison GT Sport Tri-Five chassis, the body was completely reworked, including the addition of a modified ’64 Impala windshield along with power from a 502ci twin-turbo V-8.
Dorr Johnson, Caledonia, MI...
Dorr Johnson, Caledonia, MI / ’30 Ford coupe Johnson worked with Gas Axe Garage in Grand Rapids, MI, to give it plenty of attitude. Chopped and channeled to perfection, it was filled with a vintage 283ci Chevy mill topped with an Edelbrock two-pot sparked by Mallory. The gold vibe brings it all to life.
Joe Englert, Walworth, NY...
Joe Englert, Walworth, NY / ’32 Ford coupe Joe Englert originally built his hop-up way back in 1957. He chopped it 5-1/2 inches, channeled it 6 inches, and Z’d it 6 inches before packing the ’rails with a three-pot fed 324ci Caddy mill linked to a ’37 Caddy trans and ’32 Ford rear.
Steve Wilson, Athol, MA /...
Steve Wilson, Athol, MA / ’29 Ford roadster Wilson and his team at Wilson & Steely Kustom Coachworks in Athol, MA, transformed this sport coupe into a roadster loaded with custom updates. Sitting on Deuce ’rails packed with a stroked 383ci Chevy V-8, it featured a one-off windshield, detailed aluminum interior, and a killer stance.
Jason Hustler, Mississauga,...
Jason Hustler, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada / ’64 Ford Galaxie Jason Hustler and his brother Adam gave the Galaxie a 408ci Ford for power and slammed it to the ground, thanks to a RideTech system while 20-inch black chrome wheels and low-profile rubber seals the deal. Plenty of maroon mica paint complements a merlot suede and graphite leather business office.
Ron Ellis, Wilson, NY / ’42...
Ron Ellis, Wilson, NY / ’42 Willys coupe Originally raced as a Gasser in the Buffalo, NY, area, Ellis first saw the car when he was 8 years old. Twenty years later he tracked it down and rebuilt it from the ground up. Neat details include a Weiand-blown 392ci Hemi V-8 linked to a TH400 trans, evil black gloss, and gennie Halibrand wheels with Radir piecrust slicks out back.
Jack Elderkin, Walton, NY...
Jack Elderkin, Walton, NY / ’55 Chevy coupe Jack Elderkin’s ’55 nailed the style of a classic mild custom. Subtle touches include a partially shaved body, louvered hood, tube grille, and chromed reverse wheels with spider caps. The House of Kolor’s Candy Apple Green body and flaked roof make it stand out.
Dave and Sue Ciappa, Lockport,...
Dave and Sue Ciappa, Lockport, NY / ’50 Ford woodie wagon Dave and Sue Ciappa’s wagon was loaded with custom touches, including impeccable woodwork, a slammed RideTech stance, and big-inch Budnik Fontana wheels. A Gabe Lopez leather interior keeps it comfy while a detailed Chevy LS1 V-8 spins the tires.
Al and Cathy Mayer, Rochester,...
Al and Cathy Mayer, Rochester, NY / ’33 Ford pickup Mayer masterfully lowered the cab’s lid 4 inches and followed by bolting a 350ci Chevy between the ’rails. The stance is from a 4-inch dropped axle combined with big ’n’ little Tru-Spoke wires (narrowed 2 inches) while the body is coated in just enough polished blue suede.
Keith Shand, Nepean, Ontario,...
Keith Shand, Nepean, Ontario, Canada / ’32 Ford coupe Shand’s Deuce is hammered right, dipped in PPG Candy Red, and treated to tinted red windows, it looks nasty when matched to a built 392ci Hemi capped with a Hot Heads intake and valve covers.
Voltmeters have taken the place of ammeters due to safety. Voltmeters read (sense) the voltage in the system rather than reading the amperage going through the system. With today’s high-output charging systems, ammeters have become a potential fire hazard under the dash.
Automotive wiring has several different options for the plastic covering. Old wiring from the ’20s-50s had a cloth covering while today’s have mostly plastics. GPT covering is a low melting point PVC covering but XL (cross link) coverings are high temperature. Be sure to insist on some type of XL covering on your harnessing.
Loaded with style, Brereton’s...
Loaded with style, Brereton’s roadster gets its good looks thanks to Mason’s Hot Rods who set it on one of their custom spines, dialed in a perfect stance, and treated it to a jet black vibe.
Dick Brereton, Anderson, SC
A thorough walk through the event brought us to Dick Brereton of Anderson, South Carolina, who is our latest award recipient of the Ford Racing Best Ford in a Ford with his bitchin’ ’32 Ford roadster fitted with a 302ci Ford Racing crate V-8 linked to a Ford Racing five-speed transmission. Crowned with an Inglese EFI induction system topped with Hogan Racing air cleaners, polished aluminum valve covers, and plenty of dazzling chrome makes it a standout in any crowd. Built by Mason’s Hot Rods in Spartanburg, South Carolina, the Deuce features a Mason’s chassis loaded with a Ford 9-inch rear out back and classic drilled and dropped Super Bell axle and SO-CAL Speed Shop hairpins up front. Traditional American Racing Rod Master wheels shod with Uniroyal rubber sets the stance. A Brookville Roadster steel body was massaged to perfection and coated with PPG Ultra Jet Black while inside Petter Davidsen laid out yards of supple tan leather rolls and pleats. An Auburn-style dash insert was filled with Haneline gauges to monitor the vitals while a So-Cal banjo steering wheel navigates the course. Congratulations to Brereton who will receive a Limited Edition jacket as the award winner.
A winning combination of a...
A winning combination of a Ford Racing 302ci crate V-8 topped with an Inglese EFI induction system, finned aluminum Cobra valve covers, and loads of attention to detail make this engine an attention grabber.
Congratulations Brereton and...
Congratulations Brereton and welcome to the exclusive group of rodders who have received special honors for their accomplishment.