There were 12 cars in competition for the America's Most Beautiful Roadster award at this year's Grand National Roadster Show, and the judging team (made up of 12 individuals) had their hands full at discerning not only the quality of work that went into each car, but the aesthetic value of the finished product (after all, the award is called the "most beautiful").
Where a judge draws the line between something that is "wrong" with a car (like flaws in the paint, panels not fitting correctly, inconsistent gaps) and something they don't agree with (how something was finished one way versus another method) is a real trick, but that's why the judges spent hours hashing out their thoughts and opinions. In the end, it must have been a hard job to pick only one winner, as each of these cars had certainly qualified on their own merits.
1. The Woodward roadster pickup is the work of John Gunsaulis and his friends (in Thee Inland Emperors Car Club) and family members near his Greenacres, WA, home who contributed to the project. He started with a '28 Ford roadster pickup and repurposed dozens of original Ford parts to make new parts for the car. Flathead (21-stud) powered, the car features a '39 trans, a Columbia two-speed rear, and 16-inch-wide fives. The black paint looked so deep you wanted to swim in it.
2. Harold Chapman's Ford roadster from Andice, TX, was a favorite of many. Called "Bitter Sweet," it was one of only two Model 40 vehicles in contention. Packed with a Roush 427 Ford motor backed to a Tremec trans, the roadster featured EVOD wheels and an interior from JJ's Upholstery. The car won AMBR Outstanding Undercarriage and AMBR Outstanding Interior.
3. Cole Wolfswinkel is the son of the 2011 AMBR winner, and he turned to Squeeg's Kustoms in Chandler, AZ, for this build. Based on a Jimmy Smith design, the car was scratchbuilt by Marcel's Custom Metal and set on a chassis fabbed at Pinkee's Rod Shop. The Boss 429 Shotgun motor was a back-up engine in the Holman-Moody NASCAR program from the late '60s. The paint is PPG Competition Proven Red (which has a lot of orange color in it) sprayed over Squeeg's own brand of primer. The car won AMBR Outstanding Paint and AMBR Outstanding Engine awards.
4. Harold Victo, a 70-year-old from Miller Place, NY, enlisted Tucci Hot Rods to turn his '32 Ford roadster into a showpiece. He's dreamt about having an AMBR contender since he first read about the show when he was 12, and he started collecting parts in the '70s by buying an aluminum ZL1 engine out of a '69 Camaro. The roadster also features a quick-change rear and a dry-sump oil system.
Besides building award-winning hot rods, Rad Rides by Troy also builds very fast Bonnevill
The concept with Jim Farley's '32 roadster, assembled at Dave Simard's East Coast Customs
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Chick Koszis' '32 roadster used a steel Brookville Roadster body and a 392 Hemi engine to
Easily the largest competitor in this year's show, Timothy Tarris' '32 Ford phaeton was bi
John Colendich Jr., from San Jose, CA, built this '32 Ford roadster with the help of Bill