Rick & Donna Duty | Gallatin, Tennessee | 1955 Chevy Handyman
In 1955, Chevrolet had a station wagon for everyone from the highly stylized Nomad to the ultra-utilitarian Handyman. Interestingly enough, both ends of the spectrum make great hot rods. The Handyman is completely void of chrome trim and while that may present a challenge to even the best bodyman, the simplified look gives the car a real hot rod flavor. Under the PPG Viper Red hood you'll find a nicely detailed 350 breathing through a great double-snorkel air cleaner. What little trim came on the car remains and the smooth one-piece bumpers add to the simplicity theme. Inside factory gauges remain in service while Vintage Air cools the cavernous interior. The bench seat is covered in tan leather and a tilt column includes the shift lever for the 700-R4 tranny. The proper stance was achieved with CPP drop spindles, springs, and brakes, while AFCO supplied the adjustable shock absorbers. It all rolls on Summit Pulsar wheels that measure 15x6 and 15x10 front and rear, respectively. The big Mickey Thompson 28x12x15 rear tires let you know that his Handyman was built to haul.
Ben Smith | Evansville, Indiana |1931 Ford Coupe 'de Livery
When we first saw Ben Smith's slammed Model A we weren't certain exactly how he achieved the look, was it a Sedan Delivery with a coupe window? Not hardly, this Model A began life as a Tudor, then the rear window was cut and moved forward until it had coupe-like proportions. In the process the lid was dramatically lowered and the body was channeled. The paint is PPG Rescue Green and black that splits at the belt line and incorporates scallops on the roof. Power comes in the form of a supercharged flathead Ford coupled to a T5 gearbox. A '51 Ford dash is filled with Auto Meter gauges while tan and black Naugahyde covers the seats. Suspension was pirated from a '35 Ford up front with Buick brakes mounted with a Wilson welding kit, Speedway Motors supplied the shocks. The wheels are Jimmy 9 wrapped with Coker tires. It's a fine piece of packaging and in the very best hot rod tradition; this one is homebuilt.
Charles & Deborah Hammack | Dolphin, Virginia | 1948 Ford Anglia
Being at a show like the Hot Rod Reunion makes you notice dragstrip-flavored cars and this one stopped us in our tracks. From the mile-deep House of Kolor black and raspberry paint to the wheelie bars hanging out back this Anglia shouts performance. Under the hood you'll find a 351 Windsor that now displaces a whopping 438 ci. A B&M shifter handles the gear selection in the C4 tranny while red leather covers the small bucket seats, portions of the rollcage, and the door panels. The custom console and dashboard are meticulous and Dakota Digital gauges monitor the big Ford motor. Mustang II front suspension employs coilover shocks and Wilwood disc brakes while out back a 9-inch Ford is located via four-bars and Chassis Engineering coilovers. Huge Mickey Thompson tires wrapped around Centerline wheels fill the tubs.
Jim Evans | Hammond, Indiana | 1949 Chevrolet Fleetline
Jim Evans has been around hot rods his whole life, including spending a few years as a factory drag racer for Chrysler, driving some of the famous Sox & Martin cars. No longer racing, his attention has been turned to a string of great street cars, including this fine Fleetline. Done in the finest early Chevy tradition the car retains the 235 Stovebolt-six coupled to a five-speed tranny. The shifter is a modified '36 Ford item and the stock seat is covered in factory fabric—and we can testify it is as comfortable as your couch. Stance is everything with a fastback and the Mustang II front suspension rides on a set of ShockWaves while leaf springs and lowering blocks handle the rear. Steel rims wrapped in Coker wide whites complete the look.
Joe Mudd | Leitchfield, Kentucky | 1955 Chevy
We spotted an interesting trend at Bowling Green, hot rods with inline-six motors. This yellow 1955 is a study in simplicity, a subscriber to the “less is best” school of hot rodding. Outside the body remains virtually stock and being a post car it has none of that fancy stainless steel around the windows. The only departure from stock is a pair of slick, one-piece bumpers. Even the rims are basic steel painted body color. The chassis is restored to perfection and modified with front and rear sway bars and disc brakes. But those wide rear wheels reside in mini-tubs that hint at horsepower. However when you open the hood that's what you get, a hint of horsepower, with the 250 six-cylinder still in place. The valve cover has been brushed to bare metal and clearcoated and everything else is rebuilt to stock specification and coupled to a 700-R4 transmission. It was the interesting mix of unusual parts that made us smile when we looked the car over.