Let's face it; the world of hot rodding is male dominated. And as such, many a conversation will often start like this, "If I were to marry, my wife-to-be better like cars, me working in the garage, and it wouldn't hurt if she owned a gold mine." And then the laughter begins.

Well, turnabout is fair play. Tammy Ray, as the name would suggest, is female, passionate about street rods, and isn't averse to prepping her own car-a '33 SpeedStar phaeton. And (are you ready?) she does own a gold mine. Mr. Ray (Tony) finds himself in the right place at the right time, as Tammy took home 2010 top honors at the Detroit Autorama, winning the coveted Don Ridler Memorial Award-the Ridler. It doesn't get much better than this in the competitive world of show cars.

Working with Ted Thomas, of T&T Customs in Canton, Georgia, Tammy spent the last three years building her '33 SpeedStar phaeton with the Ridler in mind. Competing isn't new for Tammy as she began about 12 years ago with her T-bucket, given to her by Tony. Tammy would load Brianna (their daughter) into her car seat and take off to the shows. However, it wasn't until 2006 when competing became serious, going for the Ridler with her '33 SpeedStar coupe "Wild Rose", making it to the Pirelli Great 8. An accomplishment for anyone by any standard but all this did was ramp her up to "go for the gold", as she likes to say; and why not as the owner of Crisson Gold Mine in Dahlonega, Georgia? Here, if you wish, you can pan for your own gold. Imagine a group of hot rodders panning for gold? As it turns out the Georgia Gold Rush was the first significant gold rush in the United States. It started in 1828 in the present day Lumpkin County, near the county seat of Dahlonega a full 20 years before the California Gold Rush of 1848.

A true play on words, "Gold Digger" refers to the fact that Tammy has dug for her own gold and has done it her way. Starting at the bottom, no pun intended, T&T Customs took the Alloway's Hot Rod Shop (Louisville, Tennessee) chassis and began their efforts on the 115-inch wheelbase phaeton. The rear suspension is based on a Winters Performance Products (York, Pennsylvania) independent quick-change with inboard Wilwood (Camarillo, California) disc brakes and 13-inch rotors, Aldan (Carson, California) coilover shocks. To say it is detailed and chromed to the max would be an understatement, but here goes. Greening Auto Company (Cullman, Alabama) took a 24-karat gold leaf (what did you expect?) and inlaid it into the rear gear cover and brake calipers while the rearend was ground smooth and then plated by Advanced Plating (Nashville, Tennessee).

The front suspension is based on a Heidts Hot Rod Shop (Wauconda, Illinois) IFS with Aldan coilover shocks, Wilwood calipers, and 12-inch rotors. The master cylinder and pedal assembly comes from Rugle while a 12:1 ratio steering box comes by way of Sweet. The Heidts A-arms and spindles were custom milled by Keith Arnold at T&T and he also fabricated the hood hinges, brake, and gas pedals.

You will find Foose Design (Huntington Beach, California) one-off double-sided wheels that were brought to life by Mike Curtis made to look like a drill bit that you might find in gold mining. These wheels measure 16x7 with a 31/2-inch backspace in front and 20x10 with a 3-inch backspace in the rear, wrapped with Pirelli rubber, 205/45R16 and 275/35R20. This duo also brought about the steering wheel, again with Greening applying 24-karat gold leaf to the horn button.