Each year the staff of STREET RODDER picks 10 cars from 10 different events across the country to create a base of 100 cars from which to choose the vehicle that not only is of exemplary craftsmanship, but one that best represents what is happening in the hot rod world and award it the title of Street Rod of the Year.
The magazine started the Street Rod of the Year program almost 20 years ago and, in that time, the winners have represented the evolution of the hot rod hobby. The car that wins the 2013 Street Rod of the Year title is a '64 Ford Fairlane owned by Doyle Thomas of Longview, Texas.
Thomas, who already has a great collection of cars in his stable, turned to Mike Rutter of Rutterz Rodzs in Bristol, Tennessee, to build his Fairlane. Rutterz was careful not to over-modify the Ford, and built the car to resemble what the Ford factory might have built in 1964 if they had access to today's technology.
The Ford, with its off-white exterior paint from Dupont and sano blue leather interior from Paul Atkins, was styled after the mid-‘60s KR500 Mustangs, but features a new GT500 engine and transmission combination backed to a Tremec six-speed transmission. Rutter paid a lot of attention to the installation of the drivetrain, making it look like it rolled off the factory assembly line just yesterday.
Though it might have been easier to build an all-out race car or an over-the-top show car, subtlety is a lot harder to achieve because it takes a great eye to know when to say "enough is enough" and not go overboard—another reason the staff of STREET RODDER picked this car as the Street Rod of the Year presented by Painless Performance Wiring. Look for a full feature on the car in the April 2014 issue of STREET RODDER.
Though much of the factory design cues were left intact, Mike Rutter of Rutterz Rodz in Br
Looking like it just rolled off the factory assembly line, the powertrain for the Fairlane
Paul Atkins used blue leather to create the interior of the vehicle, reshaping the origina