1955 Studebaker Champion
We can't remember the last time we saw a Studebaker built with the kind of attention to detail, incredible craftsmanship and customizing, and performance-oriented engineering that is all over Ted Trent's '55 Champion. The pavement scraping Stude was built at Back Bay Customs (formerly Extreme HCR). Check out www.extremerodandcustom.com to see in-progress shots of the chassis on the "TNT Stude," built on a custom-fabricated frame loaded with Corvette C4 suspension parts, plus RideTech airbags and Wilwood disc brakes at all four Budnik wheels (17s and 18s) with Z-rated 295- and 245-series Goodyear tires. An injected 638-inch Merlin engine powers the Studebaker, with a Hurst Lightning Rods shifted transmission and Strange 9-inch rear behind it. The car won the Low Smooth & Cool award at the Goodguys show in Rhinebeck, New York, and we chose it for Top 100 at the Syracuse Nationals a couple of weeks later.
Mike and Marcia Johnston
Livonia, New York
1934 Ford sedan
Like many of our Top 100 picks, Mike and Marcia Johnston's '34 Tudor combines tradition with elegance and performance. The Johnstons purchased the sedan in excellent original condition after it had been sitting in the second owner's collection for 47 years. Ray and Terri Bartlett of the Hot Rod Garage treated the car to a complete rebuild (see photos at www.thehotrodgarage.com). Traditional elements include the retention of many of the original components, plus hot rod elements such as nerf bars and the Tomato Red paint. Elegant elements include Dean Alexander's deep tan interior upholstery. Performance elements include the 432hp Roush 402R engine (which Roush calls the "wild version" of it's 402ci lineup). The Johnstons took the tudor to 11 shows in 2009, earning a Pro's Pick award at the NSRA Nats, and a Top 100 pick at the Syracuse Nationals that advanced into the final five for Street Rod of the Year.
Doc and Elsie Kinney
Chilliwack, British Columbia
1937 Chevy Coupe
Whenever we venture northward, we're reminded that some of the country's nicest street rods are actually from Canada. One example is Doc and Elsie's Champagne-colored '37 from Chilliwack. If you're not familiar with early Bow Ties, you might miss some of the custom metalwork that distinguishes this one, including the 3-inch stretch in the doors, the 3-inch shortening of the trunk, and the 2-inch widening of the rear fenders. The roof was tilted and the hood was changed to a one-piece unit. Underneath is an Art Morrison frame. The engine and transmission are a GM Performance LS7 crate motor and 4L60E automatic. Other upgrades include 13-inch Wilwood disc brakes, GPS and iPod, and heated seats. The Kinney's coupe was one of four runners-up for the Americas Most Beautiful Street Rod prize at the Goodguys event in Pleasanton in August, as well as runner-up for Street Rod of the Year.
Let's Do It Again
The STREET RODDER Top 100 program is back. We will select 10 cars from each of the events listed below, publicize them in the magazine and on our website. All Top 100 winners will receive custom jackets and plaques. At the end of the year, readers will be able to go to www.streetrodderweb.com to vote for their favorites. From the five biggest vote getters, the STREET RODDER staff will select the '10 Street Rod of the Year. Will it be your car? Only if you participate.
Goodguys Del Mar, CA-April 9-11
Goodguys Nashville, TN-May 21-23
Cruisin' Ocean City, MD-May 20-23
Goodguys Columbus, OH-July 9-11
Syracuse Nationals, NY-July 16-18
Goodguys Puyallup, WA-July 23-25
Goodguys Pleasanton, CA-August 27-29
Goodguys Kansas City, KS-September 3-5
Goodguys Charlotte, NC-October 29-31
Goodguys Scottsdale, AZ-November 19-21