Prestigious Roadster Award is Announced at Grand National

The winner of the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award is the 1927 Ford Kelly Brown Track T Roadster owned by John Mumford of Woodside, California. This special Roadster was built by the Roy Brizio Street Rod Shop in South San Francisco. (Cars On photo.)

Prestigious Roadster Award is Announced at Grand National

POMONA, CA -- One of the most interesting hot rod roadsters at the 2013 Grand National Roadster Show this weekend won the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award. It was a 1927 Ford Kelly Brown Track T Roadster owned by John 1927 Ford Kelly Brown Track T RoadsterMumford of Woodside, California. This special Roadster was built by the Roy Brizio Street Rod Shop in South San Francisco. (Click photos to enlarge the view.) Mumford and Brizio have colaborated on many hot rod projects. This one has a Track Roadster theme and is done old school to honor the vision and achievments of Kelly Brown, the 1978 NHRA Top Fuel World Champion. The engine was done by Howard Allen using V8 60 Arduin heads. It also features a Halibrand Culver City Quickchange rear end, 4-wheel Kinmont disc brakes, a '37 1927 Ford Kelly Brown Track T Roadster engineFord tube axle and Schroeder steering. The interior and upholstery were done by Sid Shavers. The bodywork and paint were by Vintage Color Studio with aluminum forming and metal fabrication by Steve Davis. The design and the way it followed its racing heritage theme made this car a formidable challenger for the title of America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award. The award was announced this afternoon at the Grand National Roadster Show here in Pomona, California.

Here is what the coveted award looks like. (Click photo to see a larger version.) It is 9 feet tall and took four men to move it. When Al and Mary Slonaker started the National Roadster Show in 1950, Al came up with the idea of having a statuesque trophy to impress on people the importance of the award. Originally the trophy stood 8 1/2 feet tall, but more recently it had to be modified to hold more winners. The art deco designs of the Ganat Brothers of San Francisco are now priceless collectibles and this trophy is one of their creations. In those days it was called the Oakland Roadster Show and no one ever dreamed it would have the world wide attention that it gets today.

Cars On went on record this morning saying that they had picked a full fendered 1933 Ford 1933 Ford Roadster for America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2013Roadster as their choice for the America's Most Beautiful Roadster award. It is owned by Harold and Tracy Chapman of Andice, Texas. It is one of the few contenders that has not based it's theme on racing and hot rodding roots. Though it is a more conventional build, it does have some stellar assets such as the one-off bronze wheels to compliment the car's paint scheme. (Click photos here to see larger view of the car.) The engine is a Roush 427 IR, a very special high tech power plant. The transmission is a Tremec TKO 600, heavy duty enough to handle that 1933 Ford Roadster at the Grand National Roadster Showmassive power from the Roush engine. The chrome was done by John Wright's Custom Chrome Plating, and the interior was done by JJ's Upholstery. Many other companies in Texas were involved in specific parts of the build. Final assembly and completion was accomplished by Customs & Hot Rods of Andice. "In the true sense of the word, this is the most beautiful car here," a Cars On spokesperson told us. "When you compare it to all the other 1933 Ford Roadster wheelscontenders for the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Trophy, it wins hands down for its visual beauty. Just look at the one-off wheels on this car. They're incredible and set it off so well. This is the car that should get the award, truly beautiful." We will see if the judges agree with Cars On on its pick or choose one of the race themed cars this year. The official announcement on which car will be America's Most Beautiful Roadster will come at 4 PM on Sunday at the awards ceremony at the 2013 Grand National Roadster Show.

It is the greatest honor that can be given to any street rod builder in America. The car that is to be named America's Most Beautiful Roadster is chosen each year at The Grand National Roadster Show, the oldest indoor hot rod show in the country. Cars On is at the 2013 Grand National 2013 Grand National Roadster ShowRoadster Show this year to bring you important coverge of the event this weekend, January 25 through the 27 at the Fairplex in Pomona, California. This is the 64th annual show sponsored by O'Reilly Auto Parts. The Grand National Roadster Show is one of the two most prestigious street rod events in the country (the other is the Detroit Autorama, see Cars On Line Car Show Calendar for dates.) And the America's Most Beautiful Roadster award is on a par with the Ridler Award selected at the Detroit Autorama. They are the two most coveted awards in the hot rod hobby.

Another strong contender for the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award here at the 2013 Grand National Roadster Show was the 1932 Ford Roadster 1932 Ford Roadster V8 Flyercalled the V8 Flyer. It is owned by East Coast hot rodder James Farley of Leominster, Massachusetts. (Click photos here for larger view.) Not only is this one finely built hot rod, but it has a nicely researched and built factory Ford 4.6L DOHC V8 with modifications by Dave Simard of East Coast Custom. It has hand crafted aluminum valve covers and long tube headers. It has a custom twin V-belt drive and rare camshaft driven tach drive. The custom built electronic fuel injection manifold is hidden 1932 Ford Roadster V8 Flyer enginebelow an old school Hilborn Desoto fuel injection system. The front was pinched 3" by Simard although it uses original Ford frame rails reinforced with 1/8", front torsion bars and rear boxed torsion bars and custom built cross members. It has '32 Ford spindles, hairpin radius rods, Wilwood 4-piston 12" disc brakes and modified Schroader sprint car steering. It is so historically detailed that you could write a book about this one. Rodders at the show were studying it pretty carefully.

With a healthy flavoring of old school flair, a 1928 Ford Roadster Pickup is a nice blend to show how racing and hot rodding are synonymous. John 1928 Ford Roadster Pickup at the Grand National Roadster ShowGunsaulis from Greenacres, Washington brought this well thought out hot rod roadster to the show. (Click photo for larger view.) John built this one himself in his garage with a little help from his friends. You'll notice a nice looking Flathead Ford V8 that has had minor upgrades in keeping with the old school theme. It has an altered roadster look reminiscent of salt flat racers, with the rounded nose and low to the ground stance. Then notice the quick change rear end, all chromed and nicely done. We think this one is a sleeper, and the way the judges have been awarding points for cars that harken to the historic roots of hot rodding this one may be hard to beat. It was one of the 12 top contenders for the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award.

Measuring a full 88.7 inches in length, a 1932 Ford Phaeton is the essence of over statement. It is owned by Timothy Tarris of Tucson, Arizona. The 1932 Ford Phaetonlength of the car had to match the size of the engine which in this case is a Rolls-Royce Meteor Mark IV piston driven aircraft engine like the ones that were used in the P-51 Mustangs of World War II. It is a liquid cooled 60 degree V12 engine. The displacement is 1,647 ci. The size of the engine requires the rest of the drive train to be just as stalworthy. It uses an Allison World transmission and a truck rear end. This is a comination that you will never see again on a street rod. It has an independent front suspension, rear coil-over shocks and 4-wheel disc brakes.

It doesn't take much to push the buttons on old Mopar guys. Just say the words "392 Hemi" and the memories come flooding back. Chick and Sue 1932 Ford Roadster at Grand National Roadster ShowAnn Koszis from Valley Center, California used a variation on the "Bare Bones" theme when they named their car "More Bones." The 1932 Ford Roadster is the kind of hot rod you'd want to drive around town. It's not too over the edge to drive. (Be sure to click the photos to see a larger view.) The major fabrication, chassis, sheet metal, body, paint and assembly were done by Hot Rods & Custom Stuff, a hot rod shop in Escondido, California. The power train management, wiring and tuning were 1932 Ford Roadster rear viewall done at Eclipse Engineering of Whittier, California. The Brookville Roadster steel body was done by Scandinavian Street Rods in Huntington Beach, and the 392 Hemi engine was built by Ray Zeller in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The beautiful custom interior is the work of Chick's friend Ran Mangus at his shop in Rialto, California. Note the custom pinstriping by Pete "Hot Dog" Finlan in Vista, California. Coszis has made his bones; this one is "More Bones." Here at the Grand National Roadster show it was a contender for the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award.

The presentation of a 1933 Ford Roadster totally went for the racing theme which had won here last year. Mark and Dennis Mariani of Winters, 1933 Mariani Ford Roadster by Troy TrepanierCalifornia were record holders at the Bonneville Salt Flats. Mark did 214.202 miles per hour in his E-Street Roadster and Dennis ran a 216.404 mph. So they had Rad Rides by Troy in Manteno, Illinois build their race theme roadster. Owner Troy Trepanier designed a digital injection 250 Panella racing engine, and a custom Rad Rides suspension with Ride Tech's Air Ride system. (Click the photos to enlarge view.) They used a Big Stuff 3 stand alone ECU with Race Pak 1933 Mariani Ford Roadster by Troy Trepanierdataloggin and a Jerico air shifted 5-speed and Winters Quickchange rear end. The paint used was a Glasurit Mariani red with Bronze Metallic powder coating. This car carries the theme throughout the build and beyond. It was a little risky for a builder to invest in a racing theme to this extent. But the America's Most Beautiful Roadster judges went for it last year

Ira Horwitz from Upland, California brought his 1932 Chevy Roadster 1932 Chevy Roadster PickupPickup with the theme "Possessed." He says it cost "Just a little bit more than I told my wife." The frame was a TCI Custom and it sports American Racing wheels. The engine is a magnificent GM 350 ci factory engine with Tuned Port Injection, rated at 350 horsepower. The transmission is a Chevy 700R 4-speed automatic with overdrive transfering power to a beautiful Jaguar rear end. Interior is by Elegance Auto Interior.

Here's one of the top picks for the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award. The display calls it the "32 ZL1", a 1932 High Boy Roadster with a 1932 Ford ZL1 Roadsterretro Chevy ZL1 motor, the 550 horsepower Chevy engine that powers the retro ZL1 Camaro muscle cars. This is a performance power plant that demands respect. The craftsmanship on the bodywork, paint and engine build are out of this world. The interior was done by Hix Design. (Click the photo to enlarge it.) It is one of the 12 Top Contenders for the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award. The winner will be chosen from the Top 12 on Sunday at the Grand National Roadter Show. The car is presented by owner Harold Victor. Victor’s roadster features the incredible 6-71 blown big block ZL1. (Click the photo of the engine to enlarge it.) It also has an independent rear suspension. It 1932 Ford HighBoy Roadster with ZL1 motorwas built by Tucci’s Hot Rods in Marcy, New York. Although it looksgreat in its display in Building 4 at the show. If you get a chance to get out here look at the exhaust system on this car. Cars like this would win any national show. But will it win the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award this year? There are twelve top contenders for the most prestigious roadster award. This is one of them. If you like it you can vote for it on our Facebook page.

Cole Wolfswinkel had an idea to build a hot rod using a real Holman-Moody NASCAR Boss 429 engine. So he contacted Squeeg's Kustoms in Chandler, 1932 Shotgun Roadster at Grand National Roadster ShowArizona where they suggested putting it in a one-off steel bodied roadster. (Click the photo to enlarge it.) Squeeg's Jimmy Smith designed a '32 roadster with '34 styling cues. Pinkee's Rod Shop built the unique frame. Squeeg's brought the frame with engine and illustrations of what they wanted to Marcel's Custom Metal where they built the body from scratch. Squeeg's used their exclusive epoxy primer and PPG Competition Red paint. The leather interior was done by Gabe Lopez. The 1932 Shotgun Roadster at the Grand National Roadster Show 2013finished product is amazing. You can see that the competition for America's Most Beautiful Roadster is going to be tough. There is so much custom plating on this car, including the entire rear end, done by Custom Chrome of Ohio. The Boss 429 engine was built by Drew Backlund of Spokane, Washington. Wolfswinkel's custom creation is called the '32 Shotgun Roadster. You can vote for it on our Facebook page. (Click the photos to enlarge.) This one was the top favorite of our Facebook fans.


One of the buildings at the California Fairplex for the Grand National Roadster Show is full of cars vying for top honors in the Lowrider 1965 Chevy Impala Convertible Lowridercategories. There are a lot of custom lowriders here to see. One in the Semi Lowrider Custom category is a gorgeous, show stopping 1965 Chevy Impala Convertible brought to the show by George Victoria of Downey, California. (Click photos to see bigger views.) The car really drew a crowd with outstanding paint and interior, murals and a mind blowing twin screw fuelie engine. It is one of the outstanding cars at the show. The chrome is stunning 1965 Chevy Impala Lowrider interiorand a skillful used of mirrors augments the presentation. The car shows interior work by California Upholstery out of Bell Gardens, California. They have had cars featured in Lowrider and DUB magazines. On Sunday it took 2nd place in its category as Semi Lowrider Custom. It also won the awards for Outstanding Use of Color and Outstanding Detail.


When we spotted a 1930 Ford Model A, nicked named “Grass Hopper,” we knew it was going to win a top award. Grass Hopper was brought to the show by 1930 Ford Model A Jordan Quintal of Escondido, California. (Click the photo to enlarge) It was built by Super Rides by Jordan, a shop out of Escondido, California that is known for designing and fabricating award winning hot rods and customs. You can visit their website at The car is a great example of a "finished rat rod," a very old school look all chromed out with show paint. The engine of this altered 1930 Ford Model A is a 400 Pontiac stroked to 462 ci with T5 transmission. The eye-catching custom paint is House of Kolor Lime Time/Pearl1930 Ford Model A Engine, and Quintal gave special thanks to the famous Pete “Hot Dog” Finlan for pinstriping. Special thanks were also given to Armando’s Upholstery for the car’s interior work and Azteca Polishing for their work on the stunning chrome. On Sunday, Quintal’s Grass Hopper won several awards. It took 2nd place in its category as Altered Street Coupe – Pre 1933. It also took home awards for Outstanding Paint, Outstanding Engine and the Von Dutch Pinstriping Award.

EARLY CUSTOM 1935-1948

In the Early Custom 1935-1948 category we saw a 1940 Cadillac Coupe presented by super customizer John D’Ago1940 Cadillac Coupestino from Discovery Bay, California (Click the photo to enlarge). D’Agostino is not only the owner of the Cadillac Coupe, but he also designed it. The body was done by Oz Kustoms of Oroville, California and the car’s interior work was done by Divine’s Custom Interiors of Pittsburg, California. Meanwhile the stunning chrome was done by Sherm’s Custom Plating out of Sacramento, California. D’Agostino called his '40 Cadillac "Sophia" and said this custom is a special tribute to Hollywood movie star Sophia Loren. On Sunday it took 2nd place in its class.


In the Mild Lowrider Custom category a 1950 Chevrolet 2-Door Hard Top named “Jimmy’s Dream” was brought to the show by o1950 Chevrolet Hard Topwner Jose Zendejas of Escondido, California (Click the photo to enlarge). The eye-catching paint and body of this custom was done by Sal Manzano at Geals Customs, and Zendejas gave special thanks to Victor Cordero and the famous Pete “Hot Dog” Finlan for the custom striping. Special thanks were also given to Azteca Polishing for their work on the stunning chrome and polish. The car’s interior work was credited to George and Armando at Armando’s Custom Upholstery. Zendejas’ 1950 Chevy Hard Top won 1st place it its category as Mild Lowrider Custom.


In the Full Hardtop category, a 1965 Chevy Impala SS Custom was brought to the show by Jeffrey Hess of Woodland Hills, California. The one-off 1966 Chevy Impala Customcustom was built by Pro Design Hot Rods out of Santa Ana, California. You can see their website at This is not your regular hot rod shop, they specialize in custom fabricating as seen on this Impala. They asked Schott, a wheel design company, to make the one-off custom "smooth"-look wheels with the deep sill modern styling. Hess said he is very pleased with the way the Impala turned out. On Sunday it was announced that Hess' 1965 Chevy Impala SS Custom took 2nd place in the Full Hardtop category.


In the Street Machine Custom 1949-1964 category, 1957 Chevy Bel Aira 1957 Chevy Bel Air was brought to the show by owner Mitch Kelly of Bellflower, California. Kelly’s custom Chevy Bel Air was a showstopper. The slick paint job caught the eye of many onlookers. This impressive custom won awards in a couple of categories. It took 1st place in its category as Street Machine Custom 1949-1964. Additionally it also received an award for Outstanding Paint.

In the Motorcycle category we saw a 2009 Custom Pro-Street Chopper named Cadamia 300. Cadamia was shown by owners Gino and Denise Ilacqua out of San Leandro, California. (Click th2007 Custom Pro-Street Choppere photo to enlarge). Cadamia is an impressive chopper. It features a Carolina Custom frame and the drive train is powered by a S&S 124” Super Sidewinder motor with round barrels and a Super G carburetor. The primary houses the hidden hydraulic reservoir, which allows the clutch to transfer from cable to hydraulic to accommodate the Baker 6-speed RSD transmission with a RSD door and hydraulic actuator. The custom paint is House of Kolor Candy Apple Red over Orion Silver. Although there is no category for Best Custom Chopper at the show, we at Cars On felt Cadamia 300 was the nicest.

Remember when this 1969 Ford Talladega project was written up in Hot Rod Magazine in 2012? At the time it was in a more primative state than you see it pictured here now. It was the idea of racer George Poteet to 1969 Ford Talladega by Troy Trepanierhave Troy Trepanier build their interpretation of the famous '69 Holman-Moody Ford Talladega that captured the NASCAR and ARCA championships that year. Trepanier has long been one of Cars On's favorite custom car designers. More than just a tribute, this car is a modern day retro design that includes an engine that Trepanier has called the "Boss 529 FX" with Rad Rides by Troy custom injection and old school type accelerator stacks, plus an ultra modern Big Stuff 3 ECU and Rad Rides harness. It features a Bowler 5-speed transmission and Mark Williams modular rear end, Art Morrison C6 front, 4-link rear and Ride Tech coilovers. There are some advanced design features and some treatment that has never been seen before on this car. It is truly one-of-a-kind.