George Poteet is no stranger to the winner’s circle. His vehicles have won just about every honor, award, and accolade imaginable, from Detroit’s Ridler Award, to the Hot Rod Magazine trophy awarded to the fastest car at Bonneville Speed Week. Two titles he has never won before this year, though, are the coveted America’s Most Beautiful Roadster trophy at the Grand National Roadster Show, and the prestigious Goodguys BASF America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod honor. The “Three Penny” 36 Ford roadster built by the team at Pinkee’s Rod Shop earned him the former title in Pomona in January, and this weekend in Pleasanton at the West Coast Nationals the refined roadster beat out four other finalists to take home the Goodguys AMBR crown!
The roadster’s quiet, simple elegance belies the years of labor and magnitude of work involved in bringing it to life – more than 20,000 man hours, according to Pinkee’s owner Eric Peratt. Like so many of today’s top-caliber builds, it’s essentially a coach-built creation, with only a few small areas of original ’36 Ford sheet metal that have been left untouched. It’s still unmistakably a ’36 Ford, though, which was a key objective on the build.
Wayne Carini is not your typical reality TV star. The New England native has been on reality TV almost as long as the Kardashians, but his continued bucking of the fabricated drama frequently seen on reality shows has made Carini and his show “Chasing Classic Cars” extremely popular with hot rodders and car enthusiasts. His love for cars and his authenticity continues to show through, even after over a decade on reality TV.
“Our show is done really raw, and I think that’s why it’s so popular,” Carini says. “There are no second takes or do-overs. When I was given this opportunity to do this show, I said ‘I’m not an actor. I’m a guy who fixes cars. Don’t ask me to memorize lines, or put on makeup. I’ll just be myself and if it works, it works.”
The Meguiar family has been in the car business even before there really was a car business. The company – started by Frank Meguiar Jr. back in 1901 by selling furniture polish that was eventually used on horseless carriages and then automobiles – is now nearly synonymous with car culture, and so is the man currently behind the company, Frank’s grandson, Barry Meguiar.
“I have always been so enamored with our [car care] products and had always dreamed the company could be a lot bigger than it was,”Meguiar said. “I think about 10 percent of the world’s population has a ‘car crazy’ gene. That’s their world, and that’s my world. I’ve been part of it all my life.”
Steve Stanford has played a major part in hundreds of hot rod and custom car projects – without ever picking up a hammer or wrench. As one of the most-respected and well-known custom car designers and automotive artists, Stanford has had a hand (literally) in some of the most prolific vehicles of recent times, including the “Eleanor” GT500 featured in the film “Gone in 60 Seconds.”
Despite his success, the St. Louis native still works out of an old trailer behind Pete Santini’s paint and body shop in Westminster, California. “I’m a one-man band,” Stanford says. “I don’t need a lot and I don’t need to put on a dog-and-pony show. I’m not fancy. The most important thing is the artwork and it has always been that way to me.”
With several projects from Kindig-it Design in his garage, Goodguys regular Ron Meis decided it was time for an open-wheeled car with a little more agility than his GTO and ’59 Buick. After hashing out a build plan they decided to use the redesigned ’27 T roadster from Dynamic Corvettes and Shadow Rods in Saginaw, Michigan. The XL27 has two more inches of room and sits low over a matching ’32-style frame.
Fuel injection isn’t new. Inventors of the internal combustion engine began toying with the concept in the late 1890s, and by the 1920s fuel injection had become common in diesel truck engines. During WW1 and WWII, aircraft engines employed mechanical fuel injection, as it was less sensitive to g-forces and changes in altitude.
That said, early hot rodders – the pre-WWII lakes runners, circle-track racers, and Indy 500 machines – relied exclusively on carburetor-fed power plants. It’s not that fuel injection was unknown, but there wasn’t a proven injection system that could usurp the traditional float-bowl, venturi-jet devices.
Wayne Matthews started building this ’42 Chevy pickup with a simple desire: to have a head-turning truck from the year he was born. He got much more than that when he walked into Big Oak Garage unannounced and sealed a deal with shop owner Will Posey. After Posey and his crew were done with the ’42, it was a show-stopping hauler worthy of a 2018 Truck of the Year Early finalist nod.
The first step was to solidify a smooth ride with modern handling abilities. In came an Art Morrison chassis equipped with RideTech coil-overs to dampen the independent front suspension and four-link-suspended 9-inch rearend. Schott Magnitude wheels were added to each corner – 18×7 up front and 19×12 in the rear – and finished with custom knock-off center caps and Pirelli tires.
Custom cars, aka Lead Sleds, will never go out of style. The legacies of Sam & George Barris, Larry Watson, Bill Hines, Dean Jeffries, Larry Alexander, Joe Bailon, Bill Cushenbery and so many other lead sled legends is carried forward by custom guys and gals around the globe.
Specialty Equipment Market Association or SEMA as it’s known has it’s annual show in Las Vegas at this time every year. I don’t normally mention it too much here as it’s covered substantially and better elsewhere. If you want a really good UK visitors perspective pop over to the Mustang Maniac blog here
The reason that I’ve created this post is that I came across Tony Thacker’s (also from the UK) interesting article highlighting the fact that this was the 55th year of the SEMA show
Tony’s article takes you through both the history of both the organisation and the show, read on here.
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