Last year we though that the Grand National Roadster Show, formerly known as The Oakland Roadster Show, had a wider variety of cars than we had ever see. Nowhere was that more evident than in the heavily contested AMBR, or America’s Most Beautiful Roadster, category. Well, we’re glad to report that this year is not different. We’ve got two roadster pickups, a Bonneville racer, tradition roadsters, hot rod roadsters, and more. It’s a bitchin year for the AMBR. In no particular order, here are the contenders from the 2013 Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, where all these cars are battling it out for the title of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster.
YOU WILL FIND A LITTLE INFORMATION AND TWO PHOTOS ON EACH AMERICA’S MOST BEAUTIFUL ROADSTER CONTENDER BELOW, AND A LINK TO THE COMPLETE GALLERY AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE, OR YOU CAN
1928 Modified Roadster Pickup – John Gunsaulis
John and his crew built one bitchin traditional hot rod. Started in his garage and finished with the help of an incredibly talented group of buddies, this car represents the Pacific North West, and traditional hot rodding, well. We can find a single thing wrong with it. Not a bolt that is wrong, a finish that is wrong, or anything. We dig it.
1932 High Boy Roadster – Harold “Vic” Victor
Vic’s story just may be the best in all the 2013 Grand National Roadster Show. The quick and dirty version is that he bought the real deal ZL1 back in 1971 and said that someday he would build a hot rod around it. Fast forward to the 80’s and he decides that he wants to do a ’32 Ford with that engine,…on a teacher’s salary! So he does. The guys from Tucci’s worked with him so that they would build the car a little at a time as the budget allowed. Now, after wanting to attend the Grand National for the last 59 years, the car owner Vic has not only come to his first Grand National, but also has his car in the final 12 for America’s Most Beautiful Roadster. That is saying something. Cool car.
1933 Ford Roadster – Mark and Dennis Mariani
The Mariani Roadster is just one of their beautiful race cars, and what I proclaim to be the most beautiful car to ever sit on the salt. I know that is a big statement, but pay attention to it. I didn’t say it was the fastest thing to ever sit on the salt, I think it is the most beautiful though. The fit and finish on this car are truly spectacular, and once again the guys at Rad Rides by Troy have outdone themselves.
1933 Ford Roadster – Harold Chapman
There are only two full fendered Roadsters in this year’s AMBR competition, and they couldn’t be further apart. The wheels on Harolds are stunning, as is every detail of this killer build. The engine compartment is truly a work of art, and may be one of the best uses of paint and chrome we’ve seen at this show in years. Plus the interior is full of the thickest, most inviting leather we’ve seen in forever. It made me want to climb right in.
1927 Ford Track T – John Mumford
We had the opportunity to meet and hang out with Mumford during the Goodguys Rodfather Tour, and can tell you that he is one awesome guy, just like his cars. Roy Brizio did the final assembly on this one and got it ready for the AMBR competition, and there is no doubt it will be a serious contender. The paint, finishes, stance, personality, and all just scream great traditional hot rodding. We would drive the wheels off this sucker if given the chance, and can tell you that win or lose Mum will be doing the same thing! He nuts like that.
1932 Ford Roadster – Cole Wolfswinkel
Normally the guy that shows up with a Boss 429 engine in his ’32 Ford is going to win the award for having the most unique engine at a show. Not so much this year. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Cole’s ’32 is awesome. What a truly iconic look this one has. Keep in mind, Cole won the AMBR in 2011 with a car that was finished at this same level. Will it be enough to finish in the top spot this year? We’ll see, as Sunday they announce who really owns America’s Most Beautiful Roadster.
1928 Ford Phaeton High Boy – Joe Cane
Their are several weird things about Joe Cane’s ’28 Ford. First, since it and Joe are from Australia it has right hand drive. And then theirs the glass floors. No, not fiberglass…glass glass. Like the kind you can see through. Honestly it is one of the cars that a lot of people will walk right past and not realize just how much it belongs in this crowd. The detail is stunning, as is every single finish on the car. We of course dig the slicks, and the hidden internal chassis structure. It’s super cool in a jillion ways.
1932 Ford High Boy Roadster – Chris Koszis
If we had to choose of of these hot rods to just cruise and have fun in, Chris’ ’32 would be on the short list for sure. With a great stance, old school Hemi, subtle body mods, and big ‘n littles, it most certainly checks the right boxes. And one thing that makes us laugh about Chris’ ’32 is the fact that many times at a show we feel like we’ve seen every ’32 Ford their is. But then we see one like this and know just why there are so many out there. How can you go wrong?
1032 High Boy Roadster – John Colendich Jr.
On the surface John’s ’32 seems pretty simple with it’s Flathead, T5, 9-inch combo, but there is more too it than that for sure. The biggest single thing you notice on this very understated rod is the fact that it has lots of detail. For such a sedate paint and interior combo, this one really jumps out at you when you walk by. Plus, we love the Flatty.
1932 Ford High Boy Roadster – James Farley
Clearly James’ goal for this project was the blending of old and new, with an Indy theme. And he nailed it. The 4.6L Ford Mod Motor looks right at home thanks to the stack injection setup, and all the finishes that went into the engine compartment. The wheels, exhaust, and nickel plating also complement that old and new along with the racecar theme. We really do dig this car. The interior is stunning and the gauges are bad ass too. We would most certainly drive it.
1932 Chevy Roadster Pickup – Ira Horowitz
Normally the guy that shows up with a Chevy at a street rod event is one of few. Here at the Grand National Roadster show Ira is most certainly on his own representing the Chevrolet crowd because there are nothing but Fords in the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster competition other than him. His Chevy is super cool though, as much for it’s make as the choice of paint colors.
1932 Ford Phaeton – Timothy Tarris
Okay, this bad boy most certainly takes the cake in “unusual’ shall we say. Sure it’s a ’32 Ford Phaeton, but it’s been stretched and massaged like mad. Mostly because of that incredibly unusual engine choice. We told you that the Boss 429 wasn’t unique this year because someone else brought out something even more unusual, and we weren’t kidding. Tim’s Ford is powered by a Rolls Royce 12 cylinder that used to power a P51 Mustang. It’s almost 1650 cubic inches, the Allison trans alone weighs over 750 lbs, and it makes a ton of power. Because of the massive engine and trans, this Roadster has a lot of extra beefy components you wouldn’t usually see, but it sure is one hell of a conversation starter.