(Photos by Wes Allison) America’s Most Beautiful Roadster is a title given to just one roadster per year and is considered one of the two highest hot rod award honors in the world. Given out at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona California, an event that originally started up north in Oakland, there are a select few cars that each year enter to be considered for the AMBR award. It’s like an Oscar, only harder to win and there aren’t different ones for different classes. There is just one. Roadsters, of all kinds, compete against each other to be named the most beautiful roadster in all of America for that given year. The budgets for these builds can vary wildly, but the most expensive of them have price tags in the seven-figure range for their builds. Regardless of the price, being up for the competition is something to be proud of on its own.
ARP Fasteners is the sponsor of the ARP America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award and the winner will take home $12,500 and the 9 foot tall trophy. Yeah, a 9 FOOT TALL TROPHY! This is one of the most prestigious awards in car building and we love the competition that we see each and every year. Styles differ, but all of them are the cream of the crop.
This year it is an all-Ford field, after 2022 was won by a Chevrolet, but that’s where the similarities end. Each of these is truly unique from the other.
Below you’ll find all of the contenders for 2023’s America’s Most Beautiful Roadster, and a gallery full of images of all of them below that. Enjoy!
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1932 Ford Roadster: Owned by Scott Williams and built by Swillco Speedshop in East Bethel, MN
1936 Ford Roadster: Owned and built by Danny Hyde in Laguna Niguel, CA
1927 Ford Roadster: Owned by Jon Hall and built by Shadow Rods in Saginaw, MI
1932 Ford Roadster: Owned and built by Jack Chisenhall with final assembly by Brizio Street Rods in South San Francisco, CA
1932 Ford Roadster: Owned by Joe Kugel, and built by Kugel Komponents in La Habra, CA
1932 Ford Roadster: Owned by Ken Sapper and built by Dominator Motorsports in Tracy, CA
1932 Ford Roadster: Owned by Steve Schmidt and built by Kugel Komponents in La Habra, CA
1929 Ford Roadster: Owned by JF Launier and built by JF Kustoms in Osoyoos, BC Canada
1932 Ford Roadster: Owned by Sandie and Charlie Chadd and built by Rad Rides by Troy in Manteno, IL
Scott Williams ride reminds me a lot if Phil Cool’s ride from the late 70’s. That car really stood out from the crowd.
The black ’36 might be the most beautiful, (I’d like to see pics with the hood and trunk closed) but the gray ’32 is definitely the gnarliest. It’s so wicked you could get a black eye just from looking at it. I love it.
The black ’32 highboy is sweet, but the mismatched front to rear wheels are no bueno.
Thanks to Wes for the pics and to Chad for posting them.
The wheels on the black 32 Roadster are definitely a matched set from a 1963 Indianapolis Roadster race car.
He may have referring to the Swillco car – without realizing such a combination wasn’t uncommon 50 years ago – since the difference between front and rear is more noticeable than on your car.
My pick is the Gold one with the 409 in it. Face it. There is only so much you can do with a Duce body that hasn’t already been done. So the color and engine choice are what I look at. And look over the signs that tell about what they really are. One says it’s a blown 289 CID Ford. And it is clearly a SBC. Another says its a 427 Ford. That’s a Cammer engine. And the engine in the car is a Flat Head? Oh well .
You’re getting the signs mixed up between the cars.
The 427 was an FE engine. The “cammer” was based on the FE block architecture.
I was referring to the wheels on the Williams ’32 roadster.
I first became aware of the Oakland Roadster Show’s AMBR in 1959 (I was 6) with the victory by and subsequent publicity surrounding the Ala Cart, so trends beyond 50 years are well within my knowledge of Hot Rodding and it’s history.
BTW, also when I was 6, I sat in Rodger Ward’s 1959 Indy winning Watson roadster moments after he had just won the Milwaukee 200 the following weekend. SO. . .
. . . I noticed the wheels on the Chisenhall roadster, however my comments were not directed toward it.