the car junkie daily magazine.


Here’s Your 2018 Ridler Winner From The Detroit Autorama. It Was Not Without Drama!

Here’s Your 2018 Ridler Winner From The Detroit Autorama. It Was Not Without Drama!

If you aren’t familiar with the Ridler Award at the Detroit Autorama, the quick and dirty is that it is arguably the most coveted car show award on earth. It is also never without drama. These cars are built and finished to a detail level not seen on anything else and just being chosen for the Great 8 is an accomplishment to be proud of. In order to qualify for the Ridler you must be showing your car for the very first time ever at the Detroit Autorama. You can’t have shared the build online, you can’t have spoken about any details, you can’t have spilled the beans at any level. If you do, then you’ll be disqualified. And that’s what almost happened to this year’s winner of the Ridler, Johnny Martin and Greg & Judy Hrehovcsik’s 1957 Chevrolet they named Imagine. Apparently some leaked build photos made their way online and that almost got them disqualified. I’m not sure on the specifics, but my guess is they were not responsible for the photos and so they were given a pass.

Regardless of the drama, this is one bad machine and thanks to our friends at Goodguys and Fuel Curve, you’ve got plenty to see.

Check it out.

Johnny Martin and Greg & Judy Hrehovcsik’s 1957 Chevy was named 2018 Ridler Winner last evening in Detroit! After some drama regarding leaked build photos (and a potential disqualification) the spectacular, chopped silver 1957 Chevy hardtop from co-owners Johnny Martin and Greg & Judy Hrehovcsik from Alamosa, Colorado drove off with hot rodding’s most coveted prize.

2018 Ridler Winner, Detroit Autorama, Goodguys2018 Ridler Winner, Detroit Autorama, Goodguys

Built by Johnny and Ryan Martin of Johnny’s Trim & Rod Shop (winners of a Great 8 award in 2011 for a ’62 Corvette), they reconfigured the hardtop roof (that was once modified for gull-wing doors for an unfinished previous build!), which is chopped 3″ (the same amount the body has been channeled) and also wedge-sectioned one inch in front and 3 inches in the rear.

CLICK HERE to see the full photo gallery and how it all went down courtesy of our friends at Fuel Curve.

  • Share This
  • Pinterest
  • 0

22 thoughts on “Here’s Your 2018 Ridler Winner From The Detroit Autorama. It Was Not Without Drama!

  1. chevy hatin' mad geordie

    How anything so ugly and out of proportion can win an award is beyond me!

    Look at that roof that seems to be hacked off another car that was half the size and as the motor has absolutey NO wiring it has to be wheeled in and out of shows.

    Go and look at Billy Gibbon’s Cadzilla and weep…..

  2. Stu

    This award is so beyond building cars. It’s who can spend the most money, in excess of a million or more to outdo other others with overblown egos. “Oh, but he’s going to drive it” Ya right, right onto the trailer for it’s next showing. This is exactly what’s going on with Goodguys. Trailer queens competing against driven cars.

  3. Bob

    I respect the ability of someone to build a car like that and the crazy amount of hours it takes but when it is being built for some rich guy who just writes checks and then will never even drive it, I just don’t get it. I suppose it is like having some million dollar painting on the wall. Useless but kind of cool to look at.

  4. Christopher Lee Jenkins

    That is really messing up a classic car . In my opinion, that car should not have won anything.

  5. larryw

    Shame what’s happened to the Riddler. Used to be won by those with the most skill and best ideas. Now it’s purely a ‘my checkbook is bigger’ game.

    Any real car show should include participation a cruise or tour as part of the scoring.

  6. Jeff White

    Last years Riddler winner. Owned and built by JF at JF Customs in BC Canada. He does doughnuts and races the car, hell he even drops his kids off at school in it regularly. It might not be the custom you want or even like, but at least he drives the SHIT outta it!

  7. KCR

    In my opinion ,these types of awards mean nothing. If you had a rule that the car had to be built 75 percent or more by the owner I would have respect. I remember seeing cars like this.That had the heads and block machined smooth .And the heads and block line smoothed off with filler .There was no way the engine could ever run. Most likely no internals in the engine. I have much more respect for someone that takes an old grain truck.Builds in his yard .Into something funky,AKA rat rod.And if you are ever at a local cruise night type show.And one of these types shows up . They get PISSED OFF if there 500K unit doesn’t win an $8.00 trophy.you spend half a mill building a car like this .And in 2 years sell it for maybe $200K. I love hot rods ,but I never did get this kind .I respect the craftsmanship that it has .And that its a 57 that is done completely different than any before that’s fine. Just not my taste ,and a waste .That’s just my opinion

  8. Tom P

    Sorry to pile on even further..but they could have stopped 125 modifications ago and had a nicer car. I’m certain that getting rid of the 57 side trim, grille/bumper and wraparound windshield was a mistake.
    Workmanship may be top notch but there should be some accounting for taste.

  9. Shawn Fox Firth

    wow lota dislikes eh I for one like it other than the tail lights , the A pillars shaved side trim look good , could’ve went with mirror image turbo’s with all the money they spent

  10. KCR

    O K once again from me.I went to Chicago world of wheels today.This car was setting at the door when you walked into the show. The craftsmanship is great .But people walked in looked at it for a second and just never gave it a second look.No big crowd around such a big award winner . Maybe the Ridler judges really liked it . But as of this afternoon it was no show stopper from what I saw

  11. riverratcustoms

    You cant improve on the original design of the 57 Chevy. What a POS that abortion is. The pinnacle of bad taste.

  12. John Mattox

    OK, here is my take on this, I\’ve been to the Autorama about seven times in the last twenty years, so my thought\’s my be a little different! I admired the workmanship,creativity and the completed effort, but all I can see is Boyd\’s Chezoom painted silver!, remember late nineties? every time I look at it! My winner was the black \’69 Camaro! if you get a chance check it out at GoodGuys in July at Columbus, the 57\’s and 32\’s have been done to death!, let\’s move on!

  13. Don

    Looks like they took one of Boyd’s nicely finished cars, Then totally screwed it up. What a mess. Don’t know about Ridler judging but to me the importance of winning this award no longer matters.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *