GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S

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GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« on: April 23, 2014, 12:21:33 PM »
1999 Grand National Roadster Show - Golden Oldie
The Grand National Roadster Show Turns 50
From the February, 1999 issue of Hot Rod
By Gray Baskerville

Fifty years ago, Galard "Al" Slonaker, a veteran Bay Area car show promoter, assembled a collection of new cars and imports under the "International Car Show" banner and staged the forerunner of a hot-rod institution-the Grand National Roadster Show.

To broaden spectator appeal, Slonaker sifted in a handful of Bay Area track roadsters and hot rods. He even booked-in some SoCal heros, including a pair of George Barris-built customs as well as Stu Hilborn's lakester. "We didn't know rods from roller skates," remembered Mary Slonaker, Al's wife, "but people liked them so much that Al decided the next year to hold a hot-rod-only car show.

"Al was the idea man," added Mary, "as well as a realist. He knew using the term 'hot rod' was still a no-no, so he substituted 'roadster' and called his second venue the National Roadster Show." "That would change 12 years later," added Dain Gingerelli, who, with veteran automotive photographer Andy Southard Jr., has produced a work entitled Oakland Roadster Show: 50 Years of Rods and Customs.

The first all hot-rod show, held January 19-22, 1950, at the Exposition building in downtown Oakland, California, featured crowd-controlling ropes anchored by 55-gallon drums filled with water, calling cards from pigeons roosting in the rafters, and 100 cars on display-including Bill Niekamp's lakes-bred '29, which became the first America's Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) winner. Among the 27,625 attendees were Hot Rod's Bob Petersen, Bob Lindsay, Wally Parks, Tom Medley, Griff Borgeson, and Motor Trend's Walt Waron.

From 1951 to 1957, the National Roadster Show was dominated by highly detailed street-driven cars. Slonaker instituted a Custom d'Elegance award for the custom-car crowd as tail-dragging lead sleds were becoming an increasingly important part of the show. He developed new classes for street roadsters, coupes, sedans, customs (from mild to wild), lakes cars, speedway cars, antiques, and sports cars. By '53, Slonaker had instituted the People's Choice award, thus bringing spectators into the collective. He even opened up the show to controversies, such as the mysterious Tucker, and allowed motorcycles to mix with their four-wheel kin.

"Even though these cars were becoming more and more specialized," recalled Barris, "they still had to function under their own power. They had to have working accessories, although mufflers were optional. So the big thrill was when all the participants would fire up their engines at the end of the show and drive out of the arena."

During this six-year span, many of the people who would make a name for themselves in hot rodding began as spectators. Veteran fuel racer Rich Guasco remembers entering his '29 five or six times before he won the AMBR trophy in 1961. "After each show," recalled Guasco, "I would fix all the 'bolts-not-pointed-in-the-right-direction' boo-boos the judges would find. By '61, I had sort of worn out the judges." Art Himsl, the famed Bay Area painter, started as an onlooker and then began striping cars in '55 on setup day. Perhaps Blackie Gejeian, the leader of the Fresno, California, gang, set the tone for all subsequent Oakland shows in '53 when he chromed and detailed the entire undercarriage of his '26 T-bodied lakes modified. "When I heard they were having a car show in Oakland (in '49), I had to go. That first one really wow'd me, so I did another roadster. Three years later, I took it to Oakland and began putting my car on its side three or four times a day so the people could see the undercarriage," continued Gejeian, "but that wore me out." Later, he and Richard Peters removed a full-length mirror from a restroom and stuck it under Peters' new car.

Gejeian's influence had its effect. "The boys from Fresno-Blackie, Richard Peters, Charles Krikorian," remembered George Barris, "demanded that their cars be as nice underneath as they were on top." In 1957, Peters commissioned Barris to build the ultimate ragtop: a hybrid '27/'29 roadster pickup that would totally change the direction of the nine-year-old National Roadster Show. The Barris Ala Kart raised the bar out of sight.

The Ala Kart literally stood everyone on their collective heads. Guasco: "I had never seen a car like Richie's-so exceptional, so above the other cars." Gejeian: "It was so far ahead of its time that it totally changed the emphasis from hot rods to show rods. It was a styling exercise drawn up in a coffee shop. It mixed an airbag suspension with a totally chrome-plated undercarriage." Barris: "It started as a '29 roadster pickup with a back body section taken from a '27 T roadster. The grille shell, three-piece hood, and pickup bed were handformed from aluminum. All four Model A fenders were bobbed, V-pointed, and completely metal finished the same as the top side. Then we covered the Ala Kart with 40 coats of white diamond dust of pearl and projected scallops in 'kandy' cerise and gold leaf, augmented by Dean Jefferies' pinstriping." It was, as Grand National Roadster Show's Rick Perry said, "the first all-out attempt made at winning the AMBR trophy."

Until the appearance of Peters' Ala Kart, the National Roadster Show was populated by home-brewed, owner-built cars. Its advent hastened the demise of the hot rod and the emergence of the candy-coated, pearl-flaked, angle-haired show-mobile. According to Gingerelli, "Bay Area customizer Joe Bailon was among the first to experiment with various paint systems in an attempt to achieve the same tone and texture as found on the deep, translucent color that gave the candy-covered apple its name. Meanwhile, the paint companies were offering quality gold powders, toners, and metallic mixers, so when Bailon dumped some powder into a can of Sherman-Williams maroon toner, he stumbled on the candy color."

By the '60s, the Oakland Roadster Show was an institution. Its original 4-day schedule had risen to 10 days, and the Fresno connection continued. Krikorian gave Barris the go ahead to build another show winner. Barris responded with the "Emperor." The 11th annual show (1960) was also mistakenly called the 12th. That would be corrected 25 years later.

The '60s, and its excesses, became the "experimental" era in more ways than one. For instance, the 12th Annual National Roadster Show featured two experimental cars-Andrew DiDi's X-61 dream car and Barris' XPAK 400, a collaboration that rode on air rather than rubber tires. Perry remembers the XPAK 400 being positioned on the floor over a war surplus parachute. "They would start it," said Perry, "and the vehicle would rise off the ground blowing the parachute. It was great!"

In 1961, after three years of eye-peeling, Barris-built glitter bugs, Rich Guasco took home the sequoia-sized trophy with an ultra traditional '29 roadster. To add yet another form to the mix, Bob Tindle, of Portland, Oregon, displayed his flopper-style '32 sedan powered by a front-mounted blown Olds. The hinged body tilted up from the front, neatly predating the Funny Car-style by seven years.

For 17 years following, the various AMBR winners would reflect the experimental concept pioneered by Barris and Peters. Jerry Woodward would display his Vortex X-1970 in 1962. Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, whose monster Ts were the rage, was asked by Slonaker to clean up his grubby act. The head Rat Fink replied by appearing in tails and a top hat over his usual mufti-an old pair of Levis and a well-worn t-shirt. Although Barris won with his "Twister T," a relatively sedate '27 T ragtop, Oakland was becoming Grand National Roadster Show "biz" big time.

During this time, Slonaker created the Tournament of Fame and awarded the winner a trip for two to the Paris Auto Show. Bill Cushenberry and his "Silhouette," bubble-top experimental-formed from 20-gauge sheetmetal and powered by a Buick engine-won the initial prize. The show was also becoming further out, as LeRoi "Tex" Smith nailed down the 9-footer with his Steve Swaja-designed XR6 '27 T-bodied roadster. Even the AMBR trophy, which was awarded to the current show owner, Don Tognotti, and his '14 T in '64, reverted to Carl Casper's "Ghost," a fanciful apparition powered by a two-stage blown Poncho in '65. In '66, the AMBR trophy went to Don Lockey's Barris-built T.

In '67, Slonaker moved the event to the Oakland Coliseum. Bob Reisner entered his two-motor "Invader," which illustrated how far America's Most Beautiful Roadster had strayed. Undoubtedly, Oakland was becoming Hollyweird. These wackos-which ran the gamut from a Chrysler-powered commode to a Lancia-powered wheelbarrow-generated the term "odd rod" and further illustrated the excesses of the '60s. Reisner's Invader was a repeat winner in '68 when the twin-engine "Phantasee" shared honors with Joe Wilhelm's "Wild Dream." Art Himsl took home the gold in '69 with his buggy-like "Alien."

Augmented by steam- and electric-powered record-breakers, the odd-rod element continued into the early '70s... but the AMBR trophy went to a real hot rod, created from one of Andy Brizio's "Instant T" kits. Andy had been building and entering these 'glass-bodied, Dragmaster-chassied, blown, Chevy-powered Ts since 1966, but they lacked what Himsl called "the essential ingredient." So in '70, he made Brizio a deal he couldn't resist. "You can win if you leave that roadster with me," Himsl told Brizio. Brizio built a nice car, but he didn't like 'goofy' paint jobs. Himsl changed all that with one of his patented, eyeballs-out creations.

Eventually, the success of Brizio's T lead to a number of like-bodied AMBR winners-Lonnie Gilbertson's candy red '23 T ('71), Chuck Corsello's T-bucket ('73), Jim Vasser's tall '14 T tub ('74), Lonnie Gilbertson's '23 T ('75), Bob Sbarbaro's '26 T touring ('76), and Jim Molino's '23 "Candy Man" ('77). Only John Corno's Russ Meeks-engineered rear motor, rear opening '30 A roadster was decidedly "different."

The two biggest changes to affect Oakland in the '70s were Slonaker's failing health (which forced his retirement in '73) and the subsequent sale of the show to Harold "Baggy" Bagdarsarian, Darryl Starbird, and Bill Roach. Roach sold his share to Starbird the following year, and Baggy created the Al Slonaker Award for best in class. A strict disciplinarian, Baggy formulized the show-20-percent late models, 20-percent red cars, 20-percent customs, and so on, giving pace to the presentation. The third big change occurred in '78 when Phil Cool won the AMBR with his blown Deuce highboy, thus returning the "prize" to normalcy.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2014, 12:32:00 PM »
National Roadster Show 1950
The first annual National Roadster Show was held January 19-22, 1950 in Oakland, California. In the beginning the show was better known as the Oakland Roadster Show.
 
America's Most Beautiful Roadster
Bill NieKamp's 1929 Ford Model A Roadster
The NieKamp Roadster was conceived in 1949, when Bill NieKamp was a middle-aged man playing a young man’s game. Forty-three years old at the time, he set out to build a hot rod he could enter in car shows and race at Southern California’s dry lakes.

A body assembler and painter at the Plymouth factory in Long Beach, California, NieKamp bought a 1929 Model A roadster body for $15 and channeled it over 1927 Essex frame rails. NieKamp performed most of the work himself, using very basic techniques.

Whitey Clayton fabricated the bellypan, hood, and track nose, while NieKamp made the floorboard and nerf bars. Under the hood, NieKamp installed a 1942 Mercury flathead V-8 with Evans heads, a Weiand intake manifold, a Winfield cam, and a pair of Strom­berg 97 carburetors.

NieKamp kept close records along the way, and the sum cost of the project came to $1,888.72.

Before NieKamp raced the car, he showed it at the inaugural National Roadster Show in Oakland, Califor­nia, in lakes trim with a passenger-side tonneau and no windshield. The meticulously built rod won the first America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award.

NieKamp raced the roadster at El Mirage for three seasons, culminating with a run of 142.40 mph in July 1952. Soon thereafter, he turned down a $2,800 offer for the car, opting instead to raffle it off to benefit a racer who had been seriously injured at Bonneville.

The winner of the raffle, a young soldier named Dick Russell, drove it as his daily driver and raced it at the Santa Ana Drags before selling it to Delmer Brink in 1958.

Brink decided to swap in a Buick nailhead engine, but never completed the work, and sold the car to then Rod & Custom associate editor Jim “Jake” Jacobs in 1969 for $1,300. Jake, who had recognized the car as the very first AMBR winner, restored it in a 1971 series of articles in the magazine.

Jacobs’ efforts made the NieKamp roadster the first historic hot rod to be restored, a practice that would come into vogue 20 years later.

After the flathead Jake installed died in 1975, he replaced it with a 265-cid Chevy V-8. The small block remained in the car until 1997, when the roadster was invited to compete in the first Hot Rod class at the 1997 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.



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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2014, 12:10:10 PM »
1951 WINNER RICO SQUAGLIA'S 1927 FORD
WAS ON THE COVER OF HOT ROD SEPT.1951

Track nosed 1923 Ford Model T Roadster owned by Rico Squaglia. According to the September 1951 Hot Rod magazine feature about the car, it was powered by a Mercury Flathead V-8; however, according to Rico’s son, Rick, and the car’s current owner, Carter Fisher, the car did not have an engine when it won the award. Harry Westergard made the tracknose and hood for Rico’s roadster. The car was finished in flame red.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2014, 11:05:34 AM »
1952 AMBR WINNER BUD CRACKBON'S 1925 ROADSTER
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2014, 10:41:59 AM »
1953 WINNER DICK WILLIAM'S 27 ROADSTER
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2014, 05:37:21 PM »
Since the GNRS is coming up,I thought I'd add afew.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2014, 05:38:44 PM »
1954 AMBR WINNER FRANK ROSE'S 1927 FORD.
1927 Ford Model-T Roadster built and owned by Frank Rose of A & R Auto Mart in Oakland, California. Frank spread no expenses to make his roadster everything he wanted. The frame was constructed 2 1/2” diameter 125” wall chrome-moly tubing. The front axle was a chromed Ford tube axle, which was used in some ‘38-’39 Ford standard models, and quite a few Canadian Fords. At the time, tube axles were extremely hard to find and very popular among the hot-rodders, most of the tube axles seen on roadsters from this period were often converted Chrysler units. The wishbones were handmade and mounted on Ford truck tie rod ends, these wishbones resembled the type used on most race cars at the time. Everything removable on the front end was chromed, including axle, spring leaves, spring perches, shackles, shock absorbers, wishbones, backing plates, spindles, tie rod, drag link, spindle steering arm, shock arms, Nerf bar, headlight brackets, and grille.
The grille was hand built from round stock and chrome plated. The front and rear bumpers were hand made from steel, thickwall tubing and then chromed. The steering column was from a 1951 Ford pickup truck unit. This resulted in a very short drag link, but gets the box out of the way of the engine. Often in a car with a small engine like this, the steering is usually interfere with the left head or part of the exhaust system. The differential of the roadster carried 3.78:1 gears which coupled with the 7.00-15 tires, making a good combination for town use, not to high and not to low. Zephyr gears were used in the column shift transmission as well. Ford Houdialle shock absorbers were used all the way around. The engine in Frank’s roadster was a V8 with Weiand heads, dual Weiand manifold, Winfield cam, and a converted Zephyr dual ignition. The engine had to be set well back in the frame, which helped the handling qualities. Due to the low engine compartment, the radiator had to be cut down. To solve the cooling problem, a new radiator was made with a four inch thick core.
The body on Frank’s T roadster was completely worked over by Jack Hagemann of San Leandro, California. Jack smoothed out the body and made many additions formed by hand from sheet stock. The fenders, bellypan, instrument panel, hood, deck lid, and the panel below the deck lid was hand formed from aluminum. Pontiac taillights were set in the rear panel, in a position that was well protected by a tubular bumper. Hall Upholstery stitched up a new interior in two tone blue. The dashboard was hand-built as well, and featured seven instruments, including tachometer, speedometer, ammeter, oil pressure gauge, temperature gauge, gas gauge, and vacuum gauge. A spring steel race car type steering wheel was adapted to the Ford steering column. Once all the bodywork was done, it was painted jet black lacquer. The car was pin-striped white and blue by no other than Tommy the Greek. From Kustomrama Wikipedia

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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2014, 05:48:36 PM »
How it looked when it won in 54.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2014, 05:55:06 PM »
1955 AMBR WINNER'S RAY ANDEREGG'S 27 ROADSTER & BLACKIE GEJEIAN'S 1927 ROADSTER "FIRST TIE".
1927 Ford Model T Roadster built by Merced Valve Burners member Raymond Anderegg currently of Los Gatos, California. Raymond started this car at the age of 14 in Merced, California in 1950 by cutting the top off of a 1927 Ford Model T coupe and purchasing a 1941 Mercury for the chassis and engine. The body was channeled 4 inches and featured a suicide front end. Both doors were welded to the body. The Mercury mill featured Offenhauser heads, a Edelbrock three-pot manifold, Harmon & Collins ignition, and a twelve-pound Weber flywheel. The transmission was from a 1939 Ford. The body was painted with yellow lacquer paint and the interior was done in yellow and white.[2] The car was finally finished late 1954 just prior to Ray entering the Army. His brothers and friends entered the light yellow roadster in the Grand National Roadster Show on his behalf and were there to accept the big trophy. The win was the contests first recorded tie, as he tied with Blackie Gejeian’s 1926 Ford T. The car was featured in numerous magazines and books. It was sold in 1960, went through several owners who changed the car then finally dismantled it. Ray found the car’s body and frame in a garage in the California bay area, and rebuilt it, updating its look to a more modern street rod look complete with Porsche Guards Red paint. The car was sold to a private collection in South Carolina. A clone of the lime-gold version (1959-1962) was built by an artist/pinstriper (Von Franco) in 2000, and a version of the yellow 1955 AMBR winning roadster is being built by Ray’s relatives. FROM Kustomrama Wikipedia

Blackie Gegeian’s 1927-T, known as the Shish Kabob Special for its rotisserie show display that was used to manually flip the car, showing off the chromed undercarriage. FROM Greg Wapling

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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2014, 09:54:02 AM »
Thanks for all the great history on the GNRS Beppie! Hoping you & the family have a Merry Xmas! Thanks for posting.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2015, 09:22:44 PM »
Thanks for all the great history on the GNRS Beppie! Hoping you & the family have a Merry Xmas! Thanks for posting.
Thanks Duane.I think this is when I left the site.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #11 on: August 04, 2015, 09:31:11 PM »
1955 WINNER BLACKIE GEJEIAN'S 1927 ROADSTER FIRST JOINT WINNER.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2015, 09:41:49 PM »
1955 AMBR WINNER RAY ANDEREGG'S 27 ROADSTER FIRST JOINT WINNER.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #13 on: August 04, 2015, 09:48:17 PM »
1956 AMBR WINNER EDDIE BOSIO'S  32 FORD FIRST DEUCE TO WIN Photo by Courtesy of Jeff Freitas
WAS VIC EDELBROCK’S DEUCE

FROM Kustomrama Wikipedia
1932 Ford roadster purchased by Vic Edelbrock in 1938. Vic and Tommy Thickstun designed the Thickstun manifold in able to increase the performance of the car. Vic was unhappy with the performance and decided to design one for him self. This manifold is known as the Slingshot. The Slingshot proved to be a hit. Vic became a constant winner on the dry lakebeds with his modified roadster reaching speeds of 112 mph. Other racers were taking notice and becoming impressed with Vic’s consistent wins. The requests began to roll in for his modified parts opening the doors to his first Speed Shop.

The car was later sold to Eddie Bosio of San Francisco, California. The car had by June 1957 recieved a 1951 Ford flathead featuring lakepipes. 1941 Oldsmobile bumpers were installed, and Burbridge Plating Company of San Francisco made a curved windshield for Eddie. The gas tank supports were chromed and cycle fenders were installed. 1939 Ford taillights were installed in the rear fenders. The roadster won America’s Most Beautiful Roadster title at the 1956 National Roadster Show in Oakland, California.
The car is still around, restored to its first version. The paint was done by Darryl Hollenbeck of Vintage Color Studio, Concord, California. Was restored back to when Vic owned it by Roy Brizio Street Rods.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2015, 09:55:36 PM »
1956 AMBR WINNER EDDIE BOSIO'S  32 FORD FIRST DEUCE TO WIN.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2015, 10:00:26 PM »
1957 AMBR WINNER JERRY WOODWARD’S 29 FORD ROADSTER.
FROM Kustomrama Wikipedia
Jerry Woodward of Provo, Utah. The car, known as “Thunder Rod”, was completed in 1957. The build took two years and $5000 USD to complete. Dual headlights were fabricated from 4 inch spotlight casings and fit with 5” Jeep sealed beams. The stock grille shell was retained, the grille however was made from a chromed refrigerator tray. The entire suspension was chromed, and the wheelbase was shortened to 96 inches. To utilize maximum leg room, Jerry kicked up the front of the frame 4 inches. The rear end was Z’d 14”. A 1940 Ford dashboard was cut to fit the car. Dice motif was used on the gear shifter as well as the radio knobs. The steering column was from a Corvette. The car was powered by a 1947 Ford engine, bored 3 3/8”, and stroked 4 1/8”. C & T Automotive balanced the entire assembly. The valves got their lift from a Potvin 400 Super camshaft. Spark was provided by a Harman & Collins magneto. Once completed, the car was pinstriped by Tommy the Greek. Dean Jeffries painted a mural on the glove compartment. In 1957, Jerry won the prestigious “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” award with Thunder Rod at the Grand National Roadster Show.



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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2015, 10:13:21 PM »
1958 & 59 AMBR WINNER RICHARD PETERS ALA KART.
 
FROM Kustomrama Wikipedia
1929 Ford Midel A Pickup restyled by Barris Kustoms for Richard Peters of Fresno, California. Built expressly to win the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Trophy at Oakland Roadster Show, George Barris began the construction on Richard’s flathead powered pickup truck in 1957. Peters had raced his flatbed truck on the dirt roads around the central California farming community before he decided that it was time to make it faster and nicer. Ironically, the truck actually won the AMBR prize twice, first in 1958 and then again in 1959.
The back body section was taken from a 1927 Ford Model T Roadster. The bed was completely hand formed and fitted with handmade trim. The bed had a tonneau cover which was upholstered with rolled and pleated Naugahyde matching the interior. The taillights are a combination of 1958 Chevrolet Impala and 1956 DeSoto bezels and lenses. The hood is a three piece unit with a continuous scoop made of Reynolds aluminum. The grille shell is made of hand formed metal and tubing and houses the quad lights are from a 1957 Imperial. Aside from the hood, all body work was done in 20 gauge cold rolled steel.
The engine is a fuel injected Dodge Red Ram hemi with the Dupree chrome dome double electric fuel pump, Hunt Magneto, Isky cam, Jahns Racing pistons and Ansen rods. The rear end is from a late model Ford complete with hydraulic brakes. The emergency brake is electrically operated by switch mounted on the dash. The suspension system is all made up of 4 coil springs with adjustable air bags. Torsion bars are Traction Masters with stabilizers. The transmission is a Lincoln Zephyr unit with 3.43 rear gears. The steering wheel was taken from a Lincoln Continental and the complete dash is hand formed with S-W dials. Wheels are chrome reversed units with spun bullets and Dunlop tires.
The top is all made of steel bows and covered with black Naugahyde. The interior has split wrap-around, semi-circle seats done in white pearl Naugahyde and black velvet with chrome beading between each pleat. Carpets are Mouton Black fur. The interior was done by George’s in-house upholsterer Roy Gilbert. The electrical system is 12 volt Autolite. Underneath, the flooring and pans are upholstered to match interior.
All four fenders have been bobbed and v-pointed and completely finished on the underside the same as the top. Nerf bars and the exhaust system are chrome plated with ripple side pipes fitted on the shortened running boards. The Kart was finished off with forty coats of white diamond dust mother-of-pearl with projection scallops in Kandy Cerise and gold leaf with pin striping, all hand rubbed to to a high luster. The scallops and paint were laid by George Barris himself, while Dean Jeffries did the pinstriping. The prep and some of the masking was done by Hershel “Junior” Conway.
While George did the wild body and paint, Richard Peters and Blackie Gejeian built and chromed the chassis back in Fresno.During the build, on December 7, 1957 the Barris Shop caught fire, and fourteen cars were lost to the blaze. The Ala Kart was in a separate room, and was luckily spared from the fire. With the Oakland Roadster Show only a couple of months away, things were now in a real hurry. In order to get the interior finished Peters ended up buying Roy Gilbert new stitching equipment.
The car was shown at the ninth annual National Roadster Show, held February 15-23, 1958. Being advertised as a $15,000 hand-built pickup, Richard won the grand award, a $5,000 nine-foot gold trophy being judged as America’s Most Beautiful Roadster of 1958. The car was displayed on a filted elevation with mirrors reflecting the chrome under-carriage and white Naugahyde under-flooring.
In 1960, Peters father demanded him to sell the car so he could focus on the family’s agri-business. Barris had by then made an agreement with AMT to make a model of the car, without involving Peters. In order to rectify the deal, Peters ended up selling the car to AMT for promotional purposes.
The Ala Kart is known for being the first Show Rod that turned into a model car kit. AMT bought the Ala Kart in 1961 and the model kit was released late that year. The Ala Kart model kit sold more than 1 million kits the following year.
In order to make the car more driveable in and out of shows, the Hilborn injectors were swapped for four Stromberg 97 carburetors. In November of 1963, while the Ala-Kart was being driven by AMT’s Budd Anderson, an electrical wire shorted out and melted the plastic fuel lines which allowed gasoline from the electric fuel pump to set the engine compartment ablaze doing serious damage to the hood and leaded cowl. The February 1964 issue of Rod & Custom reported the story in an article titled “The End of the Ala-Kart”. For the next year, the winner of 2 AMBR awards and over 200 other top trophies was stored in a Detroit garage. After receiving many letters from Ala-Kart fans, AMT sent the Ala-Kart back to Barris’ North Hollywood shop for restoration, coinciding with a re-release of the kit, which was chronicled in the September through November 1965 issues of Rod & Custom. At that time Rod & Custom proclaimed it “America’s most popular Hot Rod.” In 1966 the Ala Kart was sent to a new project shop they had set up in Phoenix, Arizona. Gene Winfield was hired by AMT in order to work on their 1:1 show cars in this shop.
In 1966, AMT sold the Ala Kart to Goodyear Tire dealer Jack Shira. Jack painted his logo on the doors, and displayed the Ala Kart in the lot of his store in the hoot Phoenix sun. After a few years Jack’s shop was closed, and the car disappeared. The car changed hands several times without any major changes being made to it. Nick Vaccaro was able to track the car down and acquire the famous Ala Kart. In 1973 Vaccaro ran an ad on the back of Hot Rod Magazine offering the car for sale. Vaccaro had disassembled the Kart and stripped most of its body. He had also began to make a new chassis for the car, with a TCI frame, smallblock Chevy engine and Jaguar rear end. Nick Vacarro owned the car at until 1996.
In 1996 a restoration of the car began at the Hershel “Junior” Conway House of Color. In the fall of 2001 John Mumford acquired the Ala Kart, and brought it to Roy Brizio’s shop for a full restoration.

MORE INFO HERE.http://hotrodcraft.com/index.php?topic=117.0
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2015, 04:02:25 PM »
1960 AMBR WINNER CHUCK KRIKORIAN’S “THE EMPEROR”. The Emperor
Written by Eric Geisert

So how do stories about emperors go? Oh yeah, “Once upon a time.” Well, alrightey then. . .Once upon a time in the fertile, grape-growing region of California’s Great Central Valley, in the kingdom of Fresno, there lived a high school student with a dream. And even though he wasn’t old enough to drive, young Chuck Krikorian wanted to have his very own hot rod. To this end he procured a ‘31 Model A frame and ‘29 roadster body, and set to work. He Z’d and boxed the frame, then channeled the body a full 8 inches (a trick that in itself was more of an East Coast thing) until he came up with just the right altitude—the end goal being one fast street and strip rod. He was even building a 406-cid ‘57 Cadillac mill to facilitate his dream of conquering the quarter-mile at Kingdon Dragstrip. Then, as luck would have it, two local Fresno rodders, Blackie Gejeian and Richard Peters (the latter of which just happened to be married to Chuck’s sister), dropped by to check on the roadster’s progress. Together these two seasoned veterans of hot rodding, themselves but young men, talked Chuck into building a showcar instead of a drag racer, their reasoning being that owning and maintaining a drag car would be much more expensive than displaying at shows. And Blackie should know, as he had already won the AMBR in ‘55, and Richard was underway with a ‘29 roadster pickup that would become known as the Ala Kart, winning both the ‘58 AND ‘59 title of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster. The car, which Chuck christened the Emperor (for the type of grape that is harvested last in the season), took some four long years to build, but was ready in time for the 1960 Grand National Roadster Show, a.k.a. Oakland. Now as brother-in-law Richard had won for the last two years, he graciously pulled the Ala Kart from competition so that Chuck could have a shot at the gold, even though the two were displayed side-by-side. This poses an interesting scenario though: would the Ala Kart have won three years in a row? It’s doubtful, but we (and Chuck) will never know for sure. Nonetheless, it does make for interesting speculation.

When Chuck had done all he could do to the car, including modifying the front and rear crossmembers to bolt-ins, and fabricating a new transmission crossmember for the Zephyrs-geared ‘48 Ford trans equipped with an Ansen Posi-Shift kit (floor shift conversion), he disassembled everything, including the 3.78:1-cogged Halibrand quick-change rearend (complete with torque tube driveline and un-split wishbone) and trucked it all over to California Chrome Co. in his hometown of Fresno. A side-note is that the chroming done over 40 years ago is still in great shape—a tribute to a time when craftsmen took great pride in their work. Chuck also finished building the Cad motor; installing a Chet Herbert cam, pushrods, and lifters; Jahns pistons (making for a compression ratio of 12.50:1); and a Vertex magneto. He also installed a sextet of Stromberg 97 carbs for both looks and performance.

With both chrome work and engine building finished, Chuck then assembled the chassis, mounted the body and, following in his brother-in-law’s footsteps (when he did the Ala Kart), made it down to Lynwood, California, putting his handiwork in the capable hands of George Barris (who, in a recent conversation, recalled committing his ideas into drawings from which Chuck chose a design). And even though we have different classifications in today’s hobby, there is no doubt that both the Ala Kart and Emperor were customized rods (okay—”Kustomized”)—what else could one call them?

The car seen here is pretty much time-vault authentic with a couple of exceptions, which might be considered as modern concessions. Blackie Gejeian is not only a good friend of the original owner, but has been the caretaker of the car for some 30 years now. Blackie also knows how to restore a hot rod to era-perfect condition, down to the last refurbished, original nut-and-bolt, as witnessed by his ‘55 AMBR-winning Shish Kebab Special that was reintroduced to the public at the 50th Anniversary Grand National Roadster Show (where it was displayed with other of Blackie’s automotive treasures, including the Emperor). All but a handful thought the Special had perished back in ‘56 when Blackie’s Speed Shop went up in flames, but thanks to the tireless efforts of both Blackie and Chuck (yes, the very same Chuck) who handled body and paint, the car exists exactly as it did that fateful evening early in ‘55 when it won the big 9-foot trophy. So, any non-original touches on the Emperor do have a rhyme and a reason—after all, it IS Blackie’s car.

Going over the car today, there are some obvious differences than when it won Oakland. For starters (and reasons known only to Chuck), the original wheels and tires were sold when he put the car in storage back in the ‘60s, where it remained for years, wrapped in blankets, with WD-40 down the barrels to keep the engine from freezing up. According to Blackie, the cycle fenders were so heavy from their leaded fins that they would both vibrate and snap mounting brackets, so they were never re-installed. But never fear, as Blackie has them safely sequestered away. At the time, wide chrome rims and raised white-letter blackwalls were the rage, so they were installed to give the jaunty little roadster a more contemporary flair. And even though they too are now dated, Blackie reports they provide a smooth ride and great handling.

The chrome (which constitutes a fair share of the car’s surface area, mostly underneath) is all original and, as stated, in remarkably good shape, with the headers deeply blued as evidence that the car not only runs, but runs well. Well enough, one might add, to have done 106 mph in the quarter-mile at the old Kingdon Dragstrip with Blackie at the wheel. He set the record for Street Roadster Class that day, even though he also “broke” the motor. And this happened shortly after the win at Oakland, too.

The interior is original as well, still sporting its taut pleats and with all its buttons in place, stitched there so many years ago by Eddie Martinez. However, it was upgraded soon after the big win with carpeted kick panels, lending the cockpit a more fitted look. This fact was only discovered after comparing 1960 photos with Eric’s recent photography.

The last item of note to ponder is the paint itself. As shown at Oakland, the roadster sported a wide, Tommy the Greek beltline stripe, with horizontal teardrop flourishes on the door tops. This was unusual in itself, for even though outlined teardrops were the Greeks’ signature, they were always applied on an angle. Anyway, the additional paintwork must have been applied when the car arrived in the Bay Area, because Oakland was Tommy the Greek’s home turf. Back then, many pinstripers, including Von Dutch, would ply their trade during the running of a show, amazing onlookers with their craft. The Greek striping is now missing—when and how did it go? In conversations with both Blackie and George Barris, the mystery of the missing striping is remembered differently. George believes the stripes were removed when the car was rubbed and buffed to bring back the original paint’s luster. Blackie remembers a faulty master cylinder as the culprit, getting brake fluid on the body from the firewall back, then having George repaint it in the original color, with the nosepiece left unscathed.

For whatever the irregularities in memory of just exactly what happened and when, one thing is for sure: the Emperor still looks great in his old clothes, belying some 41-plus years as a show ‘n’ go hot rod roadster. Long live the Emperor.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2015, 04:10:33 PM »
1960 AMBR WINNER CHUCK KRIKORIAN’S “THE EMPEROR”.
It's to bad it's not wearing the same wheels & tires & fenders.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2015, 04:41:44 PM »
1961 AMBR WINNER RICH GUASCO’S 1929 ROADSTER.
Written by Greg Sharp.

It would be difficult to find someone more associated with roadsters than Rich Guasco. The old joke suggests that the perfect girlfriend for a teenager has a father who owns a chrome shop and a mother who runs a liquor store. Guasco came close: His dad owned the Santa Rita Garage, a wrecking yard in the then-rural east San Francisco Bay community of Pleasanton. A family friend named Al Stanton (whose uncle had sold the yard to Rich’s father) drove in one day in his ‘29 highboy roadster. Barely a teenager, Guasco was mesmerized, recognizing a real hot rod from similar cars he’d seen in magazines left in junked cars. Stanton told Guasco it had a ‘32 Ford frame. Young Rich knew of lots of those in the back of the property. He promptly tipped a nice five-window coupe on its side and cut off the body and fenders. No big deal; it was just another 20-year-old junker with a stock flathead. He bolted on a ‘29 roadster body and drove it around. Rich was only 13, but Pleasanton was still rural, and he knew all the cops.

By 1957, he had installed a hot flathead, a dropped axle, and red-and-white tuck-’n’-roll upholstery, and painted the car light metallic-blue. It was stylish enough to make the March ‘58 cover of a long-forgotten East Coast monthly called Speed Mechanics. It was lucky to have survived to that point, as was its young owner. During one of Rich’s prelicensed joy rides, his dad caught sight of the roadster blasting around the family home. Simultaneously, Guasco realized he had no brakes and barely squeezed between the house and another building. Dad demanded that he take it back to the wrecking yard and cut it up. He complied, sort of: Rich took it apart, but stashed the pieces all over the yard. After Dad and the dust settled, he gradually put them back together.

Besides driving the car throughout high school and racing it at Kingdon Drag Strip (he held the Valley Timing Association A/Street Roadster record at 102 mph), he showed it often and, by studying his judging sheets, steadily improved its appearance. Oakland is just over the hill from Pleasanton, and that city’s perennial America’s Most Beautiful Roadster trophy is hot rodding’s Holy Grail. In 1960, Guasco tore his rod down for yet more improvements, eying the AMBR prize. However, he was drafted before the ‘61 Grand National Roadster Show and didn’t have a chance to put it back together. While Rich served in Germany, Al Stanton and his brother, Leroy, assembled the car and set it up in the show, with Mrs. Guasco’s blessing. Thus was the 81⁄2-foot trophy accepted by a hot rodder’s mom, who proudly sent a telegram informing the soldier that he now owned America’s Most Beautiful Roadster.

The following year, Rich was back in the States to enter both the roadster and his blown-Chevy dragster. The slingshot’s slick Jack Hagemann body and pearl-orchid paint helped earn the trophy for America’s Most Beautiful Competition Car. Guasco remains the only person in the 64-year history of the Grand National Show to win both top awards.

Rich drove ever-faster gas and fuel dragsters at northern California strips through January 13, 1963, when he suffered a near-fatal accident at Fremont Dragstrip. Approaching the finish line at full speed, his trick, all-aluminum rearend shook loose from its aluminum brackets and spun between his legs. Severe injuries left him in hospitals for most of the next two years and have necessitated countless surgeries since (continuing to this day). While recovering, Rich traded the repaired dragster for an American Bantam fuel roadster that Pete Ogden was building. Guasco made the first few runs himself, but hated having to be lifted into and out of the seat. The end to a promising career came the morning that his mom—”who’d never read a sports section in her life”—happened to catch his name in a local paper “and went ballistic,” Rich recalled. “Because my folks were paying all of my hospital bills, I had to agree to quit driving.”

Friends took turns behind the wheel, but, typical of fuel altereds, the roadster was a handful. Ogden said, “Guass, that thing is pure hell—you ought to name it that.” Thus was one of the most famous and feared names in drag-racing history born. The car really came to life around 1965, after Hall of Famer Dale Emery took the wheel and set e.t. and/or mph records at every strip they ran. In the five years that Dale the Snail drove, Rich recalls being beaten only twice in class competition. (Incredibly, Guasco continued to campaign the original Pure Hell in occasional match races and exhibitions through 1992, when NHRA’s Steve Gibbs persuaded him to replace the 30-year-old pipe.)

Rich’s subsequent Pure Hell Funny Cars and a tuning career with Raymond Beadle’s Blue Max and Dan Pastorini’s Top Fueler notwithstanding, the constant was always the Model A he’d owned since the eighth grade. Rich drove it occasionally, but it was showing its age by the ‘80s. The purple paint (originally a dye) had faded until most of the silver basecoat was showing. The pearl upholstery had gone away and been dyed brown. A set of Cragar five-spoke wheels replaced the aged, chrome-reversed originals. When anticipation began building for the ‘99 50th Grand National Roadster Show and its gathering of past AMBR winners, Rich got excited about rebuilding. In a few short weeks, the cracked frame was repaired, new running gear was installed, and the body was painted bright candy-purple by Rich Valdez (Creative Images; Lodi, California). Since the rebuild, it’s been across the country twice and has racked up at least 60,000 miles. It hasn’t been babied along the way, either. Rich entered Rod & Custom’s Asphalt Ego-Rama in 2005 and was the acceleration champ, turning 12.01 seconds at 113.48 mph. The roadster was second-best in braking and tied for First in style points.

Many car builders today struggle to capture a look or an era that they never knew. Rich Guasco hasn’t had to, because he and his hot rod have been inseparable for more than six decades.
Guasco showed his car often and paid attention to the judging sheets. This shot is from the ’59 Oakland Roadster Show. Prior to political correctness, painter Joe Ortiz called this color Mexican Red (actually candy apple), set off by red-and-white upholstery. The flathead had been replaced by a 301ci Chevy (based on the stock 283 that mysteriously disappeared from the very first V8 Chevy that came into the family wrecking yard) with three twos and homebuilt headers. Chrome-reversed wheels have been constants in this hot rod’s long life.

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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2015, 04:50:19 PM »
1961 AMBR WINNER RICH GUASCO’S 1929 ROADSTER.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2015, 05:00:19 PM »
1962 AMBR WINNER GEORGE BARRIS 1927 T ROADSTER
From Street Rodder.
George Barris is thought of as a custom car builder, and indeed he is, but he’s always built hot rods as well—albeit with his special custom touch. As the story goes, George and his older brother Sam’s first automotive efforts were put towards a ‘25 Buick sedan, which they started working on before legal driving age. The dented body was banged out, bolt-on accessories were added, and the jointly owned car was painted by brush with orange and blue stripes. It was a retina-vibrating color combination to say the least, but the boys must have done something right, as it found a buyer. The proceeds of the sale were used to purchase and doll-up a ‘29 Model A Ford. The car was “customized” to the max (George hadn’t come up with the “K” word yet). It had Auburn exhaust stacks sticking through the hoodsides and, as George puts it in the book he and David Fetherston collaborated on, Barris Kustoms of the 1950s, “A slew of accessories from the local hardware store, including aerials, lights, and a mass of hood ornaments.” George relates that his first real hot rod was a Deuce highboy roadster, but ever the tinkerer, he replaced the stock windshield with the curved backlite from a later-model sedan, setting it on a rakish angle. One might wonder, “Curved windshields for hot rods 60-some years ago?” And you thought this was a recent development.

After the Barris brothers moved to Southern California from the Sacramento area (George moved first, then Sam joined him in 1945 after his discharge from the service), they opened their first honest-to-goodness shop in the city of Bell. Shortly thereafter they relocated to 7674 Compton Ave. in Los Angeles. Here, George continued to “customize” hot rods when he wasn’t working with Sam on customers’ cars. And the name of their shop? Barris’s Custom Shop, with a Body & Fender Works tag line (no “K” word yet). It was here that George built a low, full-fendered ‘29 Model A roadster with a Deuce shell. The unique thing about the car is its molded-in V’d windshield. The roadster was used for everything from basic transportation, to street, circle track, and lakes racing. There’s a great photo taken behind the Compton Ave. address in Kustoms that shows three ‘29 A roadsters parked in a row one Sunday morning in preparation for a trip to Corona Speedway. One is channeled, with the license plate inset into the rear panel and ‘39 Ford taillights added—you know, all the things one might still do today. Another sits atop Deuce rails, and the third is, of course, George’s personal car, the roadster. It’s interesting to note that the other two have V’d windshields as well.

But enough of ancient history—let’s get closer to today by moving the hands of our clock to 1959. By now, George was heavily involved in show biz rods and customs (and yes, custom was finally spelled with a “K” as it had been for several years), providing cars for movie and television productions (see Barris TV and Movie Cars by George Barris and David Fetherston). George kept busy not only with his customers (mostly car-crazed kids of Southern California’s youth culture—should I have used all “Ks” here?), but by building and renting cars to studios as well (witness the “Batmobile,” and countless others). One such car, a traditional ‘27 T roadster on Deuce rails, was George’s personal hot rod, which appeared on the Robert Young TV series, Window on Main Street. The biggest challenge was to simulate its crashing into a tree with a stunt man behind the wheel—OUCH!

George’s efforts with Richard Peters’ “Ala Kart” had earned back-to-back AMBR awards (America’s Most Beautiful Roadster) at the Grand National Roadster Show in 1958 and 1959, and 1960 brought an AMBR award for Chuck Kikorian’s ‘29 Model A roadster “Emperor” (Milestones, Mar. ‘01). This was all great stuff, but George had never scored the 9-foot AMBR trophy with a car of his own—a situation that would soon be rectified. As he already owned a TV star car, you can guess what happened next. George had the basic car, but there was a lot to do if it was to go for the gold at Oakland, so the doll-up phase began. As George was also heavily involved in photography and writing for Petersen Publishing at the time, many steps of the roadster’s transformation were documented on film, and seen on the pages of Rod & Custom, as well as Petersen’s Spotlite Series (little 25-cent technical publications). In fact, the T was used as a demo car for Metalflake painting in the ‘62 Spotlite Book, Custom Painting Techniques, authored by George Barris, where it is shown being sprayed Peacock Metalflake Green.

As its paint job was most likely the single item that had most to do with its ‘62 Oakland win, it stands to be briefly mentioned for historical reference. Metalflake was first introduced to rodders at the opening of the “Swingin’ Sixties” with Hot Rod magazine’s February ‘61 cover story. The trick was reflective paint additive (the creation of Dobeckmum, a division of Dow Chemical), which was used to paint three vehicles for the article, one of which was Dick Scritchfield’s Deuce highboy roadster (yes, the McGee roadster—see Milestones, March ‘02 for coverage of the restored car). Scritch’s rodney was painted red in a matter of speaking, by first laying down silver ‘flake, then applying a red-tinted topcoat-much as candy apple red would be applied over a silver or gold base. By this time, however, George was an old hand at applying Metalflake, having sprayed pearls and candies over a ‘flake base on his “XPAC 400” air car, which he showed at the ‘61 Grand National Roadster Show that January. This was the year previous to his win with the “Twister T.”

The Twister T was the cover car for the Petersen Spotlite Book titled Custom Upholstering, which George authored as well. Here, he showed many examples of stitchwork, having Lee Wells (who worked out of Barris Kustom City in North Hollywood) stitch the T’s door panels in Pearl White and Metalflake Green Naugahyde. Another Spotlite Book, Custom Hot Rods, showed how the expanded metal and horizontal aluminum grille insert for the car’s filled Deuce shell was formed and also how to make those nutty ripple shock covers. The January ‘63 issue of R&C had a tech story on making plywood and foam seats and headrests with a mount created from a bicycle handlebar. Later in August of 1963, R&C would conduct a road test on the roadster as well. (Editor’s Note: We realize that there are many more articles on the car we didn’t research.) In the aforementioned road test I found that George’s Sixtyized hot rod would do the standing quarter-mile at 80 mph in 17 seconds flat with its quad-carbed 270-cid Dodge Red Ram Hemi V-8. Ford hydraulic binders brought it to a stop in 202 feet during the standard 60-0-mph brake test.

Tracking the history of the Twister T was relatively simple compared to many cars with its ownership lineage. George sold the car right after winning the AMBR award in 1962-63 to Buddy Parrozo who brought the car to his home in Portland, Oregon. Buddy showed the car in 1963-64 at both Portland and Seattle area car shows before he sold it.

Here the lineage becomes a bit murky, but we know that a Ford auto dealership owner by the name of Francis Ford bought the car, circa-1966, from a used car lot that was located on 82nd Boulevard in Portland. He turned the car over to his son who quickly made some modifications, which included painting the interior black. It was in this state that Clyde Rollins of Portland, Oregon, found the car in 1968.

Clyde eventually turned the car over to his son, Bobby Rollins. Bobby is the current-day owner and, between he and his dad, has owned the car since 1968—Bobby has no intentions of ever selling the car. Bobby and Dick Dean get the credit for the fine restoration bringing the Twister T back to its former glory. (For the record, Dick worked on the car in its Barris days.) In speaking with Bobby, he tells us that while the fenders are painted, they really need to be chromed and the edges need to be repainted to be representative of their original look.

It was a real thrill to see the car again at the 50th Anniversary of the Grand National Roadster Show, held at San Francisco’s Cow Palace in 1999. I was honored to be selected as an AMBR judge at this auspicious event by the late Don Tognotti, just as I had the previous year. In this capacity I looked at the Twister T in a new light, wondering how my vote would have gone if I’d had the same prestigious assignment almost four decades earlier. Would I have cast my vote for the car? Yep—I do believe I would have, but this is coming from a guy who also had a Metalflaked car in 1961—a Peacock Blue ‘48 Ford ragtop, with a pearl white Naugahyde interior yet! So, in conclusion, the staff hopes you’ve enjoyed seeing this 40-year-old “Oakland Roadster Show” winner in STREET RODDER as much as we’ve enjoyed bringing it to you.

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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #22 on: September 18, 2015, 06:48:12 PM »
1963 AMBR WINNER LeROI TEX SMITH XR 6
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #23 on: September 18, 2015, 06:53:54 PM »
1963 AMBR WINNER LeROI TEX SMITH XR 6
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #24 on: September 18, 2015, 06:56:53 PM »
1963 AMBR WINNER LeROI TEX SMITH XR 6
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2015, 07:00:14 PM »
1963 AMBR WINNER LeROI TEX SMITH XR 6
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #26 on: December 15, 2015, 01:28:32 PM »
Saw Crackbon's 25 sitting at Sanderson headers shop.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #27 on: December 15, 2015, 01:30:17 PM »
2 more.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #28 on: December 15, 2015, 03:09:57 PM »
It's amazing to me that so many of the previous winners are still around.

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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #29 on: December 15, 2015, 04:08:48 PM »
1964 AMBR WINNER DON TOGNOTTI''S KING 'T'.
1964 AMBR award winner, the famous King T designed and built by Don Tognotti and Gene Winfield represents the 60's like no other roadster. Began in July of '62 and finished in '64, the King T has been restored with exacting standards to the original. The custom tubular frame with independent rear suspension and '51 coil springs for the front have been fully restored to the original over the top chrome presentation. The original engine, fully rebuilt and dynoed, features gleaming metal flake paint. Presented in its prime for the show circuit with Hilborn injectors, the King T is currently fitted with a Carter AFB 500 carburetor. Hydro-matic transmission shifts with linkage run through the spark and advance controls on the steering column. Interior features the period pleated and button tufted design, along with the original chest seen in display materials. Original rims re-created to duplicate the wood spoke look favored by Tognotti. Painted in Wild Pearl Lavender by Gene Winfield in 1963, Gene was asked to re-create the original paint. In 2007, Winfield flew to Seattle and painted and remembered times with the King T. Full photo documentation. The King T is famous for wild styling and over the top chroming. Also sold as a model known as Tognotti's T the Grand Sweepstakes winner at Winter Nationals Auto Fair and the Oakland Roadster Show became famous later as Hot Heaps, the Hot Wheels version of Don Tognotti's dream.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #30 on: December 15, 2015, 04:18:34 PM »
DON TOGNOTTI''S KING T COVER OF ROD & CUTOM JUNE 1964.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #31 on: December 15, 2015, 04:23:14 PM »
1964 AMBR WINNER DON TOGNOTTI''S KING 'T'.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #32 on: December 15, 2015, 06:40:34 PM »
1963 AMBR WINNER LeROI TEX SMITH XR 6

Right now I'm feeling kinda dopey for two reasons. Some how I missed this thread before, but even worse I never realized the XR-6 was metalflaked.
I know the basement floor is down there because it's holding everything up. I just can't see it anymore.

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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #33 on: December 15, 2015, 10:24:06 PM »
1963 AMBR WINNER LeROI TEX SMITH XR 6

Right now I'm feeling kinda dopey for two reasons. Some how I missed this thread before, but even worse I never realized the XR-6 was metalflaked.
Cool.I'll try to add stuff as the show is coming up.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2015, 09:20:05 PM »
1964 AMBR WINNER DON TOGNOTTI''S KING 'T'.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2015, 09:27:49 PM »
1965 AMBR WINNER CARL CASPER'S 'THE GHOST'

From Hot Rod Deluxe
Carl Casper - The King of Carriages
Written by Gerry Burger on November 15, 2013
Contributors: Gerry Ayers
 
Born into a working-class Michigan family that assembled automobiles. “It’s what you did if you lived in Flint,” Carl explains.

Winner

Carl Casper was born into a working-class Michigan family that assembled automobiles. “It’s what you did if you lived in Flint,” Carl explains. “For a brief time, I worked in the bowels of the dreaded assembly line.” Obviously, this wasn’t the career for him, but the automotive DNA ran deep.

While in high school, along with running the offense of the Flint Tech Eagles as starting quarterback, Carl took classes in pattern making, machine shop, mechanical drawing, physics, science, and high-level math. This education, combined with bodywork and engine-building skills acquired from local master craftsmen, equipped the youngster to build his first custom car while still in high school [the Exotic Empress, featured this issue —Ed.]. As Carl tells it, “I was very goal-oriented, and winning local car shows prompted me to enter my car in the first big Michigan Hot Rod Association Cobo Hall show in Detroit. When the Empress took a Best in Show, I was hooked.” From this early success sprung a string of show cars, race cars, and TV and movie cars that continues to this day.

In the early ’60s, NHRA was still producing car shows along with drag races, inspiring Casper to compete in both diverse disciplines. In 1963, he built the Undertaker as his first race car. Ironically, disappointing track performance was responsible for its huge success on the national show circuit, including Best Competition honors at NHRA’s ’63 Nationals show in Indianapolis. “I built the Undertaker to be a competitive modified roadster that would also be show-worthy,” he says, “but testing at local strips proved the car to be a real dud. My competitive nature wouldn’t allow me to campaign something that had no chance of winning, so it became strictly a show car. But the seeds were planted for more and better race cars.”

That same year saw Carl join the ranks of show producers, at the tender age of 20. He initially teamed with U.S. 30 Dragway promoter Bill Holtz to put on 20 events around the country. Later, Carl founded other major show circuits with partners including Bill Moeller, Pete Tundas, Tom Williams, and both Bob Larivees, Sr. and Jr. Somehow, he simultaneously found time to go drag racing and to design and build what he calls “crazy cars to satisfy the voracious appetite of model-car-kit fans.” You’ll recall the Popcorn Wagon, Pinball Wizard, and Paddy Wagon, among other wild creations that sold car-show tickets along with plastic models. On the subject of these “theme” cars, Carl vehemently refutes old rumors that any were not fully functional. Rather, he insists that every Casper show car not only fired but was driveable. Nor were there any rumored “hidden carburetors” inside of the Ghost’s dual blower cases.

In 1965, he won the big AMBR trophy with Casper’s Ghost and built his first Top Fuel Dragster. The Galloping Ghost I was, in Carl’s own words, “another dud,” but he’s always been a quick learner. He came roaring back with the Galloping Ghost II and the Young American, two AA/Fuelers capable of beating the best from 1969 through ’71. Asked whether he ever wanted to drive his slingshots, Carl admits, “Hey, I’m a car guy, so of course I considered it. But I’m also a smart guy, and I knew you don’t just jump into a Top Fuel car and square off with Don Garlits. I was a fairly competent driver in the lower classes, though.”

While preferring to hang behind the scenes and let his creations do the talking, Carl Casper remains amazingly active entering his 70s. “I’ve got at least five more cars lined up to build,” he states with the enthusiasm of a 20-something. A self-proclaimed “health nut” since high school, he believes that a no-smoking, no-drinking, no-drugs approach to life accounts for why he looks and acts like men 15 or 20 years his junior. Or could it be the wild world of hot rods, custom cars, and drag racing that’s kept this body and spirit so youthful? That’s the impression he left with this closing comment: “Man, I feel like I’ve been on one long joyride my whole life!”

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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2015, 09:35:28 PM »
1966 AMBR WINNER DON LOKEY'S T+II
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #37 on: December 28, 2015, 09:37:26 PM »
1966 AMBR WINNER DON LOKEY'S T+II
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2015, 07:50:29 AM »
Thanks for all the history, Beppie!  It's refreshing to see past winners cars that were actually driven and enjoyed without burning
through massive loads of money like it's done today.  Hope to see you in January! ;D

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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #39 on: December 30, 2015, 03:23:31 PM »
Thanks for all the history, Beppie!  It's refreshing to see past winners cars that were actually driven and enjoyed without burning
through massive loads of money like it's done today.  Hope to see you in January! ;D
Thanks Red.Glad you are enjoying the trip down memory lane.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #40 on: December 30, 2015, 03:41:18 PM »
1967- 1968 AMBR WINNER BOB REISNER'S INVADER

This article originally appeared in the July 1967 issue of Hot Rod.
Double-Duty Dandy
Written by Eric Rickman on January 1, 2003
Winning “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” award at the Oakland show didn’t go to its head—Bob Reisner’s twin-Pontiac “Invader” still likes to go out in the street and play with the other kids.


"Invader" can truly be called a dream car. Bob built this twin-engine beauty with two goals in mind: to win the National Roadster Show and to make the cover of HRM. He not only succeeded in his dream, but in addition, he took both the Sacramento and Fresno Car Show Sweepstakes awards, and literally stopped traffic in downtown New York and at the International Auto Show. Bob has a thing about show cars that can't be driven, and makes a point of driving his car into every show. The "Invader" is entirely Reisner's concept, from the unique rectangular steel tube mono-post frame and side-mounted engines to the independent four-wheel suspension and sleek roadster body. Take a close look and you will begin to appreciate some of the engineering problems Bob had to overcome to make his dream car actually streetworthy. The independent suspension is made up from modified Jaguar components with dual Girling coil shocks at each wheel. The twin M/T equipped Pontiacs total 800 cubes and drive the dual rearends through twin B&M stick hydros. The inboard swing axle universals are joined via torque tube to couple the Jag rearends. Each differential housing carries a pair of inboard Dunlop disc brakes, with two more up front. All chrome work's by B&W Plating. Bob solved the cooling problem with a specially built, oversize, crossflow radiator and three variable-speed, squirrel cage blowers for in-traffic cooling. Body design was executed by Skeet Kerr from from Reisner's and others' basic ideas. The aluminum shaping was done by Don Borth of Pomona, while the wooden mock-up, fitting, and assembly were done by Doug Kruse. Detailing and painting were done by Anderson of Gardena. Bob liked the finished job so well he is going into partnership with Anderson to build more wild customs. Cockpit detail includes handformed teak-wood dash with Stewart-Warner instruments, Grant steering wheel, contoured buckets, and interior upholstered in red velvet by Joe Perez of Los Angeles. Note the center console and single B&M shifter for both hydros. Windshield and side wings are safety glass by Ideal Glass of Torrance. Wide-base Cragar wheels are fitted with Goodyears fore and aft.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #41 on: December 30, 2015, 03:45:14 PM »
Colors.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #42 on: December 30, 2015, 03:53:39 PM »
IT TIED WITH JOE WILHELM'S WILD DREAM IN 68.
From Street Rodder
Written by Chris Shelton on April 16, 2015

Joe Wilhelm
Custom-car builders are notoriously superficial, given to lavish attention almost exclusively on the things visible from a car's velvet-rope barrier. For that reason Joe Wilhelm stood out. A perfectionist to his core he invested himself in details well beyond the surface. It's a work ethic that earned him the somewhat pejorative nickname "Slow" Joe.

But the time invested in a car justified itself in the finished products; Wilhelm's cars consistently won sweepstakes and in one case got his name on the America's Most Beautiful Roadster trophy. Although slightly less radical than his nearby contemporary, Bill Cushenbery, Wilhelm's work could be classified no less complex, something he proved by building that AMBR winner's body from scratch, in aluminum no less.

Wilhelm was unique in another way: his wife, Marion. She deserves the credit for not just urging him to go into business for himself but actually working on the cars herself. Together they showed the world just how mature and finished a custom car could be.

Just as Ed Roth did, Wilhelm aspired to build something along the lines of a T-bucket but entirely original. He did, only he built the "Wild Dream" from more traditional aluminum. Drivetrain parts aside Wilhelm crafted everything down to the wheel covers.

Despite his time-intensive reputation Joe Wilhelm was no less prolific. He played a part in dozens of cars and his willingness to do anything, including race cars (Jewel T AA/Altered) and street roadsters, underscores his versatility.



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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #43 on: January 11, 2016, 11:51:29 AM »
 JOE WILHELM'S 1968 AMBR WINNER WILD DREAM.
I'am thinking it's the first AMBR winner with Buick drums on it.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #44 on: January 11, 2016, 12:06:11 PM »
ART & MICKEY HIMSL'S 'ALIEN' 1969 AMBR WINNER
From Hot Rod.
By 1968, Art and Ed opened their first formal shop in downtown Concord. About that time, Art's brother, Mickey, traded off his personal C-cab to Harry Costa for a Dragmaster chassis and sedan body. According to Art, he wanted the chassis and Mickey wanted the body, so the two parceled the project out and Art assembled what he refers to as "the worst car I ever built." He fashioned a body from plywood and fiberglass and fabricated a lay-down interior. "Let's just say engineering at the time wasn't exactly what it should've been," Art says. "The top had a gray Plexiglas roof insert that everybody thought was a really slick thing, but the car needed it just so you could see where you were going!" The car debuted at the 1969 Oakland Roadster Show in a step-paneled green. "I liked the car so much that I sold it before the show was over," Art says. The buyer: Concord-area Budget Rent-A-Car franchisee Bill Roach. The car, dubbed The Alien, won the 1969 America's Most Beautiful Roadster title with the Himsl brothers listed as the owners/builders. "For that period, the car did everything it was supposed to do, but then we were still experiencing the [far-out] '60s," Art says, smiling.

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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #45 on: January 11, 2016, 12:11:08 PM »
1970 AMBR WINNER ANDY & SUE BRIZIO'S I923 'INSTANT T'.
From Hot Rod
Words from Art Himsl.
That year Andy Brizio came by the shop to talk about paint. "[Andy] won Sweepstakes a few years in a row with that Instant T, but he couldn't quite get over the top. I told him, 'Andy, I know you're a real traditional Tommy the Greek guy and the car's real beautiful, but people just walk by the car. Leave it with me for six months and I'll paint it. If you don't like it, we can paint it after the show,'" Art says. The wild pearl white base and ribbon graphics certainly did put the car over the top: It won the 1970 AMBR award. The job apparently won Andy over, too; he commissioned Art to paint his next project: a C-cab. Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham bought the C-cab and shipped it to England, where it later appeared in the film "The Song Remains the Same."

“It took three tries to win America’s Most Beautiful Roadster. You always think your car is the nicest, but we really didn’t deserve it in ’68, when it was purple, or in ’69, repainted red with Tommy the Greek’s black pinstriping. Art Himsl had already done a customer’s Instant T with ribbons and wild colors. I hated it, but everybody else seemed to like it, so I asked Art to redo mine ‘psychedelic,’ too, for the ’70 Oakland show. Painting each side differently was his idea. Art has never charged me a dime for work, in all these years. I do give him T-shirts, though. We always get stuck with some mediums at the end of a year. I bring him about 20, and I’m good for another year. Mike Mitchell’s flip-top gasser, voted American’s Most Beautiful Competition Car, is in the background. I drove the T to the first NSRA Nationals in Peoria that year to prove, again, that you could drive these cars.”



 
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #46 on: January 11, 2016, 12:54:05 PM »
1970 AMBR WINNER ANDY & SUE BRIZIO'S I923 'INSTANT T'.
When it was purple in 68 & Red in 69.
Photo's from the Brizio's.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #47 on: January 11, 2016, 12:57:35 PM »
1970 AMBR WINNER ANDY & SUE BRIZIO'S I923 'INSTANT T'.
From Andy Brizio.
“I haven’t kept a lot of stuff. I gave most of it away for some reason. Here’s the signboard we made for the ’70 Oakland show.”
Photo's from The Brizio's.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #48 on: January 16, 2016, 11:39:01 AM »
1971 AMBR WINNER LONNIE GILBERTSON'S 'T'
From Roddin' & Racin' North West
All for the Love of Street Rods & Custom Classic Cars
Posted on July 31, 2015 by Bob Collison

The gentleman’s name is none other than Mr. Lonnie L. Gilbertson, Portland’s own Mr. Master Car Designer and Builder. Lonnie came into this World way back in 1945 about the time the second World War was winding down and that makes him a cool seventy years young this year. He attended St Peters Parochial School and then on to Benson Tech High, where he took a few Machine shop courses but didn’t sign up for auto shop classes. He was already bitten by the car bug as his father owned and operated Gilbertson Machine shop and Lonnie learned all about automobiles from his favorite teacher his Dad. Lonnie will be the first to admit his life really came alive back in 1966 when he met a young lady at Scotty’s Drive-In. Her name was Candy and she was the sweetest thing Lonnie ever met. She just happened to be an employ at Scotty’s the same time our old buddy Vern Farris (Mr. Chevy Guy) was the manager there. Now both Lonnie and Vern were both super car guys back then and not all the hot rods and Custom Cars ended up at the infamous Tick-Tock Drive–In, quite a few ended up at Scotty’s for their 15 cent french fries and 21 cent cheeseburgers. Now it took Lonnie a few years and quite a few orders of French fries but he finally convinced Candy that he already new how to build a World class award winning car and the only thing missing in his life was her. So they were married over 41 years ago and together raised a super son Brian and they are now blessed with three grandchildren and one great grandchild.
We at R&R NW Publications are honored to bring you several of Lonnie and Candy’s  fantastic automobile artistic works of creative wonderment.

1923 Ford Model “T” Roadster Bucket featuring a 327 Chevy updated with Moon Intake Manifold and four Weber 48 IDA carbs, Gilbertson fabricated set of headers that terminate just in front of the rear wheels. Handmade rectangular tube frame with PSI dropped tube front axle on transverse leaf springs and homemade hubs and discs gripped H&H calipers. A ’66  Jaguar XK-E rear set-up. To keep those Englewood-shod custom wheels under the stock-looking fenders, they had to lengthen the stub axle5/8”. Lonnie credits his brother Gary, with putting in many, many hours on this, the 22nd car to carry the title of “The World’s Most Beautiful Roadster” in 1971.

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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #49 on: January 16, 2016, 11:49:52 AM »
1972 AMBR WINNER JOHN CORNO'S BUILT 2 TILT 30 FORD

1972. John Corno's radical Olds-powered, rear-engined '31 Model A Roadster takes the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award at the Oakland Roadster Show in '72. It couldn't have been more different than Lonnie Gilbertson's wild T-Bucket, winner of the AMBR in 1971(and again in '75). Corno's mostly unmodified outward appearance belies the entirely non-stock underpinnings. From the tilt up body, 4130 chromoly tube frame, acres of buffed aluminum, chrome header pipes for miles (individually muffled, BTW), and a spare tire residing under the hood, this is quite a stunning piece.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #50 on: January 23, 2016, 01:27:04 PM »
1973 AMBR WINNER CHUCK CORSELLO'S  '23 T
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2016, 01:29:14 PM »
1974 AMBR WINNER JIM VASSER'S TOURING
First touring to win.
His Son Jimmy went on to be a Cart champion.How He's a team owner.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #52 on: January 23, 2016, 01:44:21 PM »
1975 AMBR WINNER LONNIE GILBERTSON'S 'T'.
By Greg Wapling
Powered by a highly modified Chevrolet small block V-8, this striking roadster won the coveted "America Most Beautiful Roadster" award at the Oakland Roadster Show in both 1971 and 1975. One year after its last AMBR win, it competed in 29 other major events across America, taking the top prize in all but one. Its decorative side mural, candy root beer paint and earth tone upholstery are highly representative of the aesthetics of the 1970s.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #53 on: July 12, 2016, 01:25:13 AM »
1976 AMBR BOB SBARBARO'S T TOURING
Had a blown 427 Ford with Indy Car type sus.I'll have to dig up my pic's I took of it at Oakland.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #54 on: July 12, 2016, 10:17:33 AM »
1977 AMBR WINNER JIM MOLINO'S CANDY MAN.

From Street Rodder
Andy's Instant T
Written by Jim Handy  on June 23, 2005
The many faces of Andy's Instant T

How many hot rods do you suppose are truly notable cars? We're not talking about well-known cars that make the Wednesday night taco cruises; we're talking famous cars, cars that enthusiasts across the country--if not the globe--know. The truth is you could distill the thousands of hot rods and street rods into a few hundred notable ones. Now, how many of those cars are notable in more than one version? The numbers really start shrinking.

The car pictured here may not be overwhelmingly famous today, but it's notable to the mindful for several reasons, nonetheless. It's one of the first industry-available kit cars. It's one of the first T-buckets with a {{{Corvette}}} IRS. It made the rounds with several notable owners, one of which drove it across country to the second Rod & Custom Street Rod Nationals. Among its other accolades: It won the 1977 America's Most Beautiful {{{Roadster}}} award and is credited as one of the transition cars that brought the street-rod movement out of the T-bucket/resto-rod era and into the contemporary era. This is the Candyman. This is its story.

The Candyman started as Miles Foster's car. It began as one of Andy Brizio's Andy's Instant T cars--the third according to photographer Jim Handy. The car is exceptional for several reasons that marked the car before it even left Andy's shop. First, according to Roy, Andy's son, "Miles wanted to set his car apart from the rest; he saw the torsion bar frontend we did on the Volks Rods and wanted it for his car. We hadn't done it yet on a front-engine car, so his was the first." Second, Miles wanted yet another whiz-bang feature for the time: a Corvette independent rear suspension--again a first for a Brizio car. Finally, it was one of the only--if not the only--to leave Brizio's shop without a bed or turtle deck.

According to photographer Rudy Perez, Miles built the car with an exceptional amount of chrome from C&{{{M}}} plating. It originally featured a Moon fuel tank in lieu of the pickup bed, a fiberglass scoop, and 12- and 5-spoke American Racing wheels. Legendary engine builder Cub Barnett built a healthy 327ci {{{Chevrolet}}} for the bucket. It featured a 4-71 supercharger, but with a 2-inch Gilmer drive in lieu of the standard Cragar-style V-belt arrangement common to Brizio's cars, according to Roy. Like most of Andy's cars, Miles' car wore baffled Sanderson headers.

Miles commissioned famed painter Art Himsl to give the T one of his Haight-Ashbury psychedelic sprays over a pearl-white base. According to photographer Andy Southard, "Art had all of these leftover candy colors from previous jobs and he'd shoot this car with just about every one of 'em!" Of interesting note: the Himsl ribbon graphic predated the graphics on Andy's C-cab and 1970 AMBR-winning Instant T.



Miles took the car to Kenny Foster for trimming. According to Kenny Foster, Miles Foster's car was the first commission he had on his own at his AAction Auto Interiors, until late-'69, Kenny Foster trimmed for Interiors by Mack. He tufted pearl-white vinyl over heavy button-studded pleats for the seat and side panels. Miles Foster dubbed the car Expression and showed the car numerous times around the Bay Area.

Enter Bill Roach. Bill Roach's association in the car world is noteworthy for several reasons: First, Roach started a Concord Budget Rent-A-Car franchise in 1960--the first in California. Secondly, he, Sacramento Autorama founder, Harold "Baggy" Bagdasarian, and Starbird Rod & Custom founder and show promoter, Darryl Starbird, bought the Grand National Roadster Show from Al Sloanaker in 1973. Third, "I saw the car (Miles Foster's) at Harry Costas' show in San Mateo," Roach said. He bought the car sometime after the '70 GNRS and "at the time, it was painted all psychedelic and I didn't care for that look," he said. So he tore the car apart.

Roach sent the body back over to Kenny Foster for a rakish top. The top stood out for two reasons: it was a fully padded and had a lined top with a patterned rear window (three elongated diamonds). Then, according to Art Himsl, "Bill came to me and wanted the car gold with some orange flames on it," he said. "The car came without any fenders," Roach said, "so my father (Dale) made all the brackets and mounted the fenders to the car--the ones on there today. He also made the grille for the hood scoop."

Roach used the T for more than just a show car. "When my boy (Bill Roach III) was about 12 or so, we drove the T from the Bay Area to Memphis for the Street Rod Nationals (the 1971 event). I remember the car had a 10-gallon tank in it. It would go {{{100}}} miles--period! It would get anywhere within 100 miles but would die at 101. We had more fun on that trip than any other time that I can remember!"

The car under Bill Roach's stewardship appeared in the September 1972 Rod Action. The car's cowl-to-radiator section later appeared in Rod & Custom (Jan. '74) in a story titled "Buckets Full o' Miracles." The notable features on the car included the car's title on its cowl: Budget Mobile--a reference to Bill's Concord-based Budget Rent-A-Car enterprise.

Bill then sold the car to Northern California Harley-Davidson dealer, Bob Dron. Dron, a hardcore enthusiast and self-proclaimed finder of weak links, proceeded to, as he put it, "tear the hell out of the car." "I'm not scared of my vehicles; people who want to find the flaw in something will give it to me," he said. Dron found the Budget Mobile's weak link in the Sacramento delta soon after he purchased it. "It was a combination of that blown small-block and big tires and me doing burnouts; a Heim joint on the rear radius rod broke. I found a cable at a local parts store, wrapped it around the axle and crossmember, and proceeded to drive the car home about 40 miles. It was fine under power but it got real weird feeling when you got off the gas."

Dron, who admitted he wasn't a real T-bucket fan, remembers horse-trading the car for "a real cherry" '51 {{{Mercury}}} and some cash, thereby ending his brief but adrenaline-fueled affair with the Budget Mobile.

Now, at this point, the car's history gets really shaky. A 1973 San Mateo Auto Show photo shows the car with Tom Baggaley, Jr.'s name associated with it. Everything looks identical about the car, but the new owner painted over the Budget Mobile script with a desert landscape scene. The show plaque identifies the car as Ecstasy. Two photos from the 1974 and 1975 Grand National Roadster Show display the car with a blue plaque with what appears to be T Pieri from Alameda.

Somewhere between the 1975 and 1976 GNRS events, Pleasant Hill, California's Jim Molino bought the car for, according to Molino, $1,500. Molino, whose family ran a foodservice company, said, "I wanted to get into the show circuit, so we blew the car entirely apart." Among other things, Molino and his crew removed the spun aluminum tank and bonded a pickup bed to the body. He commissioned Art Himsl and Mike Hass to paint the car a candy red. But that wasn't all. According to Jim, Art's wife Ellen designed and painted a swarthy looking and handlebar mustachioed candyman on the bucket's doors, hence the Candyman moniker. Molino once again commissioned Kenny Foster to freshen up the car's interior and top.

The new top design used a three-porthole rear window design and a triangular Plexiglas panel in the top. Molino also replaced the rear wheels with wide Zenith wires and the fronts with skinny spindle-mount wires and simple disc brakes. At this point, Molino showed the car with the skinny front fenders. Molino then campaigned Candyman in the 1976 show circuit. While it did well by some standards, it didn't get the recognition he thought it deserved. So, at the end of the season, Molino decided to take the car to another level and to compete in the IASCA circuit. "We blew the car completely apart again," Jim says. This time, however, he went even deeper. Molino commissioned {{{Sprint}}} Car chassis builder, Chuck Delu, to "start with a fresh chassis," Molino said. This is a notable note since the new chassis mimicked the original chassis right down to the torsion-bar springs Denny Craig set up the original Brizio chassis with. Furthermore, Molino ground the engine and molded it completely smooth.

What came after the grinding session wowed the masses. Molino commissioned engraver, Rudy Pena, to tool just about anything that didn't wear paint on the car. His scrollwork and flourishes adorned everything from the blower pulleys to the valve covers to the battery tray and missed little in between. The freshly engraved pieces, the ground cylinder heads, and all the rest of the brightwork went to Walker's Custom Chrome in Vacaville for a silvery bath.

Jim contacted Art Himsl once again, but apparently Art's schedule wouldn't accommodate the job. So Jim commissioned Mike Farley and Bobby Martinez to shoot the car a pearl yellow with an elaborate graphic design overlay. For the third time, Kenny Foster once again refreshed the interior.

As for the engine, Walnut Creek, California's {{{Morgan}}} Machine and Marine freshened up the internals, the chromed heads went on, and the Sanderson headers made way for something more Sprint Car-inspired. Yet, more pearl-yellow paint and contrasting pinstriping dressed the block.

Furthermore, a wider set of Zenith wire wheels and 5.00-15 Goodyear hides replaced the spindle-mounted wire wheels up front. As you'd suspect, even Eddie Miller's Edco magnesium calipers bore the mark of the polisher. More double throw-down trick goodies included all AN fittings, stainless, braided Teflon lines, and not one onboard fire systems, but two.

The show world loves double throw-down tricks, and the car proved to be a smash hit on the road. Not that it mattered, really; the car proved its merit by winning America's Most Beautiful Roadster 1977 at the Grand National Roadster Show. That year, Molino campaigned the car under the Candyman banner in the ISCA circuit and won the International Show Car Association (ISCA) national points championship for 1977 as well--a first for a West Coast car.

Magazines, such as 1001 Custom & Rod Ideas (Jun. '77) described Candyman in superlatives and touted it as "overwhelming to even the saltiest, most seasoned rodding veterans," and "once seen, never forgotten." These are not terribly surprising accolades for a car with a claimed 30,000 1977 dollars in it. Then the inevitable eventually happened--Molino got an offer to sell the car in Kansas City.

Missouri Car dealer and Bill Roach friend, Lee Gunther, offered big cash to Molino for the Candyman. But when Molino showed up, "he (Gunther) wanted the truck and trailer, too!" Molino said. So, he parted with Candyman and the rig for some cold, hard cash and a new {{{Lincoln Continental}}} Mark V.

Gunther didn't sit on the car long; he turned the car onto another buyer. Then, as car dealings went in the late-'70s, things got shaky. As it turned out, Candyman's new owner had something going with Corvettes, and when his bank audited him and couldn't account for one of the cars, they sunk their figurative teeth in. Through some chain of events, the bank contacted Bill Roach to peddle the car for them.

The car eventually sold to Northern California's Arnold Link. According to builder and detailer Joe Bullock, Link rolled the car into climate-controlled storage in 1979. There it sat until late-'03, when Link decided to divest himself of the car and had Bullock freshen it up. The car went for sale online at Hot Rod Classifieds and the word went out. It wasn't out too long when Blackie Gejeian, Fresno Autorama promoter and owner of no less than four of America's Most Beautiful Roadsters (including his own 1955 winner), caught wind of the deal at the Oakland Rod & Custom show in 2004. He pursued the seller and secured the car quickly enough to display it with his AMBR entourage at the Detroit Autorama in February 2004. The car now rests with its famed brethren in Blackie's Fresno collection.

Remember the exercise on noteworthiness we began our journey on? Well, let's revisit it. Here's a car that's a first in many ways, lived three notable versions--one famous--with no less than four notable owners, and helped transform an automotive movement. When viewed in a narrow scope of time, it seems the Candyman didn't live up to its unforgettable status. On the other hand, Candyman is back, albeit in a historical perspective. With the attention and promotion it's bound to get in its new life, we're sure we won't get the opportunity to forget about the Candyman again.


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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #55 on: July 12, 2016, 10:25:04 AM »
1977 AMBR WINNER JIM MOLINO'S CANDY MAN.
From Street Rodder
 The Andys Instant headlight stands date all the way back to Miles Foster. According to Roy Brizio, We liked to set our cars up with 27 lights on our stands, but a few guys liked that 23 headlight with its own stand on our stand, which tended to move em way out.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #56 on: July 12, 2016, 10:26:40 AM »
1977 AMBR WINNER JIM MOLINO'S CANDY MAN.
From Street Rodder
The Cub Barnett-built engine survived the cars transitions, but not without a few modifications. First, Morgan Machine and Marine freshened it up for its Molino build. Secondly, Jim Molino ground and molded the entire block and heads. The heads then took a bath at Walkers Custom Chrome for a distinctive touch. Big question: Do you think they retained a little heat?
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #57 on: July 12, 2016, 10:28:42 AM »
1977 AMBR WINNER JIM MOLINO'S CANDY MAN.
From Street Rodder
Per Miles Fosters request, Denny Craig and Andy Brizio adapted the Volks Rods front torsion spring assembly to the front-engined car--a first for Brizios cars. Chuck Delu later worked on this chassis, yet it still retains its Brizio heritage.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #58 on: July 12, 2016, 10:30:28 AM »
1977 AMBR WINNER JIM MOLINO'S CANDY MAN.
From Street Rodder
 As commonplace as independent rearends are today, they werent in 1969. As a result, Miles Foster probably wanted to show off his cars rearend--more than likely the reason he left the bed off the car. Those taillights are T-bucket cowl lamps with 50 Olds taillight lenses--shades of Andys cars for sure.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #59 on: July 12, 2016, 10:32:06 AM »
1977 AMBR WINNER JIM MOLINO'S CANDY MAN.
From Street Rodder
As if the plating wasnt enough, consider that noted lowrider, bike, and custom engraver, Rudy Pena, carved on just about everything on the car--even the battery box.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #60 on: July 12, 2016, 10:35:46 AM »
1977 AMBR WINNER JIM MOLINO'S CANDY MAN.
From Street Rodder
How bout a new old-stock 28-year-old interior? According to Jim Molino, Kenny Foster did this interior not just once, but three times: once for Miles Foster, another time for Jims first Candyman, and the show-winning Candyman.

While most of this car changed over the years and builds, a few things havent, such as this dash and gauge set. The Stewart-Warner odometer shows some 8,488 miles--more than likely a number of miles from Miles Foster, a bunch of miles from Bill Roach, and a few hard-earned miles by Bob Dron.

Candyman ran a 400 against its healthy, blown 327 ci. This center console underwent the Rudy Pena etching. The knob ahead of the shifter knob activates the Halon dual extinguisher system.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #61 on: July 12, 2016, 05:04:47 PM »
That was one exceptionally detailed bucket.............what a milestone!
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #62 on: July 15, 2016, 01:56:53 PM »
That was one exceptionally detailed bucket.............what a milestone!
Last time I saw it, it was sitting in Jims Junk Yard.Dusty,But all there.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #63 on: July 21, 2016, 10:27:44 PM »
1978 AMBR WINNER PHIL COOL'S  DEUCE ROADSTER.
From Hot Rod
Written by Hot Rod Magazine Staff  on August 20, 2013

Contributors: David Freiburger, Gray Baskerville, Hot Rod Archives

America's Most Bitchin' Roadster

We’ve always found it ironic that the July ’78 cover, featuring Phil Cool’s ’32 Ford roadster carried the main blurb, “Kit Cars, Street Rods & Mean Machines.” The irony was in the fact that the Deuce was the anti-kit-car and the anti-street-rod. Maybe it was a mean machine. The car revealed the new face of overpowered hot rodding with its daring, blown big-block Chevy and those incredible Goodyear drag meats. Amidst gas woes, trailer queens with empty blower cases, and complicated show builds, Phil Cool’s ’32 was unapologetically simple and hardly a wallflower in traffic-cone-orange paint. The car won the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award for 1978. Today, it’s owned by Shirley Meland, who’s maintained its original glory.
The Phil Cool roadster was the inspiration for a ’32 Ford project called the Roaster that HOT ROD started in 2004 but abandoned after the magazine was drastically redesigned that year. The Roaster was finished by Keith and Tonya Turk, partners in the Bonneville Camaro often seen in HOT ROD in the 2000s. Tonya uses it to show real estate in Alabama.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #64 on: July 21, 2016, 10:29:32 PM »
1978 AMBR WINNER PHIL COOL'S  DEUCE ROADSTER.
When it won in Oakland.
For me it was the Hot Rod that put the "Hot" back into Hot Rod's.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #65 on: July 21, 2016, 10:34:46 PM »
1978 AMBR WINNER PHIL COOL'S  DEUCE ROADSTER.
1 of the 75.http://hotrodcraft.com/index.php?topic=1388.0
A few from the show.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #66 on: July 22, 2016, 05:44:03 PM »
Definitely brought back the attitude!
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #67 on: April 10, 2017, 09:22:50 PM »
Almost a yr.
1979 AMBR WINNER BRIAN BURNETT'S "DEUCARI".
Built by Magoo
Was also 1 of the 75'
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #68 on: April 17, 2017, 02:53:41 PM »
1980 AMBR WINNER JOHN CORNO'S ROADSTER
Built by Lil John.
 
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #69 on: April 28, 2017, 07:45:36 PM »
1981 AMBR WINNER JOHN SIROONIAN'S DEUCE ROADSTER
John Siroonian acquired this Roadster in the late '70s.  Before that it had been rodded and raced way back into the 1950s. Siroonian gave instructions to Don Thelen's "Buffalo Motor Cars" to build him a show winner, and that's exactly what he got, then in 1981, the car won AMBR at the Oakland Roadster Show. It was a distinctive car with its smoothed body and chopped screen, made all the more so by the Candy Apple Red paintwork and unusual choice of Gurney-Weslake heads atop the small-block Ford V8.
Was the C&T Automotive Roadster.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #70 on: May 14, 2017, 12:30:36 AM »
1982 AMBR WINNER JAMIE MUSSLMAN'S 33 ROADSTER
It was equipped with a double A-arm from a suspension that was built by John Buttera and billet rims.
The first Boyd Coddington winner.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #71 on: May 14, 2017, 12:44:53 AM »
1982 AMBR WINNER JAMIE MUSSLMAN'S 33 ROADSTER
In black.
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Re: GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW -HISTORY & AMBR WINNER'S
« Reply #72 on: July 09, 2017, 09:45:55 PM »
1983 AMBR WINNER CHUCK LOMBARDO'S DEUCE ROADSTER
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