In the world of rodding there’re signature events such as the NSRA Street Rod Nationals, Goodguys Columbus Nationals, Woodward Dream Cruise, Back to the 50’s, and many others. Each is known for some aspect that attracts rodders to one or all of the events. The Hot Rod Roundup, which celebrated its 34th year hosted by the Shades of the Past Car Club from Maryville, Tennessee, has long been a favorite among southern rodders, this year attracting 2,392 participants to Dollywood’s Splash Country.
You know the saying, “All good things in time.” Such is the case with the 34th Hot Rod Reunion, while very successful for decades it has undergone a few subtle and not-so subtle changes over its recent history that include expanding the years of coverage from pre 1949 now upwards of 1972; location has settled nicely at Dollywood’s Splash Country (and it looks like the event will be here for years to come), and the latest, the home of the Triple Crown of Rodding. For all of the change some things didn’t! History says Shades will occur the first weekend after Labor Day (Sept. 8-9, 2017) and there will be the Top 25 and the Fabulous Five along with a long list of specialty awards, which includes the Ford Performance Best Ford in a Ford. The event has one of the largest, if not the largest 50/50 drawing in the hot rod world, at $49,010 in 2016. There’s also the giveaway car built each year by Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop with the 2016 winner Bruce Decker out of Nokesville, Virginia, taking home the 1932 Ford highboy roadster. There’s also the yearly giveaway of $10,000 to a registered participant who is present with his car, and this year Edward Butler of Colbert, Georgia, fattened his wallet. To this there’s the large contingent of exhibitors topping 150 and an additional 600-plus swap spaces. It truly is a “Bell of the South” event. In the world of rodding a two-day event is a rarity or at least it used to be as we see this trend continuing. Shades holds its event on a Friday and Saturday leaving Sunday for those who have to travel.
Rodders have come to expect a certain level of hot rods in attendance, with the keynote awards being the Top 25 topped with the Fabulous Five. (It was announced that the Fabulous Five would now become the Magnificent Seven. According to Shades members there were just too many great hot rods present, with more cars that really deserve the recognition.)
Whether it be a street rod, street cruiser, or a street machine Shades is known as the place to see the best of the best. It has always been an honor to be among the Top 25 at Shades. It was from this that the Shades Car Club, spearheaded by Bobby Alloway and several rodding notables (Rick Love of Vintage Air, John McLeod of Classic Instruments, and Steve Tracy of Advanced Plating), decided it was time to come up with an award that really recognized not only the car and its owner but the builder as well.
To pull this off three distinctive trophies were designed with this monumental task undertaken by Tom Gale (Retired) Executive Vice Principal of Design for Chrysler who graciously gave of his time and immense talent. The construction and assembly of the trophies was aptly handled by Classic Instruments and Advanced Plating. The Street Rodder Triple Crown of Rodding, presented by Painless Performance Products, is three individual but equal awards provided to the Best Street Rod, Best Street Machine, and Best Street Cruiser. Each of the three winning car owners will receive a $5,000 check from STREET RODDER and a $1,000 gift certificate from each of the companies who have supported this event. Industry leaders such as PPG, ARP, Art Morrison Enterprises, Wilwood, along with the TCR founding companies Vintage Air, Classic Instruments, and Advanced Plating all stepped up to support the owners and builders of these amazing rides. Vintage Air also provided beautiful plaques for the builders of each of these cars.
The key to this recognition comes from not only the event but also the much-needed additional publicity the winners receive from STREET RODDER magazine, whether it’s in print (cover and inside multi-page features), online, or through an ever-expanding social media campaign. Scheduled personal appearances took place at the 2016 SEMA show and will take place at the 2017 Detroit Autorama as part of the STREET RODDER booth, which is located on the main floor just inside the front doors.
The Top 25 was filled with notable cars seen throughout the year at both indoor and outdoor events. Here’s a listing of the Top 25: Jeff Romig with his 1936 Ford, Mike Goldman with his 1965 Buick, Wes Rydell with his 1940 Buick, Jack Shepard with his 1961 Vette, Ike Taylor with his 1968 Mustang, Mike Turcich with his 1937 Woodie, Jay Allison 1946 Chrysler, Larry Olson with his 1933 Ford Vicky, Bob Johnson with his 1934 Ford coupe, Paul Atkins with his 1962 Vette, Larry Henderson 1932 Ford Vicky, Tom Demrossky with his 1967 Chevelle, Fred Treadway with his 1967 Chevelle, Jerry Holbrook with his 1953 pickup, Mike Waiton with his 1956 Ford, Jason Graham with his 1940 Mercury, David Floyd with his 1932 Ford, John Rogers with his 1950 Caddy, Jerry Rice with his 1961 Chevy, Dustin Foust 1955 pickup, Joe Horisk with his 1961 Chevy wagon, Howard Groff with his 1962 Chevy Impala, Casey Hornik with his 1970 ‘Cuda, Tim Spencer with his 1969 Mustang, and Paul Gilliam with his 1953 Studebaker.
From this grouping of 25 came the three that would take home the newest award in the world of hot rodding … the STREET RODDER Triple Crown of Rodding Presented by Painless Performance and sponsored by Vintage Air, Classic Instruments, Advanced Plating, PPG, ARP, Wilwood Engineering, and Art Morrison Enterprises.
Wes Rydell drove in with his 1940 Olds sedan built at Rad Rides by Troy and drove out with the first-ever TCR Best Street Rod. Next up was Casey Hornik who brought his 1970 ‘Cuda and took home the TCR Best Street Machine award. Rounding out the Triple Crown of Rodding was Paul Gilliam with his 1953 Studebaker built at Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop for Best Street Cruiser.
The Triple Crown of Rodding is represented by three distinct trophies (pictured is Best Street Rod). Best Street Rod was won by Wes Rydell for his 1940 Olds sedan built by Rad Rides by Troy by Troy. Best Street Machine was won by Casey Hornik for his 1970 ‘Cuda built by Z Rodz and Customs. Lastly, Best Street Cruiser was won by Paul Gilliam for his 1953 Studebaker built by Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop. (Trophy design by Tom Gale.)
Best Ford in a Ford
1969 Mustang Wins
When Tim Spencer of Pelham, Alabama, decided to build his latest hot rod he knew it would be based on a Ford product. You see there really was no choice since Tim’s dad was a longtime Ford mechanic so the Blue Oval DNA runs deep. Tim was always a Mustang guy so it was only natural that his next project would be a 1969 Mustang. It didn’t take long for Tim to collaborate with the team at Goolsby Customs in Hueytown, Alabama. The concept was simple; build this Mustang as if Ford was building it with the technology available today. That would include enhanced suspension, modern driveline and a series of subtle yet effective body modifications.
The front suspension was the first thing to go with the 47-year-old suspension being replaced by a complete Detroit Speed Aluma-frame. The rear suspension was also sourced from Detroit Speed, this time using the Detroit Speed Quadra-Link system. Big Baer brakes are found on all four corners and rolling stock consists of Nutek wheels that measure 19×10 up front and 20×12 on the rear wrapped with Michelin rubber sized 265/30-19 and 305/30-20, front and rear respectively. With the chassis set up to handle modern power, a brand-new 5.0L Coyote crate motor was hooked to a Getrag six-speed and transplanted into the Mustang. The chassis and powertrain was now thoroughly modern, resulting in power and handling far surpassing the original 1969 offerings.
Next attention was turned to the body. The 1969 Mustang is an exceedingly good looking car in stock form. That means any modifications must be excellent design and flawless execution. There was no need for big, sweeping changes to the original design, rather team Goolsby focused on simplifying the car and adding modern textures and styling accents. The rear of the car is a study in sanitary modifications. From the form-fitted bumper to the flush exhaust ports the look is still pure Mustang yet obviously improved. The rear pan holding the exhaust ports extends around the corner to add depth the quarter-panels behind the rear wheels. Advanced Plating handled the brushed chrome finish that provides a modern touch in metal finishing.
The subtle modifications continue with machined inserts in the front fenders and the tops of the quarter-panels. Once again the combination of polished and brushed chrome plating accents the machined inserts. The original door handles have been replaced with handles that are shaped to echo the center bar of the machined inserts. The rain gutters have been shaved, completing the smooth profile. From the front the spirit of the 1969 Mustang remains but once again is has been cleaned up. The bumper is brushed chrome and tucked tight to the body. A custom chin spoiler completes the aggressive look. When the body was super straight and the panel gaps fitted to perfection, the body was covered in a color simply called Goolsby Gray. A matte Mach I–style graphic graces the hood and decklid, once again providing the perfect understated contrast. Since the Mustang flavor was so strong there was no need to leave any of the factory emblems on the car, the only emblems simply say GT.
The last step in completing the transformation was finishing the interior. A Bowler shifter mixes the gears as it protrudes through a custom console. The dash is filled with Classic Instruments and Vintage Air makes a cool car cooler. Bucket seats are covered in black leather with red base all stitching. Custom aluminum panels grace the dash and door panels and aluminum pedal covers provide a performance vibe. With the car completed there was only one thing left to do-drive! And to that end Tim Spencer has been wheeling this high-performance Mustang and enjoying every mile. Those miles are a bit limited right now as the car is scheduled to show at SEMA this year, but after that commitment is met the plan is the rack up lots of miles on a Mustang with vintage flavor and modern performance.
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