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Street Rod of the Year! Street Rodder’s Top Pick for 2018 Plus 10 Runners-Up

And the winner is...

© Gerry Burger,Rob Fortier

From Hot Rod Network

And the winner is Bob Florine's 1957 Ford Del Rio Ranch Wagon.

Award winners in the 2018 STREET RODDER Top 100 program, sponsored by Painless Performance Products, were selected at Cruisin' The Coast 2017, Grand National Roadster Show, Sacramento Autorama, Detroit Autorama, Back to the 50's, Syracuse Nationals, NSRA Street Rod Nationals (outdoor), NSRA Street Rod Nationals (indoor), Hot August Nights, and the Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals. From those 100 vehicles, we selected Bob's completely custom 1957 Ford wagon as the 2018 Street Rod of the Year, along with 10 runners-up.

1957 Ford Del Rio Ranch Wagon | Bob Florine | Ventura, CA

© Gerry Burger,Rob Fortier   001-Street-of-the-year-winner-1957-Ford-Del-Rio-Ranch-Wagon

STREET RODDER had been monitoring the progress on Bob Florine's remarkable wagon since its early stages and gave it a Top 100 pick at the Grand National Roadster Show. Steve Strope and his crew at Pure Vision in Simi Valley, California, handled the overall creation, starting with Steve Stanford's concept artwork. Mick Jenkins handled much of the sheetmetal modification, bodywork, and paintwork. The numerous exterior mods include lengthened doors and slanted B-pillars, and a 1959 Thunderbird hood scoop. The raised rear wheel openings show off custom Billet Specialties wheels. The two-tone paint combines PPG Ferrari Avorio and Aston Martin Bridgewater Bronze.

A mandrel-bent frame forms the platform for the Art Morrison Enterprises custom chassis, which uses C6 ZR1-based IFS components. The rear features a Speedway Engineering 9-inch with Mike Maier rear torque arms and JRI coilovers.

Bob fulfilled his wish for a shotgun engine with a 700-plus horsepower Jon Kaase Racing Boss9 stroker engine topped with a Borla eight-stack injection system with a FAST controller. The Hughes Performance 4L80E transmission uses a Gear Vendors under/overdrive unit.

Gabe Lopez at Gabe's Street Rod Custom Interiors covered the insides with two-tone Italian leather with woven leather seat inserts. A custom-built Redline Gauge Works instrument cluster fills the dash. The upper dash speaker grille lifts to reveal a Bluetooth-equipped iPad.

Congratulations to Bob Florine and Steve Strope at Pure Vision for this amazing 1957 Ford wagon, our 2018 Street Rod of the Year. Read more details and see more than 50 photos at https:

1933 Ford Coupe | Dennis Mariani Jr. | Oakland, CA

© Gerry Burger,Rob Fortier   005-Street-of-the-year-winner-1933-Ford-Coupe.jpg

The Mariani Brothers coupe, built by Steve Moal of Moal Coachbuilders in Oakland, California, is another Top 100 winner from the Grand National Roadster Show. Dennis Mariani Jr. wanted a high-end, classy, street driven coupe to reflect the look of the land speed cars he and his family have raced on the salt flats. The track nose, 3-1/2-inch chopped top, belly pans, PPG British Racing Green paint, hand-formed aluminum four-piece hood, and other elements accomplish that. A Hilborn EFI setup feeds the Dart aluminum Chevy small-block with Hilborn injection, based on a Panella Racing block. A Legend five-speed transmission delivers torque to the quick-change rear. A Moal torsion-bar suspension was built on the stock Ford frame, beefed up with tubular crossmembers. Moal custom knockoff caps distinguish the Stockton Wheel steelies with Excelsior tires. Sid Chavers stitched the beige and oxblood leather interior. For more photos and video of this car, visit https:

1957 Chevy Bel Air Two-Door Hardtop | Charles Baxley | Beech Island, SC

© Gerry Burger,Rob Fortier   006-Street-of-the-year-winner-1957-Chevy-Bel-Air.jpg

STREET RODDER's Top 100 list for 2018 includes a whopping 20 Tri-Five Chevys, 10 of which were selected at the Danchuk Tri-Five Nationals (of course). This patent-leather black 1957 Bel Air was one of our favorites from Beech Bend Raceway, but was also selected by event judges as the Tri Five of the Year. Charles Baxley kept the exterior mods appropriately mild, saving the custom stuff for the rest of the car. The car rides on an Art Morrison Enterprises front suspension and a four-link and coilovers in the rear suspending a Ford 9-inch. The 18- and 20-inch Knuckle five-spoke wheels are from Billet Specialites' Vintage series. A modified Chevy LS2 engine is backed by a 4L60E transmission. The superclean, mega-red interior includes modern bucket seats, and a contemporary redesign of a classic 1955 dash, filled with Dakota Digital analog gauges and vents for the Vintage Air A/C system.

1947 Cadillac Series 62 | Kevin Anderson | Indianapolis, IN

© Gerry Burger,Rob Fortier   007-Street-of-the-year-winner-1947-Cadillac-Series-62.jpg

Kevin Anderson's Crystal Cadillac knocked us out at the Detroit Autorama. Originally a four-door sedan, it moved from a Minneapolis museum to Gas Axe Garage in Allendale, Michigan, where Mike Boerema converted it to a coupe with 48-inch doors. A 5-inch chop and airbag suspension brings things low. The sedan windshield was reshaped to look like a convertible, with a Haartz cloth Carson-style top completing the look. Chromed sombrero hubcaps and wide whitewalls fill the front fenders; rear fender skirts are lowered and filled. Gary Brown at Brown's Metal Mods sprayed the paint. The leather upholstery, contrasted by authentic '40s Cadillac fabric inserts, was designed by Kevin and installed by Joe Bukrey at Buckskinz in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Door garnish moldings wear polished Crystal Cadillac badges. The original 47,000-mile 346 Cadillac flathead is backed by the original transmission. See more at https:

1962 Ford Galaxie Convertible | Gary Gregory/Fred Graefe | Stewartstown, PA

© Gerry Burger,Rob Fortier   008-Street-of-the-year-winner-1962-Ford-Galaxie-Convertible.jpg

Our 2017 SROY came from the indoor display cars at the NSRA Street Rod Nationals. In 2018, two of our runners-up were discovered outside. This 1962 Ford Galaxie convertible came from the factory with superclean lines that make a perfect platform for hot rodding. The transformation from factory to Top 100 winner took place in Stewartstown, Pennsylvania, home of Lucky 7 Rod Shop. The Axalta charcoal paint is contrasted by the cloth top and the modern front and rear bucket seats upholstered in burgundy leather. Gary and Fred chose Billet Specialties 18x8 and 20x10 wheels to complete the outer impression. Underhood the engine compartment is stuffed with a dual-turbocharged 5.0L Ford Coyote built to unleash close to 700 hp and backed by a 6R80 six-speed. Chassis goodies include the QA1 shocks at each corner and RideTech rear suspension parts. For more photos, visit

1932 Ford Coupe | Bret Sukert | Montesano, WA

© Gerry Burger,Rob Fortier   009-Street-of-the-year-winner-1932-Ford-Coupe.jpg

Bret Sukert's '60s-style 1932 three-window coupe got our attention as soon as we entered the Suede Palace. This traditional hot rod is homebuilt from an unmodified original steel body bought from well-known rodder Dick Page. Foss' Hot Rods handled body and paint chores before Mitch Kim stepped forward to add all that pinstriping. The suspension includes a dropped axle and transverse leafs in front and quarter ellipticals in back, built on a Deuce frame. The Chevy 350 small-block is topped with a Weiand manifold and 1965-1966 GTO air cleaner. Interior elements include Mopar van seats with white tuck 'n' roll upholstery, an N.O.S. Grant wheel, a restored Ha Dees heater, and Stewart-Warner blue face gauges (it took 50 gauges to get eight that matched). The coupe left the Suede Palace with the Best of Show award as well as a Top 100 pick. See more photos at https:

1962 Chevy Impala | Jesse Lindberg | Redding, CA

© Gerry Burger,Rob Fortier   010-Street-of-the-year-winner-1962-Chevy-Impala.jpg

At the Sacramento Autorama, Scott Bonowski (who'd won the America's Most Beautiful Roadster award a month before) insisted that we take a close look at Jesse Lindberg's Impala. Jesse found the car in pieces, scattered all over, and built it at his automotive repair shop. He competes in Sound Quality contests, but the high-end audio system is only one of many impressive parts. Two-tone gold and green paint finish a body modified with subtle mods. Raceline 19- and 20-inch wheels fill the fenders. A carbureted Chevy Vortec 350 engine and 700-R4 trans move the Impala down the street, with airbags and CPP shocks ironing out the ride. Inside, tan leather upholstery is paired with vintage cloth inserts. The top-shelf stereo components hidden in the trunk are heard but not seen. We'll have a full article in a future issue. For now, check out https: for a few more photos.

1934 Ford Pickup | Danielle Lutz | Moscow, PA

© Gerry Burger,Rob Fortier   011-Street-of-the-year-winner-1934-Ford-Pickup.jpg

Danielle Lutz’s channeled and chopped hot rod pickup, built by Jason Graham Hot Rods in Portland, Tennessee, earned its Top 100 pick at its Detroit Autorama debut. Jason treated the truck cab to a 1-1/2-inch stretch and 4-1/2-inch chop with slanted A-pillars—and added flush-fit doors, a custom hood, grille insert, and bed sides—before spraying the traditional Washington Blue paint. The chassis is traditional too, with a straight axle, front and rear split wishbones, quarter-elliptic springs, and exposed Winters quick-change rear. Excelsior rubber wraps 18- and 20-inch custom wheels. An Inglese eight-stack setup delivers gas and air, and a big shot of vintage coolness, to the stroked 347 Ford small-block. The engine is paired with a TREMEC five-speed. Danielle’s truck went to Gil Vigil of Speed & Design for a complete custom interior, featuring deep tan Relicate leather covering the custom buckets. For more, visit https:

1956 Victoria | Bruce and Judy Ricks | Sapulpa, OK

© Gerry Burger,Rob Fortier   012-Street-of-the-year-winner-1956-Ford-Victoria.jpg

The classic looks of Bruce and Judy Ricks' 1956 Victoria have been subtly altered by a 4-3/4-inch wedge section. Schott Performance wheels are covered in fat Pirelli rubber. A look inside reveals custom buckets covered in two-tone brown leather. The Vicky is a driver and an Art Morrison Sport IFS chassis, Strange-equipped 9-inch with a triangulated four-bar, and RideTech shocks contribute to its great ride. A look inside reveals Wise Guys bucket seats, covered in two-tone brown leather by Gabe's Custom Interiors. A Ford Racing 427-inch small-block is fed by Autotrend eight-stack EFI and backed with a TREMEC T56 Magnum six-speed mixing the gears. Bruce worked with Steve Cook Creations in Oklahoma City, who had teamed up with Bruce on a 1956 Ford convertible; a Ridler award was the result. The Victoria won its Top 100 prize at the Street Rod Nationals. Read the full feature at https:

1934 Ford Roadster | Dale Fode | Redwood City, CA

© Gerry Burger,Rob Fortier   013-Street-of-the-year-winner-1934-Ford-Roadster.jpg

In 2015, Dale Fode's roadster was at the Grand National Roadster Show vying for America's Most Beautiful Roadster. In 2018, it was at Hot August Nights winning a Top 100 award. The stunning street rod, virtually hand built by Mark Willis and Bob Stewart at Mark Willis Custom Painting in Grants Pass, Oregon, blends street rod attitude with '30s coachbuilt car elegance. The jet black body has been widened, quarters moved up, and doors lengthened 6 inches. The 1935 fenders were fabricated—and cover 18- and 20-inch one-off wheels. The custom frame is the platform for the Kugel Komponents independent suspension. Gabe's Custom Interiors wrapped the seats and doors in deep red leather. The custom components have the appearance of vintage pieces, surrounded by modern design throughout—from dash to door panels. There's nothing nostalgic in the engine compartment, home to a Magnuson supercharged LS7. See more of Dale's roadster at https:

1965 GMC Fenderside Pickup | Jim Connerley | Carmichael, CA

© Gerry Burger,Rob Fortier   014-Street-of-the-year-winner-1965-GMC-Fenderside-Pickup.jpg

Jim Connerley says his father bought the GMC new and wouldn't have understood his goals for the truck. Jeff Norene at Lee's Vintage Car Shop in West Sacramento, California, understood them well, transforming Jim's GMC from a stocker to the showstopper that got a Top 100 pick at the Sacramento Autorama. With a few exceptions (like 1937 taillights, oak bed floor, and a custom rear pan), the exterior is stock. Metallic brown paint is dressed up with pinstriping and gold leaf lettering. American Racing wheels were painted to match. Rex Hutchison Racing built the Vortech supercharged LS engine. A full chassis from Scott's Hot Rods includes a tubular frame, IFS components, Aldan coilovers, and Ford 9-inch. Jack's Upholstery used butterscotch vinyl on the 2005 Chevy pickup bench. Jim's GMC will appear in Classic Trucks magazine soon. Until then, enjoy photos and video at https:


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Autos News: Street Rod of the Year! Street Rodder’s Top Pick for 2018 Plus 10 Runners-Up
Street Rod of the Year! Street Rodder’s Top Pick for 2018 Plus 10 Runners-Up
And the winner is...
Autos News
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