Triple Crown of Rodding … 1932 Ford, 1965 Chevelle, 1959 Cadillac … Wows the Crowd09/15/2019
It’s been four years since the beginning of the Triple Crown of Rodding and I must write, “Where does the time fly?” What started out as an idea among Bobby Alloway (Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop), John McLeod (Classic Instruments), Rick Love (Vintage Air), and Steve Tracy (Advanced Plating) to see what could be done to bring the best of the best together and see what happens has proven itself.
For starters, along with the founding companies, the current list of sponsors includes PPG, ARP, Art Morrison Enterprises, Wilwood, and Schott Wheels, with each contributing gift certificates to the winners, allowing them to begin assembling their next project. STREET RODDER presents each winner with a $5,000 check to also help with their next build. For those who have seen the trophies and accompanying handmade wooden cases there’s something to be said that these may be the best in the automotive world. The three distinct trophies were originally designed by Tom Gale (Chrysler fame) and manufactured each year by McLeod and Tracy with the latter handling the plating, polishing, and assembly.
In the car show world it’s a rare occurrence to get the AMBR winner to show up at the same place the Ridler winner appears. Throw in several of the other top awards from around the country and there are at any given time no less than a several dozen topflight hot rods that everyone would like to see. That’s the premise behind the Triple Crown of Rodding (Best Street Rod, Best Street Machine, Best Street Cruiser), to see what’s out there and to bring together as many of them as we can. Next, all of these great cars (or trucks) then compete for prizes but at the same time give hot rodders a chance to see these great cars in one place. Aside from the obvious entertainment value at looking at these cars they all have multiple great ideas that rodders like you and I can hideaway for our next project.
The home of the TCR is the Shades of the Past Hot Rod Roundup with this year being number 37. This event has long been known for its Top 25 and then the Top 5 (which has grown to the Magnificent 7). The Top 25 represents the best of the best from the judging of nearly 300-some cars that enter the competition. (It’s a “run what you brung” competition, meaning you register for the event and then compete if you wish for the Top 25.) In the South, and some would say nationwide, this grouping of hot rods has long been recognized as some of the nicest all-around hot rods in the country.
It’s at this point that the TCR comes into play. From the Magnificent 7, which represents all three major build styles, the TCR winners are selected. This year the Magnificent 7 were comprised of a 1965 Chevelle owned by Sonny Freeman (built by Mike Goldman Customs), a 1959 Cadillac belonging to Randy Willcox (built by Rad Rides by Troy), a 1932 Ford Vicky belonging to Phil Becker (built by Dave Lane of FastLane), Barry Blomqrist with his 1965 Pontiac 2+2 (built by the Roadster Shop), Jack Sheppard with his 1953 Chevy (homebuilt), then Chad Adams and his 1932 Ford roadster (built by Adams Hot Rods), and, last, but certainly not least, Frank Howard with his 1956 Pontiac (built by Customs by Kilkeary). It became apparent that the Street Cruiser category has finally come into its own with four of the final seven represented by the “full-size” hot rods with a 1959 Caddy, 1965 Pontiac 2+2, 1953 Chevy, and 1956 Pontiac drop-top.
Any of these seven would clearly be among the top at any car show and be a crowd favorite. Out of these seven came the Best Street Rod, the Becker’s 1932 Ford Vicky; the Best Street Machine, Freeman’s 1965 Chevelle; and Best Street Cruiser, Willcox’s 1959 Cadillac. You may immediately recognize Becker and Freeman as it was their cars that were in the Pirelli Great 8 and in the final running for the 2019 Ridler. All three are incredible examples of what creativity and craftsmanship can evolve into with patience and a healthy budget!
Should you want to be part for the Triple Crown of Rodding experience you can be by registering for the Shades of the Past 38th Annual Hot Rod Roundup by visiting shadesofthepast.com. Or, you can be the recipient of one of the Painless Performance Products/STREET RODDER Top100 awards (10 from 10 events) that receive a complementary entry to the Shades event.
Hope to see lots more of you next year at the 5th Annual Triple Crown of Rodding competition. SRM
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