2014 AMBR Contenders – 4 Roadsters Top the List
Choosing “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” for 2014
Another year at the “Grand-daddy of all hot rod shows, the Grand National Roadster Show. MyRideisMe.com is proud to be here for our seventh year of coverage online. In case you’ve been sleeping these last 7 years, Grand National Roadster Show, sometimes referred to GNRS, is the best of the west, maybe in the USA (you can decide here) hot rod and custom car show. Every year, the “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” contenders assemble for 1000’s of Southern California hot rod enthusiasts to enjoy, bench race and judge. Before most people make it to the show, MyRideisMe likes to give a little preview of who might win the “AMBR” (pronounced “amber”) Award and show a few pictures so you can decide.
There are a total of 11 roadsters contending. There were 12, but a very unfortunate accident happened during setup and one car was lost. We were shocked to hear AMBR judge and all around nice guy Vic Cunnyngham was injured as well. BUT! Vic’s on the mend already and show promoter John Buck announced he’ll be back at the show on Sunday!
For the 11 roadsters contending, here’s my top 4 that I think might win. It’s always tough to say, and I never want to be misunderstood – I’m not criticizing, or getting personal in any way! Every roadster contending is a show winner everywhere else it goes, but the AMBR award brings out the best… So, here’s what I think. For info on the rules, check this out: New AMBR Judging Rules
For all pictures, click to see the full-size image.
America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Contender #1
Kicking things off, here’s the 1932 Ford Roadster owned by Debra and Ronnie Goodwin from Smithville, Tennessee. Debra welcomed us “behind the rail” for some close-up shots of their Street Rods by Michael hot rod roadster. The goal was perfectly executed: Build a period correct hot rod. Check. Interestingly (if I do say so myself…) The Washington Blue color for roadster was selected after Ronnie saw this Model A Hot Rod right here at MyRideisMe.com. Too cool!
America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Contender #2
A team of great hot rodders combined to finish Larry Maddox and Doug Dwyer’s 1932 Ford Roadster. After my first look at this 427 Ford SOHC powered BEAST at the SEMA Show, I couldn’t wait to see it on display for the AMBR. Since SEMA a few shake down runs proved this car won’t be a trailer queen after the show circuit. Like most AMBR cars, initially, Larry just wanted to find a good home for the SOHC motor… then things just got out of hand… then “Blue Steel” was born. With a great mix of details and true hot rod roots, I think they’ve got a good chance.
America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Contender #3
Next is the the 1927 Ford Modified Roadster of Charlie and Karen Matus. Running a 1951 flathead hooked to a 5 speed with tons of chrome and style, does it remind you of any recent AMBR winner? How about last year! The 2013 AMBR winner was a 1927 Ford Roadster with the same subtle coolness and traditional looks. Click here to see the 2013 AMBR Winner
Dubbed the “Chocolate Rose” one item of homework for tomorrow (as I type here at 1:27AM) is to find out what’s up with this color?! One thing’s certain, you won’t see any other hot rods wearing this particular hue. Artist Jimmy Smith (did I say artist? Maybe I should say poet…) described it as, “A still wet terracotta pot.” Let’s see if a 1927 Roadster can win 2 years in a row!
America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Contender #4
The last roadster I want to feature in this story is Wes Rydell’s 1935 Chevy Phaeton. Mr. Rydell cheerfully told us, “This isn’t my first rodeo…” And he wasn’t lying. Wes assembled a dream team for this four-door roadster. Chip Foose did the design then Rad Rides by Troy put it together. That’s the winning formula Wes used this same team to win the 2002 Ridler Award with a 1935 Chevy Master Sedan called “Grandmaster”. Not at all his first rodeo.
When or if it comes down to pure beauty and even ELEGANCE, I pick Rydell’s “Black Bowtie” as the AMBR winner. But… can we have a four door winner? Has that ever happened?
Please leave a comment below and tell us which of these will win and why!