Just like in years past, the 16th Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio played host to thousands of amazing rods and customs, and countless enthusiasts last weekend. But the PPG Nationals also plays host to the top honors – the Optima Batteries Street Machine of the Year award winner and the Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year award winner. This year’s winners were more than deserving and we join the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association in congratulating the owners of these amazing rides.
With the competition hotter than ever, it was Tennessee’s George Poteet and his 1969 Ford Torino that fittingly took home this year’s Optima Batteries Street Machine of the Year Award.
Vintage NASCAR-inspired, the Torino blends old-school design ques and racing heritage with the performance and reliability of modern performance products, making it the perfect choice for the award.
As for the performance of the Torino, it gets all its power from a fuel-injected Ford Boss 429 engine boasting 750hp and topped with a glorious muted bronze finish. The Tornio also makes use of an Art Morrison chassis and C5 Corvette front suspension matched with a Detroit Speed 4-link with Watts link and Mark Williams 9-inch axle.
It also features massive 14-inch rotors and 6-piston calipers from Wilwood, and 8×10-inch (front) and 20×12-inch (rear) GT40-style Billet Specialties wheels. Built to look good and drive better, the Torino and Poteet will be making their way to the Bonneville Salt Flats in just a couple weeks for the SCCA Speed Week, where the two will compete in the street-legal, 150mph class.
While the Torino is certainly exquisite, the Ridler Award-winning 1940 Ford dubbed “Checkered Past” is not to be outdone. Owned by Ron Cizek of Nebraska, this exceptional ride is taking the hot rod community by storm this year. After winning the 2013 Ridler Award, the car went on to win the Goodguys 2013 March PerformanceStreet Rod d’Elegance award at Del Mar, and has now taken the title of the 2013 Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year.
Completely reinvented, Checkered Past still sports many traditional 1940 Ford body lines but that only adds to the rod’s appeal. Built by Andy Leach of Cal Automotive Creations, the 1940 Ford was wedge-sectioned by an inch, chopped by 3/8 of an inch and lowered extensively. The hood and fenders were then completely reshaped, along with the hand-shaped running boards. The frontend is then topped off with a custom grille and thinned headlamp rings.
Taking the job of powering the high-class hot rod to heart is a 1953 Mercury Flathead topped with a 4.71 GMC blower, both dusted in a coat of gold anodized paint. Supported by a boxed and reinforced chassis, the hot rod also makes use of a Tremec 6-speed transmission, custom A-arm front suspension, independent rear suspension, four-wheel disc brakes and one-off gold Halibrand style wheels.
Tying everything together is the cranberry red hue, sprayed over the entire car by Charlie Hutton’s Color Studio.
For dedicating themselves to these fantastic vehicles, both Poteet and Cizek will receive custom Snap-On tool boxes as well as travel accommodations to the Goodguys 16th Southwest Nationals this November at Westworld in Scottsdale, where the vehicles will both appear in the “Champion’s Arena” for the Goodguys Terrific 12 award winners.
Congratulations goes out to Poteet and Cizek for their extraordinary wins, as well as to all those individuals who owned vehicles in the top five finalists for each award.
Article by Lindsey Fisher, courtesy of the Rod Authority.