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“Olds Cool” Wins Goodguys 2016 Street Rod of the Year

1939 Oldsmobile Model 60 Convertible

1939 Oldsmobile Model 60 Convertible named “Olds Cool” wins Goodguys 2016 Street Rod of the Year award sponsored by Classic Instruments. (Photo by Bob Boberg of eClassicAutos.com)

“Olds Cool” is Goodguys 2016 Street Rod of the Year …

The Goodguys 2016 Street Rod of the Year was announced at this weekend’s Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio on Saturday. Achieving legendary status, the 1939 Oldsmobile Model 60 Convertible owned by Billy Thomas of Corpus Christi, Texas won the Goodguys 2016 Street Rod of the Year Award sponsored by Classic Instruments.  It is the same car that won the 2016 Ridler Award in March at the Detroit Autorama. Builder, Harold Chapman of Hot Rods & Customs of Andice, Texas, told us last week at the Heartland Nationals that he wanted the 1939 Oldsmobile to win here in Columbus. It puts the car they call “Olds Cool” in a category by itself atop the street rodding hobby.

Here is a photo slider of “Olds Cool” from the Goodguys 2016 Street Rod of the Year competition:

The newly crowned Goodguys 2016 Street Rod of the Year winner is now the only car to have won both the Goodguys Street Rod of the Year trophy and the Ridler Award trophy. Should Thomas and Chapman decide to take “Olds Cool” to the Barrett-Jackson in Scottsdale this year to compete for the Barrett-Jackson Cup, or to Pomona in January for the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award, it would be the only car in history to have achieved all of the top honors a custom street rod could have. It would only have to win one more award to have achieved that “trifecta.”

“Olds Cool” is unique by its very build. Thomas found the only Model 60 Oldsmobile convertible left in the world to start with. Then Thomas found an Oldsmobile 455 engine built by legendary engine builder Joe Mondelo, Sr. They say it was the last engine completed by Mondelo before he passed away. Truly a work of art, the exterior, interior and the undercarriage were subjects of wonderment and careful study by spectators at the Goodguys event this weekend. Words like “flawless” and “cutting edge custom” were always in the conversation.

The winner of the 2016 Goodguys PPG Street Machine of the Year was the 1969 Coyote Mustang, owned by Tim Spencer of Alabaster, Alabama, and built by Goolsby Customs. No trailer queen, this car competed in the Goodguys Autocross races on Friday. See slider here below for detailed photos:

Here are the other cars in contention for Classic Instruments’ Street Rod of the Year:

PPG Street Machine of the Year contenders here on the grounds of the Ohio Expo Center:

 

2016 Ridler Award Winner Chosen at Detroit Autorama

1939 "Olds Cool" has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Ridler Award at the Detroit Autorama

1939 “Olds Cool” has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Ridler Award at the Detroit Autorama

2016 Ridler Award Winner is 1939 “Olds Cool” …

The 2016 Ridler Award winner was announced here on Sunday at the 64th Annual Detroit Autorama. The incredible classic custom called “Olds Cool” is a 1939 Oldsmobile Model 60 Convertible freshly built and shown here for the first time. It is owned by Billy Thomas of Corpus Christi, Texas. Thomas made no bones about it. “I came here to win it,” he said, referring to the coveted 2016 Ridler Award, the most prestigious award in the custom car hobby. And, in the Sunday awards ceremony at the Detroit Autorama, indeed he did.

Even before we arrived here on Friday morning the pundits were all talking about the incredible custom  called “Olds Cool.”  Spectators just couldn’t get enough of “Olds Cool” which would be awarded the 2016 Ridler Award on Sunday. Exterior, interior and the undercarriage were subjects of wonderment and careful study. Words like “flawless” and “cutting edge custom” were always in the conversation.

It was no surprise that “Olds Cool” was chosen to the Great 8 on Friday. All the custom car builders here had it as the odds-on car to beat in the 2016 Ridler Award competition. But Harold Chapman, owner of Custom Hot Rods of Andice, told us he was not taking it for granted. “I’ve been here before,” he told us. “I’ve had flawless cars here in the past and you don’t know till you’ve got the trophy in your hands.” Chapman’s 1968 Corvette won the Goodguys Muscle Car of the Year award in Scottsdale last year. He knows a bit about building show cars. His careful attention to detail is evident in the undercarriage photos in the slide show below.

The paint on “Olds Cool” was done by Charlie Hutton at Charlie Hutton Color Studio. Hutton has painted three of the last four Ridler Award winners. Billy Thomas told us that Joe Mondelo, Sr built the Olds 455 engine. He also said this 1939 Oldsmobile is the last remaining Model 60 Convertible in existence.

Here are some videos we did on “Olds Cool.” One is a Periscope video interview with the owner Billy Thomas. It was recorded on Twitter earlier this weekend. We have a copy of the broadcast here:

 

We revisited this car today to show you the incredible work done on the underbody of the 1939 Olds Cool Great 8 Award winner. Watch this video to see the detailed undercarriage. To us this undercarriage is like a work of at. Do you agree? Watch the video:

 

 

1961 Chevy Impala Double Bubble Great 8 Selection in Ridler Award Competition

1961 Chevy Impala Double Bubble Great 8 selection is in contention for the Ridler Award here at the 2016 Detroit Autorama.

1961 Chevy Impala Double Bubble Great 8 selection is in contention for the Ridler Award here at the 2016 Detroit Autorama.

 

You’ve never seen a 1961 Chevy Impala Double Bubble Great 8 selection station wagon like this one. That’s because Chevrolet never made a production Nomad station wagon in 1961. But don’t be fooled, this is actually two bubble top Chevy hardtops put together to create a wild radical custom station wagon. Notice the Nomad ribbed roofline.

Note the photos of the undercarriage on this car. It is truly extraordinary. I’ve never thought that an undercarriage on a classic car might be a work of art, but this one qualifies. It is one of the reasons that this 1961 Chevy Impala Double Bubble Great 8 selection is a favorite to win the 2016 Ridler Award. Most spectators here are comparing it to the Chip Foose built 1965 Chevy Impala called “The Impostor” which won the Ridler Award last year. This one has more custom modifications than the Foose car. And they are executed with a Foose-like quality.

One, and did we mention it has a modern fuel injected 409 engine? This classic custom station wagon has it all. Whether is wins the 2016 Ridler Award of not it is a truly outstanding Great 8 award selection here at the 2016 Detroit Autorama.

We ask our Facebook fans to vote for their favorite to win the Ridler Award out of the Great 8 contenders. All of the Great 8 contenders will be featured on our Facebook page during the weekend. Join the fun and vote for your favorites as you follow our coverage on the Cars On Line.com Facebook page.

1939 Olds Cool Great 8 award winner

1939 Oldsmobile Great 8 winner at 2016 Detroit Autorama

1939 Olds Cool Great 8 award winner is the last 1939 Oldsmobile Series 60 Convertible known to exist in the world.

The display for a 1939 Olds Cool Great 8 award winner is pretty crowded with spectators. People have been straining their heads to get a view of this 1939 Oldsmobile Model 60 Convertible. It is in the running for the 2016 Ridler Award here at the Detroit Autorama. As of Friday night all of the expert builders here at the show had the 1939 Olds Cool Great 8 winner as the odds-on car to beat in the Ridler Award competition. Check back this evening to find out if it wins the Ridler for 2016.

Here are some videos of the 1939 Olds Cool Great 8 Award winner. One is a Periscope video interview with the owner Billy Thomas of Corpus Christi, Texas. It was recorded on Twitter earlier this weekend. We have a copy of the broadcast here:

 

We revisited this car today to show you the incredible work done on the underbody of the 1939 Olds Cool Great 8 Award winner. Watch this video to see the detailed undercarriage. To us this undercarriage is like a work of at. Do you agree? Watch the video:

 

We ask our Facebook fans to vote for their favorite to win the Ridler Award out of the Great 8 contenders. All of the Great 8 contenders will be featured on our Facebook page during the weekend. Join the fun and vote for your favorites as you follow our coverage on the Cars On Line.com Facebook page.

Australian built X-Boss 1976 Ford Falcon Great 8 winner

1976 Falcon X-Boss Custom Street Machine makes Great 8 at the 2016 Detroit Autorama

X-Boss 1976 Ford Falcon Great 8 winner owned by Chris and Colleen Bitmead of Orange Grove, West Australia

 

For an Australian built X-Boss 1976 Ford Falcon Great 8 winner to be selected at the Detroit Autorama was a bit of a surprise here in Detroit. Back ten years ago the entrants for the Ridler Award competition were all ’32 or ’33 Ford street rods. For this one to be a street machine and to be from Australia is something for our friends down under to cheer about.

The competition is happening as you read this report here at the 2016 Detroit Autorama. Cars On Line.com has been talking to the owner and even did a live Periscope video on Twitter (see below.) Now Cars On Line.com is asking its readers to vote for their favorite to win the 2016 Ridler Award on their Facebook page. Click here to vote now if you favor this X-Boss 1976 Ford Falcon Great 8 winner to take the Ridler Award.

We told this Australian custom car builder that his steering column was on the wrong side. But he quite rightly pointed out that it was literally on the “right side.”

Here is a video interview we recorded on Twitter just after Chris Bitmead was notified that his X-Boss had been selected to the Great 8.

 

Cars On Line will cover the 2016 Ridler Award announcement live on Sunday evening. Watch for our Periscope live broadcast of the announcement on our Twitter page.

1969 Mustang Custom called Stampede

1969 Mustang Stampede makes the Great 8

The 1969 Mustang Custom called Stampede is as edgy and contemporary a street machine as we have ever seen picked in the Great 8. There was a time when you could only win the Ridler Award if you brought a 1930’s era custom roadster to the Detroit Autorama. But this year the Stampede has entered the Ridler Award competition with 20″ wheels and complete carbon fiber body. The owner is Juan Martinez from Houston, Texas. “I bought this car five years ago with the intention of building a nice driver,” he told us. “One thing led to another, and five years later the Stampede was done.” He credited George and Tim Palazzolo of GAP Racing in Houston for making it a reality.  At the 2015 Detroit Autorama it was picked to the Great 8. It competes in the Semi Hardtop category.

When Chip Foose pulled in with his Great 8 car on Friday, the first thing he did was jump out and run over to look at the Stampede, Tim Palazzolo said. Foose observed, “I like it … nothing jumps out at me.” He was referring to the way the mods on the 1969 Mustang Custom are almost understated. You don’t notice right away how radically modified it is. All of the original steel body panels were redone in carbon fiber.

The custom PPG paint was mixed by Randy Borcherding at the Painthouse in Cypress, Texas. (You saw his green and brown custom PPG painted 1947 Hudson Pickup at Goodguys and at the Grand National Roadster Show.) He called the color Super Blue and it will be sold as a featured color by PPG sometime in the near future, Randy told us.

When you have Boss Stripes you should have a Boss engine and this one does. The Boss 572 ci motor is “crazy loud,” says Palazzolo. He says it was dyno’d at 900+ hp, but Palazzolo says he wasn’t pushing it. It will do a lot more.

Interestingly, the interior upholstery has no visible stitching. Palazzolo told us he wanted something that no one had ever seen before, so he worked with Compton Custom Interiors out of Ft. Worth, Texas to hide the stitching. Look at the photos.

The 1969 Mustang Custom called Stampede uses Air Ride shocks with magnetic ride, tubular front suspension and torque arm rear suspension. The wheels are 20X10 front and 20X12 rear. The wheels were designed by Jason Rushforth, a California designer who is getting very popular.

Click the thumbnail photos below to view larger high resolution shots:
1969 Mustang Custom called Stampede  1969 Mustang Custom called Stampede  1969 Mustang Custom called Stampede

1969 Mustang Custom called Stampede  1969 Mustang Custom called Stampede  1969 Mustang Custom called Stampede

 

Click here to return to the 2015 Detroit Autorama page.

 

1937 Ford Woodie Wagon Makes the Great 8

ProRides' 1937 Ford Woodie Wagon

Cars On Line reported on Friday that this 1937 Ford Woodie Wagon makes the Great 8 list of contenders for the Ridler Award. Mike and Melinda Terzich of Gibsonia, Pennsylvania asked Clay Cook of C. Cook Enterprises to build the custom woodie wagon. It was no small task. Clay and his crew have overcome immense engineering challenges to build this car. All of the custom builders here at the show agree that this car was done right. Normally a builder must be a craftsman at sheet metal. But in the case of this 1937 Ford Woodie Wagon Clay’s crew had to become specialists at wood crafting and using carbon fiber materials as well.

Some of the builders who know tell us this is the car to beat. We watched as the judges went over this elegant street rod today for the final judging for the Ridler Award. They are pretty tough. But the ’37 Woodie was built right and has some incredible features designed in.

For instance, when Mike Terzich wanted power windows installed all the door panels had to be contructed of double wood panels. As any Ford woodie owner will tell you the Ford doors were always a problem anyway. Putting power windows in the doors was not small challenge. Likewise, when Nagle Design rendered the air intake for the headlights (see photo) and included LED headlights in the design, special cad work had to be done at Clay’s shop to produce the plans machining the headlight housing and the ductwork to cool the front brakes.  Fabricating the differential cover took a full set of cad drawings and breakouts. They also had to have cad work done to design the fabrication of Carbon 14 embossing on the brake calipers. Such attention to detail is part of what makes the 1937 Ford Woodie Wagon such a formidable contender for the Ridler Award.

Why the Carbon 14 theme? The panels in the wood doors are made of carbon fiber. There is also a lot of carbon fiber used in the interior giving it that very special look.

The list of equipment used on the Carbon 14 ’37 Ford Woodie is like a litany of the top performance parts vendors. Advanced Plating for the chrome work, Billet Specialties, Classic Instruments, Glasurit, Kooks Custom headers, Roadster Shop, Roush Performance 427, Vintage Air, Wilwood and Winters Performance.

Click the images below for a larger view:

1937 Ford Woodie Wagon makes the Great 8  37 Ford Woodie Wagon makes the Great 8  37 Ford Woodie Wagon makes the Great 8

37 Ford Woodie Wagon makes the Great 8  37 Ford Woodie Wagon rear valance  37 Ford Woodie Wagon makes the Great 8

37 Ford Woodie Wagon makes the Great 8  1937 Ford Woodie Wagon Carbon 14  1937 Ford Woodie Wagon headlight

1937 Ford Woodie Wagon being judge for Ridler Award