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: