Top Honors in Ohio
Larry Jewett - July 24, 2013 11:25 AM
Tennessee’s George Poteet and Nebraska’s Ron Cizek collected the top two awards at the Goodguys 16th PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. In front of record crowds, Poteet’s vintage NASCAR-inspired ’69 Torino won the Goodguys 2013 Optima Batteries Street Machine of the Year while Cizek’s Ridler award-winning ’40 Ford coupe collected the Goodguys 2013 Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year title.
Both cars capture the essence of hot rodding’s current trend of blending retro styling cues from bygone eras with modern technology and masterful build quality. Poteet’s Torino was built by Troy Trepanier and his talented “Rad Rides” team in Manteno, Illinois. Cizek’s cranberry red ’40 Ford, built by Andy Leach (Cal Automotive Creations), represents the time-tested appeal of a smoothed out flathead powered early Ford. Blown flathead that is!
The idea of the Poteet’s car, nicknamed the “GPT” Special, was to blend the dash, hood and other favorable design traits of a Mercury Cyclone together with a Holman Moody NASCAR-style Torino. After all the meticulous bodywork was done, the Torino was shortened three inches in the front fenders, widened five inches, and had a one-inch-shorter-than-stock wheelbase. Everything else, including the rear quarters, was made from scratch. Under the menacing Cyclone hood scoop lies a monstrous, fuel injected (that’s another story in itself) 750hp Ford Boss 429 coated in a delicious muted bronze finish. After a thousand man-hours of paint prep, the car was sprayed with a “Tennessee Whiskey Gold.”
Poteet, an avid salt racer on the Bonneville Salt Flats, tipped his hand claiming that in just a few short weeks the GPT Special, fresh off its Street Machine of the Year title, would head to Bonneville to run on the salt during the SCTA Speed Week in a street-legal, 150mph class!
Ron Cizek’s “Checkered Past” represents the time tested appeal of a flathead powered hot rod, albeit with refined hi-tech twists. Leach and the build team wedge-sectioned the car one inch from front to back, then chopped the top 3/8” for the perfect hot rod rake. The hood and fenders have been reshaped as were the meticulously hand-shaped running boards. Finishing off the front end mods is a custom grille with thinned out headlamp rings.
Atop the ’53 Mercury flathead motor sits a 4.71 GMC blower – the entire package coated in a muted gold. The original chassis was boxed and beefed-up to accommodate the Tremec 6-speed transmission, independent rear suspension, custom A-arm front suspension and disc brakes on all four corners. Boss Interiors of Iowa stitched the saddle brown English Leather upholstery with suede inserts. The stock ’40 dashboard features subtle modifications and custom gauges. Tying the coupe together is an eye-pleasing Cranberry Red hue Sprayed by Charlie Hutton’s Color Studio.
The top five finalists for the Goodguys 2013 Optima Batteries Street machine of the Year award were Sid Tracy, Champaign, Illinois (1969 Firebird), George Poteet, Memphis, Tennessee (1969 Torino), Jimmy Shaw, Forest, Mississippi (1967 Nova), Alan Woodall, Cary, North Carolina (1965 Corvette) and Skip Walls, Knoxville, Tennessee (1969 Camaro).
The top five finalists for the Goodguys 2013 Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year award were Kenneth DelCour, Louisville, Kentucky (1934 Ford), Terry Hudson, Strawberry Plains, Tennessee (1937 Chevy), Ron Cizek, Omaha, Nebraska (1940 Ford), George Poteet, Memphis, Tennessee (1934 Ford) and Harold Chapman, Andice, Texas (1933 Ford).