60th Anniversary Build-A-Rod

The Story | The Build | The Participants


The Story

Starting with a concept illustration by Steve Stanford this car was built in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS) and the 1933-’34 Ford’s 75th anniversary. The 2009 GNRS featured the construction of the Build-A-Rod Speed 33 on stage starting opening day Friday, January 23, 2009.

60th Anniversary Build-A-Rod concept sketch

Emceed by Muscle Car TV host Lou Santiago, this 1933 Ford hot rod was built by Phil Leatherman and his crew at Extreme Automotive of Corona, California with Dave Lane, Scott Sullivan and Don Lindfors helping in the assembly of the car at the show.

Manufacturers of components used in the Build-A-Rod were on hand all three days to discuss their products with applications, installation, and manufacturing information.

60th Anniversary Build-A-Rod concept sketchThis contemporary hot rod features components from top manufacturers like American Speed Company’s all-steel 1933 Ford reproduction body with a stainless Dan Fink grill, Marcel Custom Metal Shaping hood with Eric Vaughn louvers and a rear roll pan by Lazze. The traditional style TCI chassis features pinched frame rails with a dropped I beam front axle with hairpins and a Speedway Engineering quick-change rear end. Wilwood 4 wheel disc brakes will stop it quickly. Edelbrock adjustable aluminum shocks help with a comfortable ride. The power comes from a Roush 353IR fuel-injected engine topped with billet aluminum valve covers and air cleaners by Clay Cook and hooked up to a B&M AOD transmission with a Lokar shifter. A US Radiator keeps the engine cool and Sanderson Headers with a stainless steel Patriot exhaust gives the car a true hot rod sound. American Autowire wiring harness keeps the Greening Auto headlights and taillights lit. An Ididit steering column and Borgeson U-joints attached to the Unisteer rack and pinion steering helps keep the Billet Specialties wheels wrapped in Pirelli tires going straight. The
bright blue paint comes from Planet Color and was sprayed by Extreme Automotive.

Custom upholsterers Ron Mangus of Rialto, CA. & Eric Thorsen of Agoura Hills CA. teamed up on the red leather interior. The interior uses a Glide Engineering seat frame with Dynamat and Quietride Solutions keeping the noise down and Vintage Air keeping it cool inside. The engine vitals are monitored by Autometer gauges mounted in a Lokar dash panel.

Sacramento Vintage Ford is the preferred parts supplier on the car and the chrome plating & aluminum polishing was done by Advanced Plating and stainless exhaust polished by DS Plating. The finishing touch is the custom Motorhead Jewelry GNRS emblems and red and white pinstriping by Steve Stanford. The entire build was captured on film by Shelley Bernd and placed on her web site, HotRodHappenings.com.

The tradition of building a hot rod on stage at the GNRS started with the 1958 show, and once more in 1990. 2009 marks only the third time in the history of the show a hot rod will be built before the public.

In 1958 The Roadster Show crowd witnessed Romeo Palamides (Founder of American Racing Wheels) and his crew build a roadster from the ground up. The 1929 Ford Roadster belonged to Ken Fuhrman and was fired up on Sunday night and driven onto the streets of Oakland. In the 90’s Roy Brizio and a crew built a 1932 Roadster at the GNRS and accomplished the build in just 5 days!

The 2009 Grand National Roadster Show’s Build-A-Rod Speed 33 hot rod will be on display at over a dozen hot rod and specialty automotive events across the country. Also look for an episode of Hot Rod TV on Speed channel featuring the 2009 GNRS and Build-A-Rod.

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