Built, Not Bought. Episode 7
What is the opposite of a Rat Rod? Waaay over on the other side of the spectrum of hot rods you will find “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster.” This coveted title is awarded annually at the Grand National Roadster Show, and the winner is honored by being added to the huge AMBR trophy and receiving a $10,000 grand prize check. The 2016 winner is a first-time entrant!
Darryl Hollenbeck of Concord, CA won the honors with his 1932 Ford High Boy Roadster. This incredible build started as a street rod project based on a reproduction 1932 Ford roadster body from Brookville Roadster and frame from the SO-CAL Speed Shop. The frame was later swapped out for a Deuce chassis built by Cory Taulbert at his father-in-law’s shop, Webb Automotive Art. The center crossmember was replaced with an original 1940 Ford X-member.
Other chassis mods include a quick-change differential on a Ford Model T leaf spring, 1940 Lincoln-style self-
energizing drum brakes, and a drilled-and-dropped I-beam axle located by split wishbones. The front wheels are original 1940 16×4 units, and the rears are 18×4.25 in homage to the 18-inch “milk truck” wheels that were popular at the dry lakes in the 1940s and ’50s. Check out the pie-crust Firestone bias-ply tires!
Darryl painted the 25-louver hood and filled grille shell and the rest of the metal bodywork with a custom-mixed brown-green tone. Final touches include period correct Guide headlamps, Chrysler Airflow taillamps and door handles, and a removable black top.
The interior is upholstered in a combination of brown leather and NOS 1969 Cadillac fabric. The shift knob is a cool touch; Darryl hand turned it from “Detroit Agate,” the hot rod slang term for hardened layers of paint scraped from inside a paint booth—in this case, that of Darryl’s father, Dale.
Check our some of the other competitors at the 2016 show here.