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Can a Traditional Rod win the big awards anymore?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by badshifter, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,172


    Just got off the phone with a customer sniffing around for a build. Subject came up about how far away from the past the current show winners seem to be headed. Even the so called traditional builders seem to be so far over the top that tradition seems to be lost. So the question is, could a perfectly executed traditional rod hold it's own against todays overblown street rods? It's a given that everything evolves and in the show game you have to one up the next guy. But is there room at the top anymore for the past? Not interested in defense of the current crop of cars or builds, or just build what makes you happy etc., and I'm not suggesting by any means that I am planning that type of build because I'm not. What do you think?
  2. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,416


    Depends on the judging criteria, here in Australia the answer is yes based upon the ASRF guidelines although a lot of the judges are more into Street Rods the Hot Rods so may not immeadiately recognise how much effort has gone into keeping a car "trad". As an example it would be hard not to score a multi coloured perfectly executed paint job higher then a similar quality paint job in one colour.

    When I started collecting bits for a 32 3 window body I had my vision was flaked out Gold with white interior car up to show standard. After being involved as a steward in the judging of 3 of our state Hot Rod Shows I knew I would never achieve that standard nor want to. When you are getting judged on the direction of bolt heads its getting a little too much for me :)
  3. OoltewahSpeedShop
    Joined: Oct 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,104


    This is a very narrow path we follow. Most people have NO IDEA what you are talking about.

    Rat Rods kinda clouded the waters on traditional Hot Rods. 95% of the people don't know the difference.

    I had a guy in my shop tonight that is pretty up to date on most Hot Rod stuff. He wanted to know why I was still "Messing around with those Rat Rods, they were out of style"

    I just changed the subject.

    Most people just can't see it. If it's not BRIGHT red with all the latest stuff.... It's a fucking RAT.

    So.... I'm saying NO, a traditional rod will not win you the BIG trophy.
  4. 296ardun
    Joined: Feb 11, 2009
    Posts: 4,213


    As far as I can recall, the last traditional rod that won the then-Oakland Roadster Show was Ermie Immerso's full-fendered Ardun powered deuce roadster, ...can't remember any traditional rod winning the Ridler....
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  5. roundvalley
    Joined: Apr 10, 2005
    Posts: 1,773


    I don't think most people with a trad-rod are worried about a award!
  6. sugarlou
    Joined: May 26, 2007
    Posts: 120



  7. 76ironhead
    Joined: Mar 12, 2009
    Posts: 504


    Will not happen! All depends on the judgeing most people are drawn in by how many shinny trinkets you can put on a car its just the way the car building trend has headed and how much money you can spend..
  8. Larry T
    Joined: Nov 24, 2004
    Posts: 7,679

    Larry T

    I guess if you built a traditional rod to a score card it could be possible. But if you look at show winners, that's how they are all built. Winners are not necessarily the nicest complete package, but the cars that score the most points on individually judged criteria.
    Larry T
  9. Bib Overalls
    Joined: Aug 3, 2001
    Posts: 4,071

    Bib Overalls

    Riddler, AMB, it is all about points. The cars are built to the criteria.

    A traditional hot rod is about simplicity and modifications are done to improve performance. In hot rods form follows function.

    In show cars performance and function are secondary to form. Modifications are done because the more modifications, the more points.

    No matter what the genre, no car is going to score well without meeting the highest standards of workmanship and execution. Dogs need not apply. But, once that issue is passed it simply becomes a point chasing exercise. In that race, hot rods are simply to simple.
  10. dumprat
    Joined: Dec 27, 2006
    Posts: 2,642

    from b.c.

    Jimmy Shine and Pete Chaporis(Spelling sorry) tried it with a SCOT blown ardun in a 32 roadster a few years ago. The car was awesome. And was almost totally overlooked.
  11. turdytoo
    Joined: May 14, 2007
    Posts: 1,560


    Amen. + another
    Joined: Dec 27, 2009
    Posts: 1,234


    They are 2 different animals !! !! This is why there is a fantastic
    resurgence (HAMB friendly) in "old school". There needs to be
    more shows dedicated to old school cars only. Then our animal
    will have its own venue for competition amongst itself.
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 56

    from upland ca.

    with everything said so far in this thread i agree with most of it.....the car's that are winning the AMBR award are not real cars....there's nothing old ford on them...just life size model kits. last time i check'd it took a little more to make them function than to just sit there all mocked up....hell anybody can do that. i think its a slap in the face to those who came before us and not only built a show car but COULD drive it to and from the know the car's and builder's im talk'n about.
  14. Here's a thought. there are many eras of traditional now. Late 40's to pre-smallblock Chevy. is one. 60'S is another. Gasser, is another. All these types are "TRADITIONAL" for the guys that built them the first time. The difference is that now we have all these different styles being built to be the way they were remembered., so it is hard to come up with objective criteria for judging. I am no trophy hound., but I have a PERIOD PERFECT from Good GUYS, that seems to recognize where my car fits, but I have 7 other trophys that are all special because somebody else recognized the intention of why my car was built. I'd rather drive than win any way, just my 2 cents
  15. Beano
    Joined: Jan 2, 2009
    Posts: 180

    from Pa.

    Right on , that's my thinking on the issue .
  16. Candy-Man
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,709


    Exactly, that was an awsome traditional hot rod with a huge price tag....

    However, awards, Ummmmmmm......
  17. I don't think traditional rods have a chance at the big awards because of simple mathematics. Not enough points.
    However there are many other cars in the shows that can't win either, traditional or not.
    Everyone in the show can't win except the one winner.
    The sad part is that the Olympic winner is because of individual effort. The big awards are checkbook ego-rodding.
    I admire the builders that actually do the work, the actual work. Behind the owner and the name builder is regular people actually building cars, welding, painting, upholstering, and engine building.
  18. VenomousType
    Joined: Feb 6, 2008
    Posts: 301

    from Atlanta GA


    but it sure can amongst trad rodders!
  19. acadian_carguy
    Joined: Apr 23, 2008
    Posts: 793


    I agree with your thoughts as to what era is traditional? I'm making my Acadian wagon into a 60's style mild custom, something the average guy might own in that era. I consider my Acadian traditional, some others may not.
    This may be a bit OT from the thread title...but what is traditional...
  20. movingviolation
    Joined: Feb 19, 2005
    Posts: 1,174


    Agreed + another
  21. Sir Woosh
    Joined: Dec 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,273

    Sir Woosh

    Here's one that I know of that's been kicking butt for recognition when it shows up. Budget built from a pile in a pick up bed by a husband and wife that won out over some pretty high dollar stuff. Yep, there's still justice for the traditional rods...........

    Attached Files:

  22. I'm hoping the HAMB Award at the GNRS will become THE prize that everyone with a truly traditional hot rod will shoot for. It should become the "Riddler" for our cars.
    Joined: Apr 6, 2008
    Posts: 816


    Dave Lane is one builder who comes to mind that builds traditional style with amazing attention to detail.
    I think the AMBR and Riddler judges will realize that they have been praising ridiculous show cars.
    It will run full circle. The cream always rises to the top.
  24. mj40's
    Joined: Dec 11, 2008
    Posts: 3,281


    Here is another that is over the top. It has won many awards and featured in several magazines. Mostly because of it uniqueness to features around the Oldsmobile, even though it's a Ford.

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    Attached Files:

  25. Kona Cruisers
    Joined: Feb 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,074

    Kona Cruisers

    people bringing up current builders... why no one has brought up Bass yet is beyond me.
  26. panhead_pete
    Joined: Feb 22, 2006
    Posts: 2,416


    But havent show cars always been over the top? When were show winners practical cars in the last 20 years. Think of all the Roth cars etc. Its the nature of the beast and only adds to the hobby. Every now and then you see something on those high $ bling cars and its a trigger for doing something different on your trad car.
  27. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,172


    You two guys basically sumed up my thinking, that the tide will turn at some point. To the guys saying a trad rodder does not care about awards, that was not the question or the point. I was curious if and when the backlash could occur.

    To those who experienced it, were the "new style" of show cars ala Roth etc. looked upon as inovations back in the day. Or were they looked at as we (or I) may view the current show queens?
  28. That is exactly correct -- at least for the shows like AMBR, Ridler, etc.. In the end you have to ask the question "Who are you trying to please and/or impress?" If it is the judges at a particular show/event, then you better know what impresses them . . . because that is what it takes to win. If my goal was to win a big show, then every damn thing on my car would be designed for that purpose -- otherwise, you'll never win.

    Also the comment that "anybody can do that" -- like win a Ridler -- not a chance in hell! These cars have thousands of hours in them -- at $75+ (that is low) an hour. Some of these cars have millions of dollars of labor in them - done by people who know their shit. My cars will never compete at that level and frankly, I don't give a shit. Even if I had the money - not my gig.

    BUT - I respect those that chase that dream, spend the money and keep pushing the 'show car envelope' even further . . . they give me good ideas and I wasn't the guy paying the bills for all the experimentation to get "it right".

    Time for my 3rd drink for the night . . . I'm starting to put myself to sleep with all this babble :rolleyes:
  29. BCR
    Joined: Dec 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,263


    I think you are on track with this thinking.


    Who can even remember (or care) what car won the AMBR?
  30. fab32
    Joined: May 14, 2002
    Posts: 13,987

    Member Emeritus

    In a word.....................NO!!!!!.....................and the last 20 years proves it.

    I like to think that if your into tradition your not into awards. ET slips and red hats are another matter. How fast or quick do you think a Ridler or AMBR trophy will do the quarter mile or clock through the measured mile at Bonneville? Pretty much irrelevant to our type of cars.......................or at least should be.


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