Dave Martin’s show-stopping ’31 Ford, built by Signal Hill, CA-based Hot Rods & Hobbies, earned the coveted “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” title at the 69th annual Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS) at the Fairplex in Pomona.
The event also included the presentation of the Al Slonaker Memorial Award to Mark and Dennis Mariani’s Rad Rides ‘29 Ford Model A, while Fred and Diane Bowden’s ‘37 Lincoln LeBaron won the Blackie Gejeian Award. Mike Garner’s ‘50 Mercury was named as the recipient of the George Barris Kustom d’Elegance award.
“America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” is presented annually to the best “open” hot rod in the country. In winning this year’s nine and a half-foot-tall trophy and $10,000 prize,Martin earned a prestigious place alongside such legendary builders as George Barris, Andy Brizio, Boyd Coddington, Barry White, Troy Ladd and Chip Foose.
A crowd favorite throughout the event, The Martin Special was praised for its precision craftsmanship and dazzling aesthetics, as well as its provenance. In a prior form the car competed in the famed Silver State Classic open road race. The latest, show-stopping iteration of the car has Indy Roadster influences and a 500-horsepower, 401-inch Chevy small-block built by Ed Pink Racing Engines. It’s fitted with Brodix alloy heads, eight-stack EFI induction and a Speedway quick-change rear.
“Dave Martin’s car is an amazing hot rod that began as a bare metal racecar and ultimately earned the highest honor in the rodding world,” said John Buck, owner of Rod Shows and producer of the Grand National Roadster Show. “This Ford Roadster possesses all the qualities that our judges look for, truly blowing us away thanks to its exceptional craftsmanship and innovative styling.”
For more information about the Grand National Roadster Show and for the full list of 2018 award winners, please visit