Ron Cizek’s Ridler-winning ’40 Ford takes ‘Street Rod of the Year’ honors at 
Goodguys’ 16th PPG Nationals.
Nebraska’s Ron Cizek collected the Goodguys’ 2013 Classic Instruments ‘Street Rod of the Year’ title after winning Goodguys’ 2013 March Performance Street Rod d’Elegance in Del Mar! His ’40 Ford coupe, Checkered Past captures the essence of hot rodding’s current trend of blending retro styling cues with modern technology and masterful build quality.

Cizek’s Cranberry Red ’40 Ford, built by Andy Leach, Cal Automotive Creations, represents the time-tested appeal of a smoothed-out blown Flathead-powered early Ford. Sitting on the ground, the coupe sports a perfect profile. Like all big show cars, it’s been handcrafted and reshaped while keeping a fair share of its factory lines. Leach and the build team wedge-sectioned the car one inch from front to back then chopped the top 3/8-inch for that perfect hot rod rake. The hood and fenders have been re-shaped as were the meticulously custom running boards. Finishing off front-end mods is a custom grille with thinned-out headlamp rings.

Powering Checkered Past is a pro-built blown Flathead, above, assembled and prepped by Erik Hansen. Atop the ’53 Mercury engine sits a 4-71 GMC blower, all coated in a muted gold anodized finish to match the one-off gold Halibrand-style wheels. The original chassis was boxed and beefed-up to accommodate the Tremec six-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.

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