So, as most of you have read—either in print or online—or simply heard about, the Tribute T's done, having made its formal debut at the show of outdoor shows, the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville. Appropriately enough, mind you, as the Kentucky Expo Center (KEC) was also the home for R&C's final physical celebration of its 60th anniversary, that being in the form of the decorated booth we staged earlier at the Detroit Autorama, where the T-bucket was front and center the star of the show...make that display.
However, while spectators and attendees alike flocked the comfy, air-conditioned confines of the KEC's exhibition hall, whether admiring the booth/T; partaking in over-priced food, beverages, and super-caloric junk food; or collecting parts from the various manufacturers; yours truly was outdoors selecting the second batch of finalists for the R&C/Coker Tire Fab 5 award program (for details, see this month's Behind The Wheel). That, and of course scouting features, chatting up car owners and readers alike, and perusing the swap meet for, well, non-magazine related issues, all kept myself and cohort Kev Elliott from doing what the above-mentioned folks took advantage of—but that's all good, this year was comparatively cool and not that humid as opposed to years past.
Despite where our nation's economy is at, or even our hobby for that matter, the Nats don't seem to be showing any real signs of decline. Even with the post-1948 debacle nearly a thing of the past (in many people's minds, not all obviously), pre-1948 street rods and customs are still the heart of the party, and this year's gala get-together was a good one, indeed.
Susan Cooper made the last-minute decision to bring her 1955 Chevy out to Louisville via Avon, IN, and in return, went home with an R&C Fab 5 honoring for her and husband John's efforts. The Gasser sedan is as clean as they come, this one outfitted with a 327 Chevy and Muncie four-speed.
1932 Ford 3-window Coupe
However best Deuce coupes are served, Gary McCormick's three-window is a menu specialty. Built by the father-and-son team of Everett and Chuck Gray (Gray's Garage, Metamora, IL), the Henry-steel 1932 is a perfect execution of stance, color, and composition.
Our Louisville Fab 5 wouldn't be complete without a fine-looking custom—better yet, the finest one we stumbled across! Newton, IA, resident Bob Provin's homebuilt 1956 Olds is all that, and more: flawless fit and finish, detailed (and modernized) chassis and drivetrain, and did we mention owner built?!
Mt. Washington, Kentucky
1923 Ford T-Bucket
If we had to pick a different era in which to fashion our T-bucket, it'd be Fad style, just like Kenneth Ochs' 1923 from Mt. Washington, KY. With its Hallcraft wires and Cragar S/S wheel combo, candy paint, and all the appropriate era amenities, while it may not be one of the roomiest rods, it's definitely one of the grooviest.
1929 Ford Phaeton
Lastly, but by no means least, we bring you our final Fab 5 recipient from Louisville: Jim Stockton's 1929 Ford phaeton from Springfield, OH. Perched atop a gennie Deuce chassis sporting a hopped-up four-cylinder, the tub features nothing newer than 1941, according to its proud owner.