Bill Steele's Hemi powered 1930 Model A Ford Coupe from Oakdale, Pennsylvania was named Goodguys 2009 Hot Rod of the Year at this weekend's 21st Hot Rod Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis.
Steele, a custom motorcycle builder by trade, explained after the awards ceremony that this was his first whole hearted attempt at designing a hot rod. The car came to Indy with only 25 miles on it but Steele was more than happy to drive it during the competition and thrash it a little on the drag strip. The award criteria calls for all participants to make a lap around the famed Indy Brickyard, a 100-mile roundtrip run up to Sharpsville, Indiana then back to O'Reilly Raceway Park for an 1/8th mile time trial on the drag strip. Steele's A Bomb passed all tests with flying colors.
Steele's coupe was completed in nine months. He knew exactly what he wanted and working fro a mockup from RPM Motorsports in Warrendale, PA - Steele handled all of the body and paintwork himself. The body features a 4" chop, a removable roof insert and cowl, a molded visor, Terraplane headlights and PPG 12% gloss "Downtown Brown" paint with black semi gloss accents.
The chassis is a Roadster Shop '32 with a Super Bell front axle, 4- bar rear suspension with Air Ride Shockwaves, Vega cross-steering, Buick brake drums, Spotlight Artillery wheels featuring custom machined caps with grooves that match the trim rings.
The coupe gets its heart from a 331 Chrysler Hemi with four Strombergs on a custom intake by Josh Hart, a Joe Hunt magneto and custom headers. It's mated with a Corvette six-speed thanks to a Ram Industries Clutch and HotHeads aluminum flywheel. The rear is a 3.70-geared 9" posi.
The coupe's interior is ultra slick and sports a '38 Dodge dash Classic Instruments gauges, hand made aluminum bomber seats, a custom arm rest, and a late 50s Lone Star boat steering wheel.
For the big win, Steele gets national bragging rights for a year and will also be invited to Scottsdale in November to join all Goodguys "Terrific 12" award winners at the season-ending Southwest Nationals, November 20, 21 & 22 at Westworld.
This was by far the finest field of cars ever assembled for the Goodguys Hot Rod of the Year competition. In total, forty-five cars entered the competition. The top 5 finalists included:
Don Smith, Mansville, TX '32 Ford Sedan, Jim Martin, Mentor, OH, '32 Ford Coupe, Bill Steele, 1930 Ford Model A Coupe, Bart Grange, 1932 Ford Coupe and Dick Stevens, 1928 Ford Model A Sedan.