Every year at the annual Detroit Autorama, one magnificent custom car takes home the prestigious Don Ridler Memorial Award. The award goes to the best new custom car making its public debut at the show, as decided by a panel of judges.
This year, the Ridler Award went to a rather stunning 1933 Ford Roadster – dubbed the “Renaissance Roadster” – built by Steve’s Auto Restoration of Portland, Oregon. Owners Buddy Jordan and Steve Frisbie accepted the award.
Although based on a 1933 Ford Roadster, the car is far from original. It’s comprised largely of hand-formed aluminum panels with a custom steel frame. The instrument cluster was sourced from a 1930 Nash model, the headlights were sourced from a period Chrysler, and the engine is an all-aluminum 427 from Chevrolet Performance. We find that all a bit blasphemous, but that’s okay. Shifting comes courtesy of a GM 4L60 4-speed automatic.
There’s more. This 1933 Ford Roadster features an independent-rear suspension with CNC-machined control arms, uprights, and halfshafts, with the third member of an IRS Mustang. Wilwood disc brakes sit at all four corners, and all four wheels are custom, one-off units, again machines using Computer Numeric Control.
Of course, the importance of all these details rather pales in comparison to the custom Ford Roadster’s overall aesthetic. You can find a full gallery of photos on the Hot Rod website and a video above (courtesy of Larry CarsOnLine) and, well, just look at the thing. From the lush, ruby red paint worn on the body, to the sleek, diminutive sculpture, the 1933 Ford Renaissance Roadster is a thing of beauty, and its Don Ridler Memorial Award a well-earned trophy.