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The competition begins for America’s most beautiful roadster

A special part of the GNRS (Grand National Roadster Show) is the competition for America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR). It is this category that draws the most interest. This award is a prize that many have sought and only a few have attained. Past winners have included Blackie Gejeian, Romeo Palamides, Rich Guasco, George Barris, Leroy “Tex” Smith, Andy Brizio, Boyd Coddington, Erik Hansen and three-time winner Ermie Immerso. The list of builders and owners are legendary.

in the year 2017, 13 roadsters were allowed into this special category of judging. That  year the AMBR award was presented by the L.A. Roadsters Club. Here are the contestants and their cars for the 2017 AMBR event.

Right from the very beginning in 1949, there has been a top category for outstanding and breathtaking roadsters

Wheels of The Mulholland Speedster The Mulholland Speedster

“The Mulholland Speedster”

The Mulholland Speedster Interior of the Mulholland Speedster The Mulholland Speedster

1928 Hot Rod Lincoln Phaeton
Shawn Killion of Alpine, Ca. entered his 1928 Hot Rod Lincoln Phaeton roadster. The motor was a 331ci HEMI engine, with Lincoln dash, brakes and running gear.

1928 Hot Rod Lincoln Phaeton 1928 Hot Rod Lincoln Phaeton

1928 Ford Model A roadster
“The Muroc Roadster” is a 1928 Ford Model A roadster owned by Bill Grant of Upland, CA. With a traditional look it copies the 1930’s and ’40’s Dry Lakes Era and has a ’32 Ford B motor with original Miller OH conversion.

1928 Ford Model A roadster 1928 Ford Model A roadster

America’s Most Beautiful Roadster

The 2017 America’s Most Beautiful Roadster winner was, this deserving ’36 Packard roadster called “The Mulholland Speedster” and owned by Bruce Wanta of Bellevue, WA.

Hollywood Hot Rods customized the original Packard to give it that ‘30’s European styling and curvy lines.

The winter grille and the suspension are all controlled by Smartphone apps giving this one-of-a-kind roadster a healthy dose of modern technology.

The power comes from a 292 cubic inch Lincoln V-12 with Hogan aluminum heads used for the Latham-Hogan supercharger.

1929 Ford roadster
“Probiscus”, is a 1929 Ford roadster with a curved front grille similar to track roadsters. The owner is Wayne Johnson from Hillsboro, OR.

1929 Ford roadster

1932 Ford pick-up
“Boss ’32” is a 1932 Ford pick-up with an all-steel Brookville body and Ford Boss 351 power, owned by Don Lindfors of Orange, CA.

1932 Ford pick-up 1932 Ford pick-up batteries

1932 Ford pick-up

This year, 13 roadsters were allowed into this special category of judging

’46 Ford 296ci flathead
“BlackJack” had a white, padded Carson top, distressed leather upholstery, and a ’33 Dodge instrument panel with power provided by a ’46 Ford 296ci flathead.  Owned by James Hetfield of Marietta, GA.

’46 Ford 296ci flathead

1932 Ford roadster
“Back in ‘47” a 1932 Ford roadster owned by Scott Hawley and Joe Rebozzi from Burlingame, CA. mirroring the theme of dry lakes racing and early hot rodding. With an original 1940’s Ford dash and powered by a 383ci Chevy motor and 4-speed, will make it a fun one to drive.

1932 Ford roadster

 Hot Rod 1932 Ford roadster
“Hill Country Flyer” entry is a HEMI powered, Hot Rod 1932 Ford roadster owned by Dan Peterson of Austin, TX. It was built by Austin Speed Shop.

 Hot Rod 1932 Ford roadster  Hot Rod 1932 Ford roadster

hot rod ’32 Ford roadster
With a I,000 miles on it, Gordon and Caroline Gray from Surrey, British Columbia, Canada drive their H&H flathead powered traditional hot rod ’32 Ford roadster.

hot rod ’32 Ford roadster hot rod ’32 Ford roadster

’27 Dodge
“Fool’s Gold”, Matt Taylor, from Concord, CA. built this ’27 Dodge in his 700 sq ft garage. This car stands out with the 1960’s custom style paint and a lowboy stance that is truly COOL!

’27 Dodge

’34 Ford Phaeton roadster
Jim McPherson, from Nashville, TN, entered his ’34 Ford Phaeton roadster that was built entirely in Jim’s garage by he and friend Bill Akin!

’34 Ford Phaeton roadster

’37 Phaeton roadster
“After Shock”, Glen McElroy, of Anaheim Hills, CA., brought his hand-build ’37 Phaeton roadster.

’37 Phaeton roadster ’37 Phaeton roadster

light blue ’32 Ford roadster pick-up
“Time Merchant” is a light blue ’32 Ford roadster pick-up crafted for a Grand National. And it’s Olds Rocket powered! Owned by Matthew Gordon from Hueytown, AL.

light blue ’32 Ford roadster pick-up

Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the May 2017 print issue of the Drive Magazine.