Brian Vanzant’s Paducah, Kentucky based 1950 Chevrolet tin woody has been crowned Goodguys/Lincoln Electric 2009 Custom Rod of the Year. The custom Chevy was chosen as a finalist at the 8th Midwestern Nationals, September 4-6 at Kansas Speedway.
When Starks took delivery of the wagon in 2006, he began to draw concepts of what the finished car should look like. When he hit the right lines, Vanzant said “Go for it”, giving him the green light to radically transform the car into the nation’s finest custom rod.
The biggest feature is the two-door conversion. These wagons were only offered with four doors from the factory. Starks and his team added 7″ to the doors to make the length of a sedan, and one piece side windows were formed. The top was chopped 2.5″ in the front and 3″ in the rear with slanted B pillars. The drip rails were painstakingly reworked for a factory appearance. It also features custom rockers, a pie cut hood, shaved handles and trim, painted wood grain and bumpers that have been flipped, shortened, narrowed and tucked. The paint is Hot Hues Cappuccino Craze.
The chassis is based upon modified stock rails with a custom built c-notch. Polished stainless front suspension features a T-bird power rack and Ride Tech shock waves. The rear features a polished stainless triangulated four-link from Ride Tech with Shockwaves also featured. Both 11”and 12″ Wilwood brakes are used fore and aft.
Power comes from a 502 Chevy big block with aluminum heads, Hilborn fuel injection and Street & Performance headers with Magnaflow exhaust. Backing it up is a Level IV 700R4 from Gearstar and a Currie 9″. The Budnik “Gasser” wheels measure 19” and 22″ which roll smoothly on Nitto tires (245/35/19 285/35/22).
The interior features a custom dash with nickel All American gauges from Classic Instruments, modified ’97 Sunfire front seats and a custom rear. The leather upholstery was stitched by Tracy Weaver of the Recovery room.
The runner up finalists for this year’s Lincoln Electric Custom Rod of the Year award included Jim Scherr of Colorado Springs, CO (1970 Plymouth Roadrunner), Denny John, Van Buren, AR (1955 Chevy), Jim Smith, Sand Springs, OK (1956 Chevrolet), Jerry Brazie, Portland, OR (1961 Buick), and John Torrie
Turnensville, NJ (’57 Lincoln Continental).