Columbus, OH – Florida’s Steve Tornari and Texas’ Don Smith went home with the top two awards at last weekend’s Goodguys 17th PPG Nationals in Columbus. Tornari’s radical Mirandabuilt ’67 Nova was crowned Goodguys 2014 Optima Batteries Street Machine of the Year while Smith’s stunning ’32 Ford Fordor captured the Goodguys 2014 Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year. Both were incredibly popular choices with fans.
For Tornari, it was a dream 31 years in the making. While out driving near his home back in 1983, he spotted a Nova in an opposite lane. Needing a center console for another Nova he was building, he waived the man to a stop, and offered him $500 cash for the center console. “Hell you can have the whole dang car for $500,” the man replied. He’s owned it ever since, driving it as a cruiser, then as a dragstrip car before handing it to Jeremy Miranda a few years back.
The Mirandabuilt team went all out on the Nova, creating an eye-popping street machine capable of extreme performance. Riding on a custom frame with TCI front clip and Ridetech Shockwaves, it’s stance is perfect. The smoothed body mods include shaved drip rails, sectioned quarters, extended rockers as well as a slick sheet metal engine bay. Under the smoothed, glass-like hood is a twin turbo Chevy SB2 engine with custom headers pumping out nearly 900hp. It utilizes Corvette Z06 brakes and rolls on 20-inch red & black coated Budnik “Gasser” D wheels. The cabin features a regal leather interior by Jeremy Carlson at Extreme Performance.
The design, fit, finish and performance of the Nova had Mirandabuilt’s peers wagging tongues all weekend. The car was a Great 8 finalist at the Detroit AutoRama before taking home the Street Machine of the Year spoils.
On the other side of the spectrum was Don Smith’s Street Rod of the Year-winning Fordor – a car he purchased years ago from Tex Smith. A rarity these days, the family-friendly sedan is a testament to Don’s passion for deuces as well as builder Jeff Kinsey’s coach building prowess.
The long, sleek DuPont-orange sedan has been wedge-chopped two inches in front and one and a half inches in back as well as channeled one inch. A custom Hot Rods by JSK chassis features ¼ elliptical springs by Posie’s and a Winter’s quickchange with 4:11 gears. The Dayton wire wheels are wrapped in Coker 4.0 and 650 series bias ply tires. The open hood sides reveal a perfectly-painted and smoothed 336-inch Ford Y-block V8 with a Hilborn injection system converted to EFI by Auto Trend. The interior is a blend of custom one-off parts & pieces by JSK and leather bench seats and trim by Paul Atkins.
Smith’s ’32 pulls on the heartstrings of died in the wool deuce fans while also appealing to upper end coach built aficionados. It blends together many genres of motorsport influence all in a regal, elegant yet sporty package. It’s without a doubt the street rod of the year. Maybe of the last decade.
Both cars will be featured at the season-ending Goodguys 17th Southwest Nationals November 14-16 in Scottsdale, Arizona along with the other Goodguys Top 12 cars of the year. Snap-on will provide each winner with a custom toolbox as well.
The top 5 finalists for the Goodguys 2014 Optima Batteries Street Machine of the Year were: Angelo Vespi, St Augustine, FL (1969 Chevy Camaro), Steve Smith, York, PA (1958 Corvette), JF Launier, Osyoos, BC (1964 Buick Riviera), Steve Tornari, Palm City, FL (1967 Chevy Nova) and Dom & Becky Farbo, Williamsville, NY (1965 Mustang).
The top 5 finalists for the Goodguys 2014 Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year were: -Don Smith, Mansfield, TX (1932 Ford Fordor), Mike Johnston, Livonia, NY (1935 Ford coupe) Rocky Boler, South Hampton, NY (1933 Ford coupe), John Fry, Tuscola, IL (1940 LaSalle), Steve Grub, W Des Moines, IA (1932 coupe).