Roswell, New Mexico’s David Hoekstra has long had a love affair with big cars. Perhaps his biggest ever – a long, lean and black 1956 Continental Mark II named “Mae” made its debut at the Goodguys 33rd All American Get-Together in Pleasanton. By the time the event had ended Sunday evening, Hoekstra and builder Scott Laitinen of Sic Chops were hoisting a victory toast after winning Goodguys 2015 Custom of the Year honors. It was the first time the owner or builder has won a Goodguys Top 12 award. Needless to say – they were ecstatic.
Hoekstra’s hi-class custom blends traditional lines with new age technology. The car’s universal appeal would have it look right at home in front of the Ritz Carlton, yet blend right into the pages of Low Rider magazine. We don’t recall a car that so seamlessly crosses this many diverse barriers. In that sense, it’s a remarkable creation.
We also have no doubt the Mark II could hold its own at Goodguys AutoCross! It rides on a one-off chassis by Roadster Shop, complete with Corvette C-6 suspension, big brakes from Wilwood, rack & pinion steering and a 9” Ford rearend housing 3:73 gears. The insane 8-stack injected 520ci Ford V8 was built by blue oval motor maven Jon Kaase. It rolls on one-off Colorado Custom 40-spoke wheels with machined bullet center caps. The white stripe Michelin Pilot Sport tires are a perfect choice!
The exterior lines remain relatively stock but no panel has been left untouched. Scott Laitinen’s signature chop was rather mild (2 ½ inches) and the rain gutters have been filled. Factory uncut windshield glass and one piece door glass fits like a glove. Custom firewall and floor pans were fabricated with full rockers that ride just above the ground. Both front and rear bumpers are full custom with flush mount dual exhaust piped through the smoothed rear pan. The paint is DuPont toner black with Chroma clear sprayed in-house by Laitinen at Sic Chops. To give you an idea of the monumental task of smoothing and sanding the car, Laitinen decided to track his steps in the shop one day using the fitness app on his iPhone. In one 16 hour day he logged 14 miles (33,000 steps) walking around the car!
Moving inside, the giant cabin was artfully upholstered by Ron Mangus. The 8-way power Lexus seats are draped in black & white leather with black Onyx and stainless cuff-link buttons and there’s plenty of accents. The custom dash features one off Dakota Digital gauges and the road tunes are supplied by a full Kicker Audio system. Speaking of the road, both Hoekstra and Laitinen spoke of taking the car on this year’s Goodguys Hall of Fame Road Tour in September which stretches from Colorado to Bowling Green, Kentucky. To that we say “do it guys!”
The car was easy to name. During the restoration, the build team noticed a verified signature on the underside of the trunk by Vaudevillian signer, comic and playwright Mae West. They preserved it carefully so it can ride along as the marvelous Mark II embarks on its new journey as Goodguys 2015 Custom of the Year.
Runner up Custom of the Year finalists included John D’Agostino (1968 Buick Riviera), Doug Beattie (1936 Ford), Heinz & Kathy Norsian (1951 Chevy) and Stephen Giles (1957 Buick).