Photography by Mike Harrington
As Buddy Jordan tells it, he and Steve Frisbie of Steve’s Auto Restorations “Got married and had a baby.” What a baby it turned out to be. The “baby” is Jordan’s 1933 Ford – the “Renaissance Roadster” which was crowned Goodguys 2017 Flowmaster America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod last weekend at the 31st West Coast Nationals.
The culmination of a four year build at Frisbie’s Portland area shop, the roadster captured the coveted Ridler award earlier this season before sweeping the AMBSR crown in Pleasanton. The craftsmanship, design and execution of the build is second to none. The hand-formed all aluminum body is coated in a vibrant PPG Violet Red with darker cherry/black tones offering a two tone sparkle tailor made to shine in the sun. And shine it did in Pleasanton.
Working from a Chris Ito design, the body was English-wheeled and hammered out of sheet aluminum massasged to match the angular, flowing lines of the concept illustration. The custom grille is a radical version of the ’33 Ford design flanked by equally distinctive headlights based on ’34 Chrysler lenses in custom-made housings. The hood is highlighted by recessed air scoops resembling the vintage Scott Super Slot injector hats of the 1960s. One off milled parts, many of which glow in brilliant chrome are found at every glance.
The chassis, comprised of 3/16-inch steel and chromoly tubing was built completely in house at Steve’s Auto Restoration. Polished and plated custom-designed independent front and rear suspension machined by EVOD Industries offers a righteous ride. There were very few off the shelf-parts used in the build, but none of these were used in their original configuration. When crafting a vehicle of this caliber, everything needs to be massaged to fit the specific needs of this one-of-a-kind creation
Horsepower, and plenty of it comes from an all-aluminum 427c.i. big-block Chevrolet. The block and heads were sanded smooth while the rest of the exterior engine components – valve covers, oil pan etc. – have all been custom CNC-milled to achieve the desired aesthetics. Even the Edelbrock tri-power intake has been modified to accommodate the Autotrend EFI setup.
The one-off craftsmanship continues inside, where the highest-grade leather was stitched over seats that are formed into the rear of the cabin. A 1930 Nash instrument cluster houses a full set of Classic Instruments, with a distinctive custom steering wheel offering good grip.
And those wheels! The rolling stock, and backing plates were designed by S.A.R.’s David Brost and machined by EVOD Industries.
“Renaissance symbolizes a rebirth,” Frisbie said. “This roadster is our interpretation of a new era Ford roadster.” It might also signal a rebirth in the annals of street rodding.
Fellow America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod finalists included Don & Irene Richardson (’38 Ford fordor), Gib Wiggam (’33 Ford roadster), Alan & Ginger Dillon (’32 Chevy coupe), and Don Sangster (’32 Ford fordor).