GRAND DESIGNS

NEWS FRONT

STORY & PHOTOS POVI PULLINEN

MARCH 2017: ALL THE NEWS THAT MATTERS

> WE CHECK OUT WHAT WAS HOT AT THE 2017 GRAND NATIONAL ROADSTER SHOW IN POMONA, CALIFORNIA

THERE aren’t many shows in the world that have been at it for as long as the Grand National Roadster Show. January 2017 saw the 68th year of the show, and the 68th time the honour of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster was awarded. By far the most covetable gong in the American hot rod world, the time-honoured trophy this year went to Bruce Wanta’s 1936 Packard roadster.

Built by Troy Ladd and the blokes at Hollywood Hot Rods in Burbank, California, the Packard, dubbed the Mulholland Speedster, is the first AMBR winner in quite a few years to stray from the traditional Big Three-manufactured rod. The stunning coachbuilt Packard was designed by E.Black Design alongside the Hollywood Hot Rod team, and the striking Mulholland Merlot paintjob was applied by Mick Jenkins from MGJ Enterprises. The tasteful tan leather interior was handled by Elegance Auto Interiors and the dash is mostly refurbed Packard pieces.

While the outside is clearly top-notch, what’s hidden underneath the Merlot mask is even better.

The Speedster is powered by an immaculately detailed 292-cube Lincoln V12 flathead fitted with a Latham axial-flow supercharger and aluminium NZ-made Hogan heads, mated to a BorgWarner T5 trans and Winters independent quickchange rear end. This all sits in a custommade chassis with independent front and rear I-beam suspension and quarter-elliptical springs. Whitewalls and Packard caps top off the powerful and striking look.

At the other end of the scale was Metallica frontman James Hetfield’s ’32 roadster. Dubbed Blackjack, the ’32 Ford is a traditionally styled hiboy built by Mills & Co in Marietta, CA. It’s all original Henry steel and features a removable padded Carson top, customised splash aprons, side panels and frame horns and was painted in a custom Molasses hue by Keith Arnold.

In keeping with the traditional styling, Blackjack is still on a 6-volt system and features period-correct mods like dropped front heavy axle, Columbia overdrive and a ’39 Ford tranny stuffed with Lincoln Zephyr gears. The neatlooking flathead mill is a 296-cube 59L Ford V8 with Osiecki Racing heads, Edelbrock intake, Winfield cam and Harman & Collins magneto. It all adds up to the very epitome of an early highend Southern Californian hot rod.

> HOT GOSSIP

’NATS MAG

YOU can relive all the fun of Street Machine Summernats 30 with our mag of the same name, on sale at all reputable newsagents, convenience stores and service stations. And if you can’t find it in your neck of the woods, head to magshop.com.au to nab one.

SNAKE CHARMER

THE Sidchrome Cobra project car has been won! Jarrod Pryor from NSW is the lucky winner of the Coyote 5.0L-powered beast, and boy, are we jealous! You can check out the final episode of the video series on streetmachine.com.au.

BLUE CHIP STOCKS

THE world may be heading into even more uncertain times, but if recent auction results are anything to go by, blue-chip Aussie muscle cars don’t seem to be suffering.

Up at the Lloyds Classic Car Auction in late January, a white A9X hatch went for a whacking $260,000 and a factory HQ GTS 350 Monaro sold for $147,000 – thought to be a record for that model. And a couple of weeks later, a red A9X sedan fetched $126,000 at Shannons Summer Sydney auction. Ouch!

NEXT!

THE April issue of SM goes on sale 23 March, and yes Ford fans, there will be a Blue Oval product on the cover if all goes to plan. And don’t despair Mopar freaks, we were bummed that there was no full Chrysler feature car in this issue (though the Barra-powered VE in Urban Warfare is a cracker), but we’ll be back with a beauty for you next time. Shows will include the monster Picnic At Hanging Rock from Victoria and Powercruise from Eastern Creek Raceway. And on the technical side of things we’ll get stuck into our new project car. As always, if you can’t wait that long, hit up streetmachine.com.au for daily doses of high-horsepower goodness!