To win the Ridler Award in the car world is like winning an academy award for your first film in the movie world. It is a big deal and only a select group of people can say that they have been so honored. This year, the competition for the prestigious award was as tough as ever, but one ‘55 Thunderbird shined above the rest, taking the Ridler Award home from the Detroit Autorama last weekend.

We would like to join our friends at the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association in congratulating Dwayne Peace for his win. We spotted the announcement over at MyRideIsMe.com where they put up these really awesome pics.

The Ridler Award is given out to a unique custom car every year at the Detroit Autorama. Named after Don Ridler, the man who brought success to the Autorama in the 1950s through contracted talent and creativity, the Ridler Award goes to honor newly created custom cars.

The cars competing for the Ridler Award must make their first public appearance at the Detroit Autorama, and the vehicle that best emphasizes engineering, creativity and workmanship within each year’s competition is given the prestigious award.

Competition for the 2012 Ridler Award was stiff but none could compare to Dwayne Peace's custom '55 Thunderbird

This year the competition for the Ridler Award was tough. Among the entries was a fully chromed ’67 Shelby GT500, a ’33 Ford Roadster built by previous Ridler Award winners Larry and Mike Alexander, a ‘32 Ford Coupe with over 300 custom covers and fasteners, along with unique gauge faces that featured $100 bills, and a ZL-1 427-powered ‘55 Chevy. There was also a smoothed ‘63 Nova SS convertible, a ‘53 Chevy Pickup powered by a 1,100hp 540cui Dart engine, and another ‘32 Ford Coupe that featured a unique blue/black paint color. But when all was said and done, the Ridler Award went to a ‘55 Thunderbird.

Owned by Dwayne Peace, the Thunderbird was designed and built by Johnathan Peace with the help of Greening Auto Company, which is owned by Jesse Green, a previous Goodguys trendsetter.

Almost every body panel was massaged on the T-bird but the real impressive feature is the 1,150hp twin turbocharged 6.0L V8 under the hood created by Gale Banks Engineering.

Completing the package are one off seven spoke wheels, a hand-trimmed brown leather interior and of course, the candy apple red paint color that just pulls you in.

Congratulations goes to all of the top eight Ridler Award contenders, especially Peace for winning the prestigious award. We join both the crew over at MyRideIsMe.com and the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association in hopes of seeing the car in person soon at a Goodguys event.