Congratulations To This Year’s Ridler Award Winner – Ron Cizek
“The bell housing!” Yes, I could not believe my ears, but it was actually the bell housing that got mentioned first.
Finding myself in front of the 50th annual Ridler award winning 1940 Ford dubbed “Checkered Past” I was looking back at Ron Cizek like a scene out of a Samantha Baker’s Sweet Sixteen debacle asking for direction from John Hughes himself.
Just try and imagine my surprise as the newest member of the most elite club in hot rodding tells me that his favorite part of his car was the bell housing!
You see, Ron had no intentions of having Andy and his team of builders at Cal Automotive Creations bolt a slush box to the blown Mercury flathead and that was only the beginning. A custom set of Offenhauser heads hide the Isky cam and several other go-fast goodies like Ross pistons pinned to Eagle rods that truly had the henhouse chattering from the moment the Detroit Autorama opened its doors.
Once you look past the engine and the Tremec T56 manual transmission your visual orgasm is only just beginning. Taking in the amount of detail that went into the suspension takes much more than just a simple glance. From the banana bent trailing arms to the perfect blend of chrome and finish truly makes everything pop with subtle perfection from underneath.
On the outside, the custom grille accents a shortened and scratch-built hood, so do the hand-formed running boards and contoured fenders. The custom PPG paint called “Checkered Past Red” laid down by Charley Hutton helps give this ’40 Ford a depth that is truly unparalleled.
And now, back to where we started – I stood back and watched Ron take in the overwhelming wave of spectators and show participants shake his hand and show their happiness for his success, but for me, I just waited patiently until the crowd died down enough to crawl back under this spectacular ’40 Ford for another look at the owner proclaimed favorite part of his car – and yup, it’s definitely a pretty awesome bell housing. Congrats Ron and crew from everyone here at RA!
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