Video: 2018 Goodguys/Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year!

The Mariani Brother’s Rad Rides built ’29 Model A Ford has been ubiquitous this last year. When it took another big win this last weekend at Goodguys in Columbus, Ohio, it was like predicting darkness after dusk. Rod Authority live streamed the entire awards ceremony on Facebook and have included the big moment for you here. (Go to 15:40 to hear Troy Trepanier talk about the car and then fast forward to see the car announced Street Rod Of The Year at 38:00.)

The 2018 Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year owned by Mark and Dennis Mariani, is a  radical ’29 Model A, built by Troy Trepanier’s Rad Rides out of Illinois.

The car debuted at the 2016 SEMA Show in bare metal, creating quite a sensation with impeccable build quality, refined details, and mega personality. It was no less impressive at SEMA a year later in “full dress” with paint and upholstery. It not only took home a Goodguys Gold Award, but also went on to win the SEMA Battle of the Builders award.

Hitting the show circuit for 2018, the low-slung sedan continues to thrill, combining elements that mash-up styling cues from prewar rods. The radically low height, tall wheels, and old school flourishes blur boundaries between genres.

The tight tolerance construction, hand-fabricated pieces, and countless details wow those who favor mega-build street rods. Racing  influences – from the Halibrand quick-change to the all-aluminum small-block Chevy are a nice touch as well.

The latter is no surprise, as the Mariani brothers dabble in salt-flat racing themselves, most recently in a Rad Rides-built ’34 Ford streamliner.

Troy Trepanier has made his mark with 50s and ’60s cars, but has dabbled in street rods as well, but it’s no secret that Adam Banks gets the credit for the guru behind the build.

The wrap-under grille, which borrows styling cues from ’32-’35-era Fords is a distinctive element.  It blends into a custom body that transitions into a smooth ’29-style cowl with a clever top vent.

Flush-fit doors and custom quarters hold court in the back where the Model A taillights and license plate are mounted high, while a custom lower insert panel incorporates cutouts for the exhaust and Halibrand quick-change rear end. The rod is then dipped in  Glasurit bronze paint, with satin finishes on chassis components and select body panels providing a nice contrast

The interior is a knockout. Square weave carpet quiets the floor and rear cargo area, and coffee brown Italian leather covers one-off seat and side panels. Dig the borrowed ’49 Packard gauge cluster combined with Classic Instruments pieces and the Vintage Air unit tucked in behind the dash. Be sure and check out the detail work in the headliner as well.

Like any great custom, multiple views are required to take in all the goodness. It’s that attention to detail that make the Mariani Model A so spectacular, and the Goodguys 2018 Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year.

We live streamed the entire award ceremony on Rod Authority Facebook and be sure and check out Troy Trepanier’s acceptance speech and the runners up.

About the author

Dave Cruikshank

Dave Cruikshank is a lifelong car enthusiast and an Editor at Power Automedia. A zealous car geek since birth, he digs lead sleds, curvy fiberglass, kustoms and street rods. He currently owns a '95 Corvette, '76 Cadillac Seville, '99 LS1 Trans Am and big old Ford Van.
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