Home Run! Celebrating the 2021 Speedway Motors Homebuilt Heaven Winner
Hot rodding wasn’t born in high-end professional shops. It sprang from the garages of passionate enthusiasts who used their own hands, hard work, and energy to improve the performance and appearance of their cars. That do-it-yourself spirit is alive and well today and Goodguys and Speedway Motors celebrate it with the Homebuilt Heaven Special Parking Area, and awards, at all Goodguys events.
At the end of 2021 each Homebuilt Heaven event winner was placed on an online ballot to determine the year-end champions. The people voted, and the 2021 Homebuilt Heaven winner is John Martin’s wild ’34 Ford coupe, inspired by his drag racing experience in the ’60s and ’70s.
We’d like to congratulate John for his winning homebuilt ride! He will receive a gift certificate, jacket, and more prize swag from Speedway Motors, in addition to the satisfaction of knowing that he’s helping to keep the homebuilt hot rodding spirit alive.
2021 Speedway Motors Homebuilt Heaven Winner
John Martin – Nixa, MO – 1934 Ford Coupe
John Martin considers himself a lucky man – he grew up at the beginning of rock ’n roll and drag racing. He actively pursued the latter in the 1960s, owning a ’62 Chevy 409/409 and later teaming up with Jim Kirby and Mike Kausch to build an AHRA Ultra Stock Chevelle and a ’68 Camaro Funny Car. In short, he experienced drag racing during the glory years of its Golden Age.
John’s favorite drag cars were the stack-injected early Funny Cars. Those cars – along with machines like the Mooneyham and Sharp #554 and Dawson’s Demon ’34 coupe – influenced John’s ’34 Ford, which pairs drag racing style with modern, streetable power and safety equipment. It even has a backup camera!
The coupe’s frame was built using aftermarket rails, a Pete & Jakes four-bar front suspension, and a Strange aluminum 9-inch rearend with QA1 coil-overs. An NHRA-certified roll cage was designed and installed by Jim Wiens, and John fabricated the custom firewall to mimic the shape of the cut-down aluminum ’34 grille.
The all-aluminum 693c.i. New Century Performance big block Chevy produces 850 horsepower thanks to premium parts like Diamond pistons, Brodix heads, Comp valvetrain, Mike Dunn front-mount distributor, and a highly modified Kinsler fuel injection system. Lucky and Jordan Bodenbach modified the FAST injectors and built a custom plenum and progressive throttle linkage to help make the system function well on the street. John, meanwhile, built custom zoomie headers with cutouts that can direct exhaust through an under-car system with Flowmaster mufflers. Backed by a J.W. Powerglide, the engine directs its fury to massive rear Mickey Thompson ET Street tires.
The coupe’s top was taper chopped 4-inches, the back glass angled forward, the rear fender reveals raised, and the body channeled 2.5-inches at the front. Steve’s Auto Restoration provided the louvered trunk skin, while Bob Brauch and Rick Dean did the finish bodywork and paint. The interior is drag car Spartan, with aluminum paneling, leather-covered bomber seats from Speedway Motors, Stewart Warner gauges, and a Hurst shifter. The steering column drop is a connecting rod out of the “Havoc” Top Fueler.
John says he couldn’t have completed the ground-pounding coupe without the help of many friends who possess better skills than he, so he wants to extend his heartfelt thanks to all those who contributed.
Photos by John Jackson & Steven Bunker | Additional photos courtesy John Martin