Goodguys 2021 West Coast Nationals Memorial Award Winners
Every year at the West Coast Nationals (Goodguys “Crown Jewel” event) a handful of perpetual yearly awards are given remembering some of the great hot rod legends and close Goodguys friends who have since passed. Some of these awards, like the Stroker McGurk award that’s given to the best high-boy roadster and chosen by Gary Medley, dates back to the late-1970s with the newest award being the Gary “Goodguy” Meadors Memorial Award first awarded in 2016 and continually selected yearly by Gary’s son and Goodguys President Marc Meadors.
The other four memorial awards pay homage to influential rodders like Nathan Strube who was as hardcore a hot rodder as they come and died much too soon which honors a young hot rodder each year, Super Bell Axle founder Jim Ewing, Bruce “Deuce” Olson, and longtime Goodguys friend and one of the original founders of the Danville Dukes, Bill Burnham.
Let’s take a look at the rides and recipients that were honored with these prized awards in 2021.
Gary “Goodguy” Meadors Memorial Award
Pat Ganahl – 1933 Ford Sedan
Veteran hot rod journalist Pat Ganahl recently finished this ’33 Ford four-door sedan, a former military staff vehicle that was home-built by Pat in his garage with a small-block Chevy engine, 700R4 transmission, steel wheels with ’56 Ford pickup caps, black and white tuck ’n roll upholstery, and beautiful black paint. Gary Goodguy would have loved it – especially since it’s a driver that has already seen plenty of road miles.
Nathan Strube Memorial Award
James Cerepak – 1974 American Motors Javelin
Young James Cerepak was a double winner with his ’74 AMC Javelin. The 22-year-old enthusiast – who bought this car when he was just 14 – nabbed both the Goolsby Next Generation award, as well as the Nathan Strube Memorial Award, named for young rodder Nathan Strube who died much too young. James’ Javelin has a 401c.i. AMC V8, Sniper fuel injection, a ’71 cowl-induction hood, and an interior from a ’73 Pierre Cardin edition Javelin.
Bill Burnham Memorial Award
Randy Driskell – 1932 Ford Roadster
The late Bill Burnham would have loved the longevity of this Deuce roadster, which was painted back in 1976, with pinstriping by Art Himsl. Randy Driskell bought the car in 2003 and keeps it cruising with small-block Chevy power, a dropped axle, and 16-inch steel wheels. Even the leather upholstery dates back to ’76 – meaning it’s well broken in and extra comfortable!
Jim Ewing Memorial Award
Ben Wallace – 1934 Ford Coupe
Awarded in honor of Super Bell Axle founder Jim Ewing, this trophy found a fitting recipient in Ben Wallace’s ’34 Ford coupe. The car was built and raced by Ben’s father, Craig, and after 25 years is back in the family and back on the road. Hot rod elements include a 327c.i. Chevy engine with zoomie headers, dropped and drilled front axle, quick-change rearend, and big ’n little American wheels. The bright yellow paint on the much-louvered body dates back more than a quarter century to when Craig built the car!
Stroker McGurk Award
Chick Koszis – 1932 Ford Roadster
Chick Koszis is keeping the classic hot rod vibe alive with his ’32 Ford roadster, a former AMBR contender (2013) built by Hot Rods & Custom Stuff using a ’57-vintage 392c.i. Chrysler Hemi, 4L80E transmission, Halibrand wheels, and lakes-style headers. The laid-back windshield and deep black paint aid in the car’s classic look, with Ron Mangus upholstery making for an exceptionally classy cockpit.
Bruce Olson Memorial Award
Tom Walsh – 1932 Ford Coupe
Longtime Bay Area rodder Tom Walsh says his first car was a ’32 Ford three-window coupe. He found this one in 1995 and “built it like a rich kid in the ’50s would have built it.” That means a boxed frame, dropped axle, Real Rodders wheels, small-block Chevy power, and black paint with red leather upholstery. The late Bruce “Deuce” Olson would most certainly approve!