Goodguys 2022 Chevrolet Performance GM Retro Iron Builder of the Year!
Congratulations to Troy Ladd & Hollywood Hot Rods for winning the Goodguys 2022 Chevrolet Performance GM Retro Iron Builder of the Year title with Pat Gauntt’s Cadillac-powered ’32 Ford coupe! We’ll see you & the vehicle in Scottsdale, Arizona November 18-20, 2022 at the 25th Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals!
Six months after winning the Goodguys 2022 Meguiar’s Street Rod d’Elegance award at the Del Mar Nationals, Pat Gauntt’s classy, competition-flavored ’32 Ford coupe has captured yet another major win. The finely crafted hot rod earned Hollywood Hot Rods the Chevrolet Performance GM Retro Iron Builder of the Year title! It’s one of two Builder of the Year awards from Goodguys and Chevrolet Performance aimed at recognizing and honoring the top shops and finest craftsmen in our hobby.
It’s a fitting victory for this fantastic three-window coupe, which was earning admiration in bare metal even before debuting at the 2022 Grand National Roadster Show, where it won the coveted Al Slonaker Memorial Award. The sleek and racy Deuce has been racking up top awards and honors ever since.
Designed to combine hot rod attitude and refined elements commonly seen in vintage coach-built European racing machines, the coupe is based on a hand-fabricated frame wearing dozens of lightening holes, thousands of rivets, and a clever four-bar front suspension comprised of dual quarter-elliptic springs on each side. A Winters quick-change rearend is located by lower quarter elliptic springs and a hand-built upper I-beam-style center wishbone, with custom-built 16- and 18-inch wire wheels by Wheelsmith wrapped in Dunlop rubber getting things rolling. Power comes from a beautifully detailed ’49-vintage 331c.i. Cadillac V8 fed by dual Stromberg carbs and backed by a Tremec five-speed transmission.
The major metalwork on the coupe includes a chopped top, sectioned body, split windshield, and a custom grille from Alumicraft backed by hand-built hood sides with mesh vent panels. A variety of rivet-attached aluminum trim panels and one-off stainless parts add to the vintage European racing flair, while also complementing the rich dark metallic brown finish applied by Mick’s Paint. There’s classy competition flavor inside this coupe, too, with tasteful two-tone leather upholstery on race-style bucket seats by Elegance Auto Interiors, plus engine-turned dash inserts, custom gauges, one-off pedals, and a beautifully crafted rail-style shifter.
Distinctive, cool, and incredibly well crafted, the Gauntt coupe is one of those reminders that there are no limits to the creativity and capability of the best builders in our industry. Congratulations to Troy Ladd and the Hollywood Hot Rods team for executing this creative concept to such an incredibly high standard.
Photos by John Jackson