Automotive & Aftermarket News / Featured Vehicles / News & Car Culture

Ridler Award-Winning 1940 Ford Wins Del Mar Street Rod d’Elegance Crown

To say the last couple of months have been good to Ron Cizek would be an understatement.

Cizek’s “Checkered Past” 1940 Ford won the Goodguys 2013 March Performance Street Rod d’Elegance Award at last weekend’s 13th Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals in Del Mar, CA. This follows the Cranberry-hued Ford’s debut at the Detroit AutoRama, where it won the prestigious Ridler Award in March.

Although Cizek himself originally started the build three years ago as a “weekend project”, it was finished and coach-built by his partner Andy Leach and the talented team at Cal Automotive Creations in Omaha, NE. Leach apprenticed for six years under the watchful eye of Troy Trepanier prior to joining forces with Cizek.

Checkered Past, named for its dirt track lineage, is the shop’s first completed concept-to-finished-show-car project, stamping them as major players to keep an eye on going forward. Winning the Ridler then the Street Rod d’Elegance crown has been pulled off by only a select few over the years. Like all big show cars, it’s been handcrafted and reshaped while keeping a fair share of its factory lines. Leach and his team wedge-sectioned the car one inch from front to back then chopped the top 3/8-inch for the perfect hot rod rake. The hood and fenders have been reshaped as were the meticulously hand-shaped running boards. Finishing off the front end mods is a custom grille with thinned out headlamp rings.

You can read more about this Flathead-powered Ford in our original Ridler Award post.

For the ’40 Coupe’s big win, Cizek will receive a custom toolbox as well as travel accommodations to the Goodguys 16th Southwest Nationals November 15-17 in Scottsdale, AZ to join the “Champion’s Arena” display featuring Goodguys’ Top 12 Cars of the Year. Fellow finalists for the Goodguys 2013 March Performance Street Rod d’Elegance award included Harold Chapman Jr (1933 Ford), Jerry Kjensrud (19239 Chevy), George Sepulveda (1938 Ford) and Roger Hill (1939 Chevy).


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