The PRO BUILDER SHOOT‐OUT is a new feature event added for 2011 to the CAR CRAFT Summer NationalsTM. It is a program designed to drive attendance to and traffic within the Summer Nationals by spotlighting some of the best builders in the country. Readers of CAR CRAFT magazine and show attendees will have the opportunity to not only meet these extremely popular and creative individuals, but also vote on their favorite car designed and crafted by these various builders. The winning entry will earn the builder the honor of becoming the CAR CRAFT Pro Builder Of The Year for 2011.
Six different builders were selected to kick off this new program. It is estimated that the designated cars in this prestigious gathering will be worth over $500,000.00 and will exemplify some of the most leading edge designs in the performance aftermarket industry. This editor‐developed program will culminate with the awarding of the Custom winner’s trophy on site, as well as with a follow up editorial feature on the winning car.
Rad Rides by Troy: 1970 Chevy Nova
It all started in 1986 when his grandfather gave him a 1966 Chevelle to “fix up” for himself. After a good effort he took that car to the 1990 Street Machine Nationals event in DuQuoin, IL. He was amazed at the building techniques he saw there, so he rebuilt his Chevelle shortly thereafter with a unique blend of ideas like brushed trim (taken from a John Buttera car) and Boyd wheels. The car was called Pro Box. It was a huge hit that spawned a new company.
Rad Rides by Troy was established in 1995 as a father and son business, and has since grown to become one of America’s top automotive shops in 16 short years.
Along the way Troy has become a team builder ‐ from the close‐knit pack of fabricators, mechanics, painters and machinists that make up the company to the essential partnerships he has forged with some of the industry’s leading suppliers.
Ring Brothers: 1970 Mustang Fastback, Dragon
Mike and Jim Ring got their start rebuilding custom cars as kids using discarded lawn mower engines they found in the local dump in Plain, WI where their dad ran a service station.
The brothers were two of seven kids raised in a one‐bathroom, three‐bedroom home with a garage below, and where they attempted in vain to hide their car‐building experiments from their mother long before either boy could legally drive.
These brothers, now in their mid‐40s with kids of their own, made custom hot rod history by winning Goodguys Rod and Custom Association Street Machine of the Year for the second year in a row for a car they created.
The Roadster Shop: 1967 Nova "Innovator"
The Roadster Shop has been owned and operated by Neal, Phillip, and Jeremy Gerber since 2004 when it was purchased from the original owner. At the time of the Gerbers’ purchase, The Roadster Shop had been an industry main stay for over 20 years in the street rod chassis and fabrication market. The goal was to start with the solid chassis production foundation and grow that into the leader in the street rod chassis market. Many changes were made to improve the quality and ease the installation for the customer, as well as adding several new models to the chassis line up.
Being in the hot rod industry turned out to be the perfect excuse to build a custom hot rod. The first car under the new ownership, a red and silver 1932 Dearborn Deuce, was built as a company display vehicle to showcase the chassis, while at the same time showcase the custom fabrication and build quality possessed by the Roadster Shop.
Route 66: 1967 Chevy Nova
Bill Jelinek, Owner of Route 66 Motorsports, has over 30 years experience in the automotive industry. The state of the art facility is located in New Lenox, Illinois. Route 66 Motorsports specializes in muscle cars, classic cars, & hot rods. They take on any project – big or small – whether it is a radical pro‐touring build up, a partial or full auto restoration, or something as minor as repairing a dent. Route 66 Motorsports provides complete restoration and customization of classic cars from start to finish. All of their work is about thorough research and meticulous craftsmanship. Whether you live nearby or 3,000 miles away, you'll always know the current status of your vehicle with documented photos and regular progress reports.
Schwartz Performance: 1965 Pontiac Tempest
Jeff Schwartz, a native of Minnesota and long time resident of the Chicago suburb of Crystal Lake Illinois, has been an automobile and motorcycle enthusiast his whole life. Subscribing to Hot Rod Magazine and learning to weld when he was 12 years old, Jeff went on to become an accomplished machinist and Motocross rider. Spending most of his career managing automotive parts and equipment manufacturing plants, Jeff raced whenever possible.
This vast competition experience, which includes engine building and chassis set‐up, separates Schwartz from his car building peers. After building custom cars and motorcycles as a hobby for 26 years, many of which have been seen in major magazines, in 2004 Jeff decided to help others build their dream cars. Jeff's combinations have not only proven themselves on cross country events like Hot Rod Power Tour, but have also won numerous track events and magazine shootouts. If you want total Performance, equally at home on the street or blasting around your favorite racetrack, contact Schwartz Performance.
Woody's Hot Rodz: 1969 Camaro
From humble beginnings in a backyard garage, Woody’s Hot Rodz was founded with the dream of becoming one of the Nation’s premier builders of classic hot rods. Fast forward 6 years and they now have eight employees working out of two separate facilities in Bright, IN with more than 7,500 sq ft of floor space; the dream is coming to fruition.
Woody’s specializes in creating one‐of‐a‐kind turnkey hot rods and muscle cars. Christopher Sondles, the founder of Woody’s Hot Rodz, has had a life long passion with classic and performance cars. At the age of two Christopher got his first taste of hot rods as he observed his father, Fred, restore a 1957 Chevy, which is the same car he has today. Ever since Chris has been heavily involved in the industry. Woody’s is considered by many to be one of the best kept secrets in the hot rod world, but they continue to gain greater recognition with each passing project.