Amadeo Angelo’s 1936 Ford Earns Goodguys 2019 Hot Rod of the Year Title
For the second time in a month Amadeo Angelo found his ’36 Ford sitting in a top five finalist spot for a Goodguys Top 12 award. At the Del Mar Nationals in April, the three-window coupe was a finalist for the Street Rod d’Elegance honor. It fared even better this past weekend at the 14th Nashville Nationals, where it not only made the top five for the Tanks Inc. Hot Rod of the Year award, it went home the winner!
Built by Roseville Rod & Custom in California, the Montana-based Ford came a long way to compete for Hot Rod of the Year, an award aimed at ’48-and-earlier rides that make plenty of noise, are regularly street-driven, and have a mean attitude. This is not a title for cream puffs – the cars in contention must make a 100-mile reliability run, do a burnout, make a pass down the dragstrip, and exhibit an attitude that says, “hot rod!”
The ’36 was shown off hoodless in Nashville to better show its credentials and display its rumbling hot rod heart: an ARDUN-head Flathead topped with a S.C.o.T. blower. In fact, it was the engine that came first with this award-winning project. Amadeo knew he wanted a blown ARDUN mill and was able to source one from longtime hot rodder Don Ferguson. The supercharged engine was ultimately fed by fuel injection and backed by a Tremec five-speed transmission from Modern Driveline.
Finding a car to put the engine in was supposed to be the easy part, but we all know how that can go. Amadeo found the ’36 three-window, but ultimately every aspect of it was either rebuilt or refined to achieve the level of quality and the subtle hot rod style sought by Angelo and the Roseville Rod & Custom team, led by shop owner Ben York.
The team used a new REVO chassis from Roadster Shop as a foundation, complete with an independent front suspension, four-bar rear suspension, and 9-inch rearend. Vintage-style, Indy-inspired 16-inch knock-off wheels were custom machined by EVOD Industries and wrapped in 5.50- and 7.00-16 Diamondback Auburn Deluxe tires. The combination provided a classic, distinctive look that helps define the coupe’s character.
The body initially appears almost stock, but incorporates a number of subtle tricks, starting with the chopped top. Ben initially suggested a two-inch cut, but Amadeo felt it might be too much, so the Roseville team cut the top an inch and then showed it to Amadeo to see how much more they should remove. He liked it right there, so that’s where the top stayed! Beyond re-shaping the front fenders to better accommodate the big ARDUN, the Roseville team also built custom hood sides and massaged things to perfection before Joe Vaca laid down the PPG paint, which was custom mixed to closely resemble a factory Cloud Mist Gray hue.
The interior combines classic hot rod flavor with a bit of modern elegance, with custom built seats that featured chrome-plated framework with beautiful brown leather upholstery by Dave Putnam. The rear is open to the trunk, with a cool chrome luggage tray on the floor. The ’36 dash incorporates vintage Stewart Warner gauges and a ’35 Chevy Master Deluxe steering wheel atop the column.
After trekking across the country to Nashville, Amadeo’s ’36 faced some pretty stiff competition – the final five was an incredible lineup of road-ready hot rods! Like all of the cars in contention, this coupe has the road miles to prove its legitimacy – more than 1000 racked up since being completed in January! The quality, detail, execution, and style of this three-window Ford ultimately helped set it apart from the field and earn the Tanks Inc. Hot Rod of the Year title. Congratulations go out to Amadeo Angelo, Ben York and the Roseville Rod & Custom team, and everyone else involved in bringing this incredible ’36 Ford hot rod to life.
Photos by John Jackson, Damon Lee & Steven Bunker