Jeffrey Hess 1956 Oldsmobile 98

Jeff Hess’ ’56 Oldsmobile claims 2020 Street Rod Headquarters Custom of the Year Award!

The ’56 Oldsmobile 98 known as “Oldsled,” owned by Jeff Hess and built by Pro Design Hot Rods, has captured the Goodguys 2020 Street Rod Headquarters Custom of the Year honor. This incredible creation is as custom as they come – nearly every inch of the low-lid Olds has been modified and it wears scores of custom-machined and hand-crafted details from front to rear.

custom of the year, Jeffrey Hess 1956 Oldsmobile 98


The slick cruiser started life as a two-door hardtop – the Pro Design team removed the stock roof and built a custom Carson-style lift-off top to flow back from the chopped windshield. Countless other custom mods were incorporated into the body, including frenched headlights, a molded front end, pancaked hood, and ’57 Corvette grille. Further back, the quarter panels are extended and incorporate custom fender skirts and ’56 Packard-style taillights with custom housings and one-off lenses. It’s all bathed in a beautiful House of Kolor midnight blue finish.

Beauty is more than skin deep on this radical Olds. The smoothed and fully detailed frame has a custom rear suspension, painted and plated details, matching fasteners, and custom-machined wheels influenced by ’56 Olds hubcaps. Power comes from a vintage Chrysler Hemi fed by a custom EFI system modeled after a six-carb induction setup. The inside is equally impressive, with custom front and rear seats stitched in beautiful cream-colored leather, a one-off center-mounted gauge cluster, and custom center console and shifter. The floors are even covered in leather, with carpet inserts.

custom of the year, Jeff Hess 1956 Oldsmobile 98

Congratulations to Jeff Hess and the Pro Design team on taking home the Street Rod Headquarters Custom of the Year honor! Look for a more in-depth feature on Oldseld in an upcoming Goodguys Gazette and be sure to come see the ride in person at the Goodguys 23rd Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals presented by Barrett-Jackson November 20-22 at Westworld of Scottsdale.

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.