America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel Curve

America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Winner – David Martin’s 1931 Model A

America’s Most Beautiful Roadster is hot rodding’s longest tenured major award. First presented in 1950 to Bill Niekamp’s blue track-nosed ’29 Ford Roadster, this trophy and tradition date back 68 years. The winner gets the “8-footer” – a brass loving cup which has stood the test of time.America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel Curve

America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel Curve

The AMBR winner gets his name added to the base of the trophy. Legends rest on that base. Add Santa Monica’s David Martin to the hot rod history books. Martin’s Cleveland Blue 1931 Ford Model A Roadster by Hot Rods and Hobbies took home all the marbles yesterday at the conclusion of the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, California.America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel Curve

America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel Curve

Martin’s roadster eclipsed the largest field in recent memory (15 cars total) and it beat out some major players including Dana Elrod’s 1936 Ford, Bruce Meyer’s “Nickel Roadster” and the historic Eddie Dye Roadster painstakingly restored to 1952 show trim by Circle City Hot Rods. The other 11 cars were more than worthy as well.

America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel Curve


A polished blend of So-Cal hot rod flare mixed with European sports car panache, Martin’s roadster is the best of both worlds. A two year build by Scott Bonowski and his team at Hot Rods and Hobbies, the body has been meticulously tweaked including a healthy dose of aluminum panels including the slightly sloped hood, hood sides, lakes-style tonneau cover and a full belly pan. The car has over 270 louvers.

America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel CurveAmerica's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel Curve

The cockpit is somewhere between a Jaguar and a Ferrari with racing bucket seats and a serious set of belts to keep Mark and his passengers snug on spirited drives. An exquisite blend of leather and other textures, it was stitched by Mark Lopez of Elegance Auto Interior (who also did the interior on last year’s winner – Bruce Wanta’s Mulholland Speedster). Redline Gaugeworks provided the sporty instruments.

America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel Curve

When this car hits the road later this spring (and it will indeed be driven), the plan is for Frank to drive it to New York. From there, it will be shipped to Italy, then on to Switzerland for a hill climb before being returned stateside for a shot at Goodguys 2018 Hot Rod of the Year – a driving competition held Mother’s Day weekend in Nashville, Tennessee.

America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel CurveAmerica's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel Curve

Speed is the name of the game with this roadster. An all-aluminum stack-injected 540hp Brodix small block Chevy by Ed Pink Racing Engines thunders through twisty side pipes which are routed through the frame before exiting the rear of the roadster. No mufflers here!

America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel Curve

The chassis is a work of art with plated and polished hot rod essentials including a drilled and dropped axle. The wheels are exclusive to this car resembling something off a 50s era Indy Car. Cut by EVOD, they were shot peened for added texture. Yellow MR (Martin Racing) logos occupy the center of the knock offs matching the mustard yellow beltline stripe.

America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel Curve

It’s the first AMBR win for both Martin and builder Scott Bonowski. For Martin, the win is extra special as he’s a member of the prestigious L.A. Roadsters car club who have held the Father’s Day run here in Pomona for over five decades.

America's Most Beautiful Roadster 2018, Ford Model A Roadster, Fuel Curve

It should also be pointed out that prior to final fit and finish as well as body and paint work, Martin ran this car in the Silver State Challenge in the remote lands of Nevada. Check out this bitchin’ video!

Next up for the racy roadster is a stop at the Sacramento AutoRama February 16-18 at Cal Expo. A visit to the Goodguys Del Mar Nationals April 6-8 will follow before its cross country boogie to New York. Congratulations from all of us at Fuel Curve on the big win David!

For more Grand National Roadster Show coverage including a look at the entire AMBR field click the links below.

First Look! 69th Annual Grand National Roadster Show!

Photo Gallery! 69th Annual Grand National Roadster Show!

Trophy Picture courtesy of Josh Mishler
Senior Editor, Digital Media

With three decades of automotive journalism under his belt, John Drummond serves as Senior Editor – Digital Media for Fuel Curve and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association where he has worked since 1990. Drummond got his start in motorsports reporting by making a fake press pass to gain starting line access. The ruse worked and he began covering auto races as far back as 1986 in Northern California, eventually getting his stories published worldwide. He has owned and driven everything from a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere to a ridiculously modded Subaru WRX as well as a string of Mercedes AMG’s, most of which had the warranties voided the day after leaving the dealership.

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