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1963 Impala Wins Vaughn Early Award at World of Wheels

The 50th Annual Birmingham, AL O’Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels event has grown from a small local show in 1971 to one of the premiere shows of the Southeast, and as car shows and events return this year, it's been even more exciting to recognize the shows and the amazing vehicles that appear there.  In fact, the Birmingham, AL O’Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels show was the first International Show Car Association (ISCA) show, and one of the largest indoor shows to return, on Februar 12-14, 2021. It did so with safety as top priority. They worked closely with the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex to adhere to rigorous safety standards. The BJCC has earned STAR Facility Accreditation on cleaning, disinfection & infectious disease prevention from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC). The GBAC STAR is the industry’s leading outbreak prevention, response and recovery accreditation. 

A major highlight of this World of Wheels show, was the prestigious Vaughn Early Memorial Award presented by American National, which was presented to Brad Ranweiler's 1963 Chevy Impala Wagon. The Impala won the hotly contested prize over four other leading contenders. Together, these five finalists were dubbed the “Fabulous Five”.

Started in 2011, the Vaughn Early Memorial Award presented by American National places special emphasis on “the vehicle that best exhibits excellence in design and fabrication”. Each year, professional ISCA  judges select the “Fabulous Five”, the top five first time shown vehicles in the Birmingham, AL O’Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels. Each Fabulous Five winner receives a trophy, a sign and $600 cash. The top vehicle from the Fabulous Five receives the coveted Vaughn Early Memorial Award presented by American National and its $10,000 cash prize. The Vaughn Early Memorial Award represents a vehicle as a total package and places its importance on creativity, ingenuity and overcoming design obstacles. The award’s namesake, Vaughn Early, was an avid car lover and father-in-law of the nationally recognized custom car builder, Jonathan Goolsby of Goolsby Customs.

This year's winner, named “Impressive,” was built by Brad, Brady, and Cory Ranweiler of Show Cars Automotive in New Ulm, Minnesota.

Congratulations to the finalists as well:

  • Randy West, Woodruff SC, 1968 Chevy Camaro
  • Greg Wilson, Louisville KY, 1929 Ford Woody
  • Quint Walberts, Coatsville IN, 1941 Willys Coupe
  • Keith Kyker, Telford TN, 1969 Ford (Bronco) Ranger