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Hemi Powered Model A Tudor Named Hot Rod of the Year



Forty-two hot rods. One winner. That is how it went down last weekend at the Goodguys 11th Nashville Nationals in Music City USA. Heard round the country, the rallying cry for real, genuine, hell-raisin’ hot rods went out in January when the award was officially announced as part of the Goodguys 2017 Top 12 Awards program.

When the chips were pushed to the middle of the table, Ralph and Linda Miller’s candy colored, supercharged hemi powered Model A Tudor sedan cashed in by winning the Goodguys 2017 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year award. It marked the second time in the last five years an “Angry A” from the team of Bobby Hilton and Tony Lombardi won this award. They also brought it home in 2014.

The Miller’s hemi hauler is a 60s throwback. The pearl blue teal fades and layered panels scream Larry Watson. The polished baby Moons harken back to Dean Moon’s 60s identity. The blown hemi by Ross Racing Engines wakes the dead. Together with its propensity for high speed highway jousts, thunderous burnouts and rambunctious attitude – it embodies everything a hot rod is.

If you have been following the Hilton and Lombardi builds, every car they produce has bad-to-the-bone hot rod characteristics. Playing to that credo, the Wilson’s Tudor is chopped, has a perfect rake, dropped axle, deuce rails, plentiful polish, driveshaft headers, skinny wheels and bias play tires, and a leather trimmed interior along with serious attitude. The fit and finish is on par with rodding’s elite but make no mistake – this is no car show queen. With just 30 miles on the clock, it was driven 3,000-miles round trip to the Lone Star Roundup in April. It performed flawlessly on a Friday reliability run as part of a prerequisite to be eligible for Hot Rod of the Year. A 1/8th mile dragstrip fun run is also mandatory. Driven by Hilton at the track, the Miller’s sedan was anything but tame. It smoked the tires and roared down the track, the blown hemi at full song.

About that hemi - Tony Lombardi at Ross Racing Engines assembled it with his usual bullet-proof bottom end, added a 4-71 huffer, dual 94-series carbs and a retro Vertex mag. It doesn’t skip a beat.

Runner up finalists for Goodguys 2017 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year include Ted Hubbard’s 1930 Model A, Gary Corkell’s ’32 Ford roadster, Bill Herb’s ’33 Ford coupe and Harold Chapman’s ’32 Ford 5-window.

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