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posted: 3/13/2017 5:00 AM

Custom builds are shining beacons of creativity

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  • 1967 Chevrolet "ZL1 C/10" Rod Parsons, Ripley, West Virginia

    1967 Chevrolet "ZL1 C/10" Rod Parsons, Ripley, West Virginia
    Photos Courtesy of Matt Avery Media

  • Jim and Melissa Boitnoitt's 1956 Chevy station wagon before restoration began.

    Jim and Melissa Boitnoitt's 1956 Chevy station wagon before restoration began.

  • 1930 Ford Model A

    1930 Ford Model A

  • 1957 Chevrolet Corvette

    1957 Chevrolet Corvette

  • Video: Classic Recollections


The 55th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels show rolled into town last weekend and featured some of the wildest motorized creations.

The event showcases everything from motorcycles, lowriders and vintage rods to tuners, but the main stars are the ultimate builds competing for the ISCA Championship Finals.

These custom machines hail from around the country and are crafted to the highest level of attention and detail. They sparkle, they gleam and, above all, they turn heads and drop jaws.

Here's my roundup of a select few:

1967 Chevrolet "ZL1 C/10"

Rod Parsons, Ripley, West Virginia

Chevy built one heck of a vehicle in the modern Camaro ZL1. There's only one problem: you can't get it in truck form, let alone in classic truck form. Rod Parsons from Ripley, West Virginia, solved that issue. He's the proud owner of what he calls the 1967 Chevrolet ZL1 C/10. He recruited the crew at The Project Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina, to blend the asphalt-pounding performance of the ZL1 with the timeless looks and feel of a vintage pickup. Mission accomplished. The track-ready truck features tons of ZL1 cues plus a supercharged V-8 engine, RideTech coil-over suspension components and 20-inch wheels. The hauler is painted in a Subaru-sourced Desert Khaki paint. Fun fact: It features Mustang GT side mirrors.

1971 Plymouth Barracuda
1971 Plymouth Barracuda -
1971 Plymouth Barracuda

Jesse Mattock, Dewey, Oklahoma

This 1971 Plymouth Barracuda christened "Striker" certainly is striking once you peer under the hood. There you'll find a modern 6.1-liter Dodge SRT V-8 that's been supercharged. The engine swap is the tip of the iceberg for changes made to the car. Body modifications abound. The rocker panels have been extended 2 inches. All the drip rails, door handles, locks and side mirrors have been shaved and the front fenders have been extended downward 2 inches. The updated classic also packs a RideTech air-suspension, Brembo brakes and an exhaust system that's routed through the frame and exits out the side.

1956 Chevy Nomad
1956 Chevy Nomad -
1956 Chevy Nomad

Jim and Melissa Boitnoitt, Hamilton, Ohio

Dion may have been the kind of guy that could never settle down but Jim Boitnoitt sure is, at least when it comes to his vehicle preferences. He's loved wagons all his life. His latest creation, a 1956 Chevrolet Nomad dubbed "The Wanderer," reflects his passion for low-slung haulers. He didn't have to roam around and around to find it; one of his customers tipped him off to it in 2014. From there he embarked on a full overhaul. The Nomad sits on a Roadster Shop square tube chassis and features a 600-horsepower LS3 V-8, American Racing wheels and Harley-Davidson LED headlights.

"Renaissance Roadster"
"Renaissance Roadster" -
"Renaissance Roadster"

Buddy and Nancy Jordan, Portland, Oregon

The Renaissance Roadster was well-named. "Renaissance" has origins meaning "be born" and in effect, that's how this car was created. It was crafted from the ground-up by the gang at Steve's Auto Restorations. They hand-formed and machined nearly everything on the car, including the body, suspension, wheels and interior and exterior trim. Power comes from a 427-cubic-inch V-8 while brakes are Wilwood discs. The rolling piece of art took home the Ridler Award at the 2017 Detroit Autorama.

1930 Ford Model A

Ted and Colleen Hubbard, South Bend, Indiana

Ted and Colleen Hubbard's 1930 Ford Model A may be called "After Thought," but it sure took a lot of careful planning for it to come out looking like it does. CAL Automotive Creations from Omaha, Nebraska, handled the nearly two-year build. During which, a new roof was grafted on, new quarter panels and doors were created and the rear wheel openings were raised. The engine was chromed and then painted over for a unique "industrial satin" look. It was built to be driven and Ted is already chomping at the bit to get some wheel time.

1957 Chevrolet Corvette

Don and Donna Habben, Washougal, Washington

Don and Donna Habben sought out loads of inspiration when building their 1957 Chevy Corvette and all of it 'Vette inspired. They used all kinds of parts from other Corvette generations spanning multiple decades. The front suspension is fifth generation, the rear suspension fourth generation. The console and stereo are second gen and the trunk lid and windshield frame are first generation. It's not all off-the-shelf parts factory stuff. The frame, wheels, steering wheel, leather upholstery and bumpers are all custom created. Steve's Auto Restoration oversaw the build.

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