More than 300 original entries were cut to a featured 40 and then to top 12, with the creators of that dazzling dozen voting for the winner of the annual SEMA Battle of the Builders honor. Last week, as the 2017 SEMA Show concluded in Las Vegas, that honor was awarded to Troy Trepanier for a 1929 Ford Model A Tudor sedan.
The runners-up were a 1932 Ford Tudor by Alan Johnson and a 1936 Packard roadster by Troy Ladd.
“For many of the builders, SEMA Battle of the Builders is their chance to prove that they are among the industry’s best,” SEMA said in its news release. “This year’s competition began with nearly 300 applications from builders representing an elite group of individuals who have demonstrated extreme talent, creativity and craftsmanship in modifying cars, trucks, and SUVs.”
“Equipped with Excelsior Stahl Sport Radials from Coker, the 2017 Battle of the Builders-winning ’29 Ford Model A Tudor was developed by Manteno, Ill.-based Rad Rides by Troy, under the direction of the designer and builder Troy Trepanier,” Coker Tires said in a news release. All three finalists rode on the company’s vintage-looking rubber.
“Owned by Dennis Mariani, the one-of-a-kind Model A is powered by an all-aluminum small-block with a five-speed transmission, and a modified original Halibrand quick-change rear axle.
“Its highly customized body rides on a modified ’32 Ford boxed-in frame with a custom crossmember and an internal torsion bar suspension with RideTech shocks at the front and rear. Built using a selection of original Model A components, the car features Rad Rides customized paint and a custom interior.”
The other finalists for the SEMA top-builder award were Eddie Pettus for a 1963 Chevrolet Corvette, Andy Leach for a 1930 Ford Model A coupe, Mike Markin for a 1938 Graham 97, Scott Roth for a 1966 Corvette, Phil and Jeremy Gerber for a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, Jeremy Miranda for a 1969 Camaro, Larry Griffey for a 1954 Corvette, Peter Nam for a 1995 Porsche 911 Carrera, and Cris Payne for a 1995 Ford Bronco.