MCG Photo Essay: all the Ridler Award winners 1964-2012

As part of our complete coverage of the 2013 Detroit Autorama, here’s a mega photo gallery featuring all 49 Ridler Award winners from 1964 to present. 

 

Most rodders are familiar with the story of Don Ridler and the Ridler Award. Ace promotions and marketing man for the Detroit Autorama, he helped put the event on the map, only to pass away, tragically, at the early age of 54. The Ridler Award was immediately created to keep his name and memory alive. This weekend will mark the 50th year of the prize.

Regarded as one of the top awards—indeed, if not the top award—in the hot rodding world, the Ridler has two unique features: First, unlike many awards, it’s open to any type of vehicle, street or race,  and to all body styles, open and closed. Next, cars are only eligible for the Ridler (and the Great 8 finals from which the Ridler winner is selected) in their first public appearance. Cars shown previously, at the Autorama, in print, or elsewhere, cannot compete.

These two rules have gone a long way in shaping the unique collection of vehicles that have won the Ridler. The first winner in 1964 was a for-real race car, Al Bergler’s More Aggravation Comp dragster. Since then the award has been snared by T-buckets, a Corvette, Pro Street and Pro Stock cars. Anything that can be called a hot rod is potential Ridler material, though in recent years the field is dominated by the high-end street-rod scene.

Looking over the roster of Ridler winners is a little like looking through a family album and suddenly being reminded of all the hairstyles and clothing trends of past decades. Like every movement, hot rodding has had its fads and fashions, and not all of them have held up terribly well though the years. But that’s all part of the fun of this fond look back. Which vehicles are your favorites?

 

1985 Bobby Alloway 1933 Ford Victoria

1985 Bobby Alloway 1933 Ford Victoria

1983 Ron Barnum 1929 Ford Sedan Delivery Renaissance Delivery

1983 Ron Barnum 1929 Ford Sedan Delivery Renaissance Delivery

1992 Jimmy Stewart 1932 Ford Fordor

1992 Jimmy Stewart 1932 Ford Fordor

1993 Dave Stitzer 1940 Ford Coupe

1993 Dave Stitzer 1940 Ford Coupe

1989 Mike Baliestero 1934 Ford Cabriolet

1989 Mike Baliestero 1934 Ford Cabriolet

1964 Al Bergler More Aggravation Comp dragster

1964 Al Bergler More Aggravation Comp dragster

1994 Fred Warren 1937 Ford Aero Coupe

1994 Fred Warren 1937 Ford Aero Coupe

1980 Everett Rezendes 1928 Ford A Sedan Delivery Cranberry Delivery

1980 Everett Rezendes 1928 Ford A Sedan Delivery Cranberry Delivery

1987 John Kolbusz 1934 Ford Roadster

1987 John Kolbusz 1934 Ford Roadster

2001 Chris Williams 1949 Chevrolet Coupe M-80

2001 Chris Williams 1949 Chevrolet Coupe M-80

1967 Alexaander Bros. 1966 Dodge A-100 Pickup Deora

1967 Alexaander Bros. 1966 Dodge A-100 Pickup Deora

1997 Dave Emery 1932 Ford Roadster

1997 Dave Emery 1932 Ford Roadster

1977 Frank Camden 1926 Ford T Sedan Frigid T

1977 Frank Camden 1926 Ford T Sedan Frigid T

1979 Frank Morabito Ford T Touring Garagefather

1979 Frank Morabito Ford T Touring Garagefather

1990 Dan Webb 1932 Ford Roadster

1990 Dan Webb 1932 Ford Roadster

1988 Mal Kieswetter 1932 Ford 3W Coupe The Gambler

1988 Mal Kieswetter 1932 Ford 3W Coupe The Gambler

2006 Kevin and Karen Alstott 1935 Ford Radster

2006 Kevin and Karen Alstott 1935 Ford Radster

2007 Ross and Beth Myers 1936 Ford Coupe First Love

2007 Ross and Beth Myers 1936 Ford Coupe First Love

1973 Jerry Pennington handbuilt rod Devilfirsh

1973 Jerry Pennington handbuilt rod Devilfirsh

1995 Bob Rizzoli 1992 Mercedes 560 SEC

1995 Bob Rizzoli 1992 Mercedes 560 SEC

1991 Tony Carlini 1933 Ford Coupe

1991 Tony Carlini 1933 Ford Coupe

1974 Don Campbell 1927 Ford T Sedan Tartan T

1974 Don Campbell 1927 Ford T Sedan Tartan T

1966 Maynard Rupp 1966 Chevelle Chevoom

1966 Maynard Rupp 1966 Chevelle Chevoom

2009 Doug Cooper 1932 Ford B-400 Deucenberg

2009 Doug Cooper 1932 Ford B-400 Deucenberg

1978 Bob Anzalone 23 Ford T roadster Black Diamond

1978 Bob Anzalone 23 Ford T roadster Black Diamond

1984 Bob Reed 1934 Ford 3W Coupe Khrome Shoppe Special

1984 Bob Reed 1934 Ford 3W Coupe Khrome Shoppe Special

1972 Jerry Pennington C3 Corvette Scorpion

1972 Jerry Pennington C3 Corvette Scorpion

1999 Bob Young 1932 Ford 3W Coupe

1999 Bob Young 1932 Ford 3W Coupe

2005 Ken Reister 1936 Ford hardtop convertible Impression

2005 Ken Reister 1936 Ford hardtop convertible Impression

1996 George Poteet 1937 Ford Roadster

1996 George Poteet 1937 Ford Roadster

2003 Ron Whiteside 1934 Ford Mercury Stallion

2003 Ron Whiteside 1934 Ford Mercury Stallion

2012 Dwayne Peace 1955 Ford Thunderbird

2012 Dwayne Peace 1955 Ford Thunderbird

1971 John Greer C-Cab truck Brink's Express

1971 John Greer C-Cab truck Brink's Express

1976 Robert Sweatt 1923 Ford Fuel Altered El Toro

1976 Robert Sweatt 1923 Ford Fuel Altered El Toro

2008 Mike Warn 1960 Rambler Ferrambo

2008 Mike Warn 1960 Rambler Ferrambo

2011 Bruce Ricks 1956 Ford Convertible Suncammer

2011 Bruce Ricks 1956 Ford Convertible Suncammer

2000 Paul Atikins 1933 Ford Speedster

2000 Paul Atikins 1933 Ford Speedster

2002 Wes & Bob Rydell 1935 Chevrolet Coach Grand Master

2002 Wes & Bob Rydell 1935 Chevrolet Coach Grand Master

1998 Eric Peratt and Ken Reister 1933 Ford 21st Century Comet

1998 Eric Peratt and Ken Reister 1933 Ford 21st Century Comet

1986 Dale Hunt Pontiac Grand Am Pro Stock

1986 Dale Hunt Pontiac Grand Am Pro Stock

1981 Bob Tiano 1934 Ford 3W Coupe

1981 Bob Tiano 1934 Ford 3W Coupe

1970 Jan Bergel 1966 Dodge Charger Electro Charger

1970 Jan Bergel 1966 Dodge Charger Electro Charger

1968 Chuck Miller C-Cab Fire Truck

1968 Chuck Miller C-Cab Fire Truck

1969 Larry Alexander Model T roadser Top Banana

1969 Larry Alexander Model T roadser Top Banana

1982 John Pappert 1934 Ford Model Y

1982 John Pappert 1934 Ford Model Y

1965 Bob Massaron 1956 Chevrolet Venturian

1965 Bob Massaron 1956 Chevrolet Venturian

1975 Bob Gutzke 1927 Ford T Coupe

1975 Bob Gutzke 1927 Ford T Coupe

2004 Al Brockly 1937 Willys Coupe

2004 Al Brockly 1937 Willys Coupe

2010 Tammy Ray 1933 Ford Phaeton Gold Digger

2010 Tammy Ray 1933 Ford Phaeton Gold Digger

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5 thoughts on “MCG Photo Essay: all the Ridler Award winners 1964-2012

  1. hi everyone. my father is Jan Bergel. He won in 1970 for his dodge electro charger. he has recently passed in feb 2013 and i was trying to locate, if its even around still, the car that won the ridler award that is proudly displayed in my living room. if anyone has any info please contact me. any and all info is appreciated. tiffanybistue@yahoo.com

  2. i seem to forget how far the street rod hobby has advanced in the past few years , we just bought a car bult by bobby alloway at barrett jackson , i see he won this award in the mid 80s , my favorite of all is bruce ricks suncammer i never get tired of looking at it

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