National Street Rod Association Nationals Louisville 2022

August, 2022

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If you heard the rev of engines reverberating through Louisville in early August, that’s because thousands of classic cars descended on the streets of Louisville, KY to participate in the 53rd annual National Street Rod Association meet.  Held at the Louisville Expo Center on August 4 – 7, more than 8000 classic vehicles were showcased at this year’s event.  Living up to its reputation for being the “big one” for the National Street Rod Association events, we saw everything from old-school hot rods to high-tech state-of-the-art builds. Here are some of the highlights.

Builders’ Showcase

The Builders Showcase, on display in the Expo Center’s Grand Lobby, is the focal point of the annual NSRA Nationals.  The Showcase, which this year consisted of 36 high-end builds, provides the perfect opportunity to get an up-close view of state-of-the-art vehicles, and to talk to their builders.   It certainly wasn’t easy to find a favorite in this group.

Click through the below slideshow to see some of the vehicles in this year’s NSRA Nationals Builders Showcase.

2021 Builder of the Year Award

The National Street Rod Association (NSRA) lets the builders themselves determine which vehicle is the top build at the show, and consequently who wins the Builder of the Year award.  This makes the award even more prestigious since the builders are receiving recognition from their peers in the industry.

This year’s winner, a 1935 Ford Roadster, was built by Lakeside Rods & Rides in Rockwell City, Iowa.  The Roadster was built for owner Joe Faso.  In the interview below, the builder, Roger Burman, describes this gorgeous car, which features a green exterior with a burgundy interior.  This color combination may seem unusual, but once you see it, you will be a believer – the car wouldn’t be the same without it.  It is truly exceptional.

Check out the below slideshow, as well as a video of Burman describing his winning roadster.

Here are several video interviews of our other favorites in the Builders Showcase. Four of these beauties have already achieved top industry awards in 2022.  These include the 1933 Ford Roadster by Garret’s Rod Shop and the 1968 Road Runner by Charlie’s Custom Creation.  Both of these builds were 2022 Chicago World of Wheels “Select Six” picks, as well as winners of other show awards.  Another outstanding old-school build in our group is the 1932 Ford Roadster, which is actually an exacting 2022 restoration of a hot rod originally built in 1961 by Ian Cusey.  The historical significance of this car has earned it a place on the show field of this year’s Pebble Beach Concours.   A final car that warrants a shoutout is the 1934 Chevy Roadster.  Already this year, it has won two major awards – the AMBR Award at the LA Grand National Roadster Show, and the Goodguys Street Rod of the Year title.    A special thanks to all the builders who took the time to tell us about their labors of love.

1933 Ford Roadster
Builder: Garret’s Rod Shop
Owner: Virgil Winland

1932 Ford Roadster
Builder: Jamie Johnson’s Hot Rod Haven
Owner: Bob Owens

1936 Willys Sedan
Builder: The Tin Man’s Garage
Owner: Ron Ernsberger

1955 Chevy Convertible
Builder: Snodgrass Restorations
Owner: Jim Walker

1968 Roadrunner
Builder: Charlies Custom Creations
Owner: Jamey & Melody Hyder

1934 Chevy Roadster
Builder: Devlin Rod & Customs
Owner: Jeff Breault

1950 Ford F1
Builder: 444 Auto Body & Customs
Owner: Ron & Debra Arnold

1968 Chevy C10
Builder: L&S Customs
Owner: Mike Steele

Pros Pick of the Year

The Pros Pick Award was sponsored by Classic Instruments, the famous aftermarket street rod equipment company. They pick top street rods and customs from the NSRA regional events during the previous 12 months and invite them to compete at the Nationals for the Pros Pick during the finale of the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville. This year’s winner was Dan Bouchard’s 1958 Ford F100 Custom Pickup.

Here is a look at the winner, as well as other regional winners in the competition.

2021 Giveaway Car

This year’s winner of the NSRA’s Giveaway car, Jeff Whelan of Fisherville, Kentucky, didn’t try to hide his excitement as he practically sprinted to the stage to accept his prize.   The lucky winner was able to drive home a 1934 Ford Hi-Boy built by Nichols Paint & Fab in Watseka, Illinois.  Shown below is Jeff receiving the keys to his new car by the builder, Justin Nichols. Jeff and his wife were all smiles as they drove away in their new car.   A thumbs up from both said it all.

Circle of Winners

On the last day of the show, awards are presented to owners of vehicles on the show field.  These awards include Pro Picks, Special haulers (UPS), Mopar Country, Outstanding use of Color, ISCA picks, and more.  Here are some of the award-winning rides that filled Freedom Hall.

Other Eye-catching Cars

Cool Rides outside the Expo Center

With over 8,000 cool classic cruising and parked around the Expo Center, it wasn’t hard to find a “Kodak Moment.”

Show Cars in Vendor Displays

Many classic car part vendors use eye-catching rides to get customers to stop by their booths. This year was no exception with many past award-winning cars on display.