Dwayne Peace’s family-designed ’55 Ford Thunderbird custom has been named Goodguys 2012 Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year. It’s the second time this year the car has won one of the industry’s top honors. Back in February, the sleek red bird won the prestigious Ridler award at the Detroit AutoRama.
The Thunderbird is the result of the 3-year family project that began with designs by his son Jonathan – a Pasadena Art Center student. Jonathan and his brother Mathew fabricated the chassis and performed the sheet metal modifications at their Troq’d Design studio in Tyler, Texas.
Under the sloped hood rests a twin turbocharged small block Chevy with Dart heads pumping out a wicked 1,150 horsepower mated to a Bowler 4L80E performance transmission.
Once the powertrain, chassis and sheet metal was finished, the Peace’s sent the car to former Goodguys Trendsetter Jesse Greening’s shop in Nashville for machining, paint & body treatment. Every panel on the car was altered or re-skinned to give it a modern yet European racing inspired flair. Paul Atkins handled the interior while the bright work was chromed by Advanced Plating. The trick “waterfall” steering wheel was designed by Jonathan Peace.
The wheels are one-offs by Greening with Pirelli P-Zero tires. The complete package is offered up in a deep, rich red. Coupled with the soft brown leather – this one would even make Enzo Ferrari jealous!
Look for the car inside the “Champion’s Arena” sponsored by Street Rod Headquarters at the Goodguys 15th annual Southwest Nationals, November 16-18 at Westworld in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Runner Up finalists for this year included: Danny & Beth Johnson, Hurley, MS (1962 Chevy), Gary McKay, Fife, WA (57 Ford), James Eudy, Bakersfield, CA (1962 Chevy), Bruce & Judy Ricks, Sapulpa, OK (1962 Corvette) and Jim Lippert, Green, KS (1967 Nova). Congratulations to the winner and all finalists!