It’s been quite a summer for Memphis-based hot rodder George Poteet. For the second time this season, a car from his stable has grabbed a signature award from the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association. George’s “Hugger Orange” 1934 Ford, built by the talented Dave Lane of Fastlane Rod Shop, captured the Goodguys 2013 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year award at last weekend’s 3rd Speedway Nationals held on the hallowed grounds of Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Earlier this summer, Poteet’s ’69 Torino drove off with the Goodguys 2013 Optima Batteries Street Machine of the Year award in Columbus, Ohio. Sandwiched between the two big wins was a trip to race at the Bonneville Salt Flats in August where he raced to the fastest speed in the SCTA record books – an eye popping 437.183mph behind the wheel of the Poteet & Main streamliner. Through it all Poteet remained humble and grateful, a true Southern gentleman.
Unlike any other Goodguys award, the Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year competition is demanding. The car’s agility, road worthiness and performance is factored in as well as looks and build quality. All contestants must take a 100-mile drive around Indianapolis as well as blast down a drag strip (Muncie Dragway in this instance) doing a smoky burnout and racing to the 1/8th mile as fast as possible. Poteet’s 60s style hot rod, did both with aplomb.
The ’34 project started with a body from Steve’s Auto Restoration in Oregon. Once Lane got his hands on the car, hours were spent moving things around to fine-tune the subtle proportions like the front fender beads, the pie-cut hood, the relocated upper door hinge, custom filler panels, hidden fasteners, and more. Lane chopped the top 3 1/2” in front, 3” in the rear. He relocated the upper door hinge back to stock location in the door windows then leaned the posts back and split the roof (both 3/4”) then filled the roof.
The car’s underpinnings are just as impressive as the smooth flowing body. The handmade chassis features a Winter’s quickchange on a ladder bar and transverse leaf system in the rear. For the perfect hot rod rake Lane went with a 4” dropped front axle with JRI shocks and modified So-Cal brakes up front. Real Rodder’s wheels, 15” kidney beans and 16” big windows, lock down the ‘60s hot rod vibe.
Under the hood it’s all hot rod! A mint ‘65 Buick Nailhead was ground smooth and built by Russell Martin with Ross pistons, Hilborn injection, and custom headers. Backing it is a Richmond transmission with a Hurst shifter.
The interior is also ‘60s competition-styled with an NOS Covico steering wheel and a collection of rare Greenline gauges. The dash was modified for the gauges and a pair of ’65 Impala seats were narrowed. Dave and Sally Schober handled the black leatherwork. There’s also a roll bar, one-off pedal pads, and a ’64 Galaxie armrest. Boom Mat insulation was installed throughout the inside of the car for better sound and heat control.
With a mean stance, the right wheels, the right color, a subtle yet serious interior and a Buick Nailhead under the hood, Poteet’s ’34 was the right choice for the Goodguys 2013 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year award. For the big win in Indy, Poteet will receive a custom toolbox from Snap-on as well as travel accommodations to the Goodguys 16th Southwest Nationals November 15-17 in Scottsdale, Arizona to join the “Champion’s Arena” display featuring Goodguys’ Top 12 Cars of the Year.
The Top 5 Finalists for the Goodguys 2013 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year award included: Kirk Brown (’34 Ford), Larry Terpstra (’32 Ford), Scott Billish (’32 Plymouth), George Poteet (’34 Ford) and Lee Schmidt (’35 Ford Pickup).