We can’t think of a street rod or custom car award with a more exacting set of judging standards than the Detroit Autorama’s Ridler Award. Those judges scrutinize every inch of the eligible cars. The Lokar Performance Products/STREET RODDER Driven Award has a shorter list of criteria, but we take it just as seriously. The winning car has to be cool, but—equally important—it has to be a driver. If the car has a long history of serious driving, that’s even better.
STREET RODDER and Lokar are back in the Motor City at the 2016 Detroit Autorama comes to Cobo Hall, and once again, we were be looking for a worthy winner of this award. We stopped looking as soon as we found Bill Jagenow’s 1927 Ford Model T roadster.
Bill Jagenow and Autumn of Brothers Custom Automotive in Troy, Michigan, were displaying this hot rod, which has a pretty impressive hiroty of driving on- and off-road. Bill has owned the car for 16 years. He had made some subtle changes at the time, drove it all over, and had it out to the Bonneville salt flats a couple times.
After getting tired of having his authentic hot rod regarded as a “rat rod” because of the the flat paint, Bill started putting the roadster through a transition to a new level, but still with old time elements and style. When STREET RODDER saw the redone roadster at the 2013 Detroit Autorama, we selected it as a Painless Performance/STREET RODDER Top 100; at the end of the year, it ended up as a finalist for Street Rod of the Year. In the summer in between, Bill and Autumn were in an accident that badly damaged the car. Thus began another rebuild that was completed just before the 2016 Detroit Autorama.
It’s great to see the 1927 T rebuilt and back in commission. The Detroit Autorama is the perfect place for the hot rod’s triumphant return. It was a great moment for Bill when 9-year-old Liam Jagerow steered the car into position in Autorama Extreme here in Cobo Hall.
Considering the roadster’s history and Bill and Autumn’s commitment to building and driving their hot rod the way hot rods were meant, we were excited to present them with the Lokar Performance Products/STREET RODDER Driven Award.