Hemi-powered ’32 Ford is America’s Most Beautiful Roadster 2023
Each year, car builders from across the country make the pilgrimage to Pomona, California, for the Grand National Roadster Show. Each hopes to bring home the hardware recognizing them as winners of the prestigious America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) award, given annually since 1950.
The stellar field this year was all Ford, and the lineup included six 1932 roadsters. However, it was the immaculate detailing, gorgeous proportions, and flawless black paint of Jack Chisenhall’s ’32 roadster that stood out most. Chisenhall, of San Antonio, Texas, took home a check for $12,500 from Automotive Racing Products for his efforts. He will see his name on the AMBR trophy as both owner and builder alongside names like George Barris, Art Himsl, Boyd Coddington, and Chip Foose.
Finalists are selected and displayed in an array around the impressive trophy and a team of judges scrutinize every detail of the cars, including how it looks in motion.
Chisenhall’s roadster was inspired by Dodge-powered Indy racers. The idea for this Deuce started forming in his mind more than 40 years ago. In 2000, Chisenhall had famed hot rod designer and Art Center alumnus Thom Taylor pen a rendering that put his idea on paper.
The car was ultimately built in Chisenhall’s San Antonio shop, with George Hagy serving as the principal fabricator. Chisenhall helped out with fab work. and—as is typical of builds of this magnitude—many other talented artists and technicians also had a share in the roadster’s success. The rows of perfect louvers on the hood sides were formed by Jimmy Shine. Mark Grohman was responsible for the mechanical work. Gary Gates machined many of the custom parts, including the brakes. The interior was finished by Sid Shavers (who has many award-winning builds on his resume) and the mirror-smooth black paint was the work of Darryl Hollenback, an AMBR award winner himself back in 2016.
Powering the Deuce is a 355-cubic-inch early Dodge Hemi built by Donny Anderson and good for 420 hp at 5500 rpm. It features a heap of custom parts, including cast aluminum heads and one-off stack injection machined by Cody Chapman.
The depth of quality among the eight other AMBR contenders, making up nine total finalists, gave judges a tough decision. The field ranged from racy and traditional to sleek and elegant. When you see these cars up close, it really demonstrates what it means to be judged among the cream of the crop. Congratulations to all of the builders and craftsmen who put such tremendous effort into these gorgeous machines. Long live the Deuce!