The Don Ridler Memorial Award was created in 1964 to honor the memory of the earliest promoter of Autorama. His legacy holds the esteem as being the most prestegious award handed out at the annual vintage car show, which takes place in Detroit early in the year. The winning build is usually an ambitious project that spans several years, compared to most SEMA projects that are done in mere months. The 2020 Ridler Award winner was no different, as it went to a 1963 Chevrolet Impala two-door station wagon that took nearly ten full years to complete.
Amazingly, this 2020 Ridler Award build comes from a family business out of New Ulm, Minnesota. Brad, Brady, and Cory Ranweiler of Show Cars Automotive Inc. are said to have a reputation in extreme attention to detail, which is what you need if you ever plan on winning the Ridler. Confidently, the project is called “Impressive.” And it certainly lives up to the name.
Impressive actually started life as a red, four-door 1963 Chevrolet Impala station wagon, where the Ranweilers began transforming it into a stunning two-door, finished in-house with PPG paint. In fact, the sheer quality of the jet-black paint made this Chevy wagon almost impossible to photograph cleanly. But we managed.
Sheetmetal body parts were sourced from Dynacorn and laser cutting by DLC, while other parts needed for this one-off Chevy 2-door wagon were sourced from all over the America. Underneath the flawless bodywork is a Morrison chassis equipped with 14-inch Wilwood disc brakes at all four wheels. Even the wheels are completely custom via Evod Industries in California, which are encircled with Pirelli tires. For the interior, M&M Hot Rod Interiors of Alabama provided the upholstery.
Impressive otherwise made up a finalist group of immaculate builds known each year as “The Great 8.” For 2020, along with the Chevrolet Impala wagon, this group consisted of a 1929 Ford Model A Truck, a 1969 Chevrolet Camaro, a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air, a 1934 Ford Pickup, a 1955 Cadillac Coupe Deville, a 1966 Ford F-100 Truck, and a 1956 Oldsmobile 98 Convertible (our personal favorite).