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It’s Appropriately Named “Incredible”

2020 Ridler Award
Photo copyright Muscle Cars & Trucks.

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.

Photo copyright Muscle Cars & Trucks.

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).

Photo copyright Muscle Cars & Trucks.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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