2013 Detroit Autorama Ridler Award Great 8 Finalist: John Mayer’s “Fearless” – 1935 Ford Phaeton Built by Owner & Willet Coachworks

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It’s hard to pick a personal favorite from the Great 8 and while I’m not particularly partial to classic Ford roadster rods, this ’35 Ford Phaeton owned by John Mayer of Berwyn, Illinois has a purity of line that is darn near perfect. Mayer, who runs the Ogden Top & Trim Shop, has upholstered Ridler and America’s Most Beautiful Roadster winners and was responsible for the overall concept and design in addition to fabricating the interior and the phaeton’s two roofs, a retractable convertible top and a removable hardtop that I think perfectly complements the car’s great lines. O’Connel Specialties fabricated the chassis and Harry Willet, who has built an AMBR winner before, provided some design input and did the structural work on the body, which was finished and painted by Pete Sanchez of Custom Cars Unlimited.

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Fearless has attractive, simple lines on the outside and on the interior the steep rake of the windshield is cleverly duplicated in the angle of both the instrument pod and the steering column. I also like the oval Woodliteish headlights and the way the chrome side exhaust exits through and is molded into the body color frame.

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