Ron Cizek’s “Checkered Past” Ford Wins The Street Rod d’Elegance

If you remember our recent coverage from the 61st-annual Detroit AutoRama, then you should no doubt recall a candy-painted ’40 Ford coupe from Bennington, Nebraska, powered by a ’53 Merc Flathead blown with a GMC unit. Ron and Deb Cizek’s Ford took home the esteemed Ridler award from the Detroit motoring venue.

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Apparently, the Cizeks and their “Checkered Past” aren’t finished sweeping awards quite yet, as they’re continuing their streak of car show appearances and hot rod award snagging with a vengeance. This time, the Bennington couple’s tricked-out Ford has won them a little acclaim on the West Coast, as “Checkered Past” has now become the recipient of Goodguys’ 2013, March Performance Street Rod d’Elegance award, one obtained this last weekend at Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals in Del Mar, California.

Czek 3Ron Cizek had no idea that his street rod build would turn into an award-winning show car three years ago, when he started the coupe as solely a weekend project. It took the creative vision of Andy Leach and Cal Automotive Creations of Omaha, Nebraska to make “Checkered Past” into the show car attention-stealer that it is today. Starting as an apprentice for 6 years under Troy Trepanier, Leach was responsible for the ’40 Ford’s completion.

“Checkered Past” is a street rod that boasts a showroom finish, while maintaining a bulk of its original body lines. Not only this, but by winning the Ridler and the Street Rod d’Elegance nearly back-to-back, Ron and Deb Cizeks’ trick coupe is one that has managed to do what few street rods have, even ones with this caliper of detail behind them.

The coupe’s Flathead mill was built by Erik Hansen, and the motor has been covered in an anodized gold, specifically meant to match the rod’s one-off, Halibrand-style wheels. Adding to the sled’s originality, the car’s factory chassis has been boxed in order to accept a Tremec 6-speed, and an independent rear with a custom, A-arm front helps the whole thing stay glued.

Ron and Deb’s ’40 Ford features a stock dash that has custom gauges, along with a host of mods that, at best, are described as being “subtle.” Boss Interiors of Evansdale, Iowa was responsible for the coupe’s clean interior work, and they’ve topped-off “Checkered Past” with an English saddle, leather interior that features suede inserts.

Czek 4Charley Hutton’s Color Studio is responsible for the early Ford’s exquisite shade of cranberry red, a gorgeous paint scheme that was developed by Color Studio, blending together hues of red, gold and brown. Hutton’s shop also massaged the Nebraska street rod into the heart-stopper that it is today, by painting the car in 3 different stages.

Motoring enthusiasts who attended this year’s 13th Meguiar’s, Del Mar Nationals were mostly able to see “Checkered Past” and Charly Hutton’s attention to detail indoors. Sunday’s award ceremony at the Del Mar Paddock, gave everyone the opportunity to see just why it is that Ron and Deb Cizek’s Ford coupe is a Ridler and Rod d’Elegance-winning show piece as it gleamed in the sunlight.

Congratulations again to Ron and Deb Cizek for winning the esteemed hot rod and custom award at the Goodguys-Meguiar’s event, and with a street rod that’s this clean, we know that the Rod d’Elegance trophy is far from being your last!

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About the author

Salvatore Alaimo

After graduating from California State University, Northridge, California, Sal Alaimo Jr. has continued with his passion of the automotive industry. Alaimo's been an auto enthusiast since his early years, and grew up learning about cars from his father, Sal Alaimo Sr. If its got a set of fat rear tires and 8-cylinders, Alaimo Jr. is all for it. Today, Alaimo Jr. brings with him a pool of enthusiasm and pride as a contributing freelance writer for Chevy Hardcore.
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