Huge Perpetual Trophy and $10,000 in prize money go to Dave Martin’s ’31 Ford, in 69th edition of world-renowned Pomona hot rod contest

A 1931 Ford has scooped the ultimate accolade for a classic roadster, winning America’s Most Beautiful Roadster at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona.

The award is presented annually to the best example of an open-top, pre-1938 hot rod in America. This year’s winner, Dave Martin, beat out a record 14 competitors for top honours at the show.

Martin’s ’31 Roadster had previously gone through a bare-metal restoration by Hot Rods & Hobbies in Signal Hill, California. Having competed in the Silver State Classic Challenge open-road race pre-restoration, its updated specification coupled with its provenance helped seal the prize.

‘Dave Martin’s car is an amazing hot rod that began as a bare-metal race car and ultimately earned the highest honour in the rodding world,’ said John Buck, the Grand National Roadster Show’s producer.

‘This Ford Roadster possesses all the qualities that our judges look for, truly blowing us away thanks to its exceptional craftsmanship and innovative styling.’

Ten thousand dollars and the 2.9-metre-tall Perpetual Trophy were Martin’s spoils for his award-winning Roadster, which was judged on criteria including Display, Engineering, Undercarriage, Paint, Engine, Interior and Detail.

The show’s other major judged award, the Al Slonaker Memorial Award, was given to the low-slung 1929 Ford Model A built by Mark and Dennis Mariani of Rad Rides, netting the pair a $1,000 prize.

More than 400 of around 1000 cars in attendance picked up honours during the three-day event. Of the highest-profile Pick awards, a 1937 Lincoln LeBaron secured the Blackie Gejeian Award, named after the five-time NASCAR dirt-track champion and whose recipient was selected by his family.

Although top prizes at the show are focused on cars from the first half of the 20th century, there was also an array of newer classics present as part of the American Muscle Car Gathering special exhibit. This featured over 100 examples of both restored and unrestored muscle cars.

Plenty of lowriders, considered an icon of Californian motoring, were also on show from The Lifestyle Car Club.