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This Wild '32 Ford Phaeton Just Won the AMBR

a white car with a black top
1932 Ford Phaeton by Brizio Street Rods Wins AMBRMark Vaughn

Beth Meyers already had one 1932 Ford Phaeton, but it was set up as a street rod, with fenders and other amenities, for just cruising around. Then she got the idea to get another ’32 Phaeton and take it in another direction.

“I thought it’d be fun to do something really cool, different, and make it hot and happy, and there it is,” she said.

That sounds pretty simple, but there was a lot involved in making the second Phaeton into the car you see here, America’s Most Beautiful Roadster. The AMBR award is the most prestigious in hot rodding, voted on by a small committee of industry experts, handed out only once a year at the Grand National Roadster Show, now held in Pomona, California.

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The AMBR has been going since 1950, when the Roadster Show was started by Al and Mary Slonaker in Oakland, California. In 1950, the Slonakers drove around the Bay Area, stopping at places like The Circle Drive-In in Oakland, and got the local hot rod kids to bring their rides to the Oakland Coliseum. Argue all you want, but hot rodding started in California and the best hot rods come to the Roadster Show every year.

a car on display
If there was a second-place, it’d go to Mekenzie Murphy’s GMP Special. Her team had a lot of pink.Mark Vaughn

This year the best hot rod was Beth Meyers’ Phaeton.

Ross and Beth Meyers had already won America’s second-most-prestigious award, The Ridler, held at the Detroit Autorama, in 2007. This was the couple’s second big win, and the name on this year’s winning car was Beth’s. Ross and Beth Meyers own the 3 Dog Garage in Boyertown, Pennsylvania.

True, that museum has a restoration shop, but to win an AMBR requires specific talents and access to numerous specialists. When they won The Ridler in 2007 with a 1936 Ford Coupe, they went to hot rod builder Troy Trepanier. For this car they worked with Brizio Street Rods in South San Francisco, California.

“Beth has a ‘32 phaeton we built for her already, a full-fendered one, a kind of a resto-rod style,” said Roy Brizio, second-generation hot rod builder whose works have now won three AMBRs, four if you count the time his dad Andy Brizio won it in 1970. “And when this project came up, she goes, ‘Let’s do something crazy and wild.’ And I laid this on them and they said, ‘Let's do it.”

So they did it. The project took two years.

“It just kind of evolved along the way,” Beth explained. “You know, it was just like, ‘What do you want for this?’ ‘Well, we really looked to have a winner.’ So it just evolved little by little. Things came out. ‘Well, we ought to try this.’ And, ‘We want to try that.’ And you know, I cannot tell you, I’m not the mechanic. But it just came together.”

a group of people standing around a yellow car
Roy Brizio, Beth and Ross Meyers, and the team.Mark Vaughn

Brizio is the mechanic, and he can tell you.