For 67 years, hot rodders have competed every year at the annual Grand National Roadster Show for the vaunted title of “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster.” This award is considered one of the greatest achievements among those who frequent the hot rod show circuit, alongside Detroit’s Ridler Award given out at Autorama. This year, the award was claimed by Bruce Wanta’s heavily modified 1936 Packard roadster nicknamed the “Mulholland Speedster.”
This shapely, candy-paint roadster was built by Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hot Rods. Like most contemporary hot rods, the “Mulholland Speedster” cuts quite a dramatic figure. Aside from the Packard wheels and the grille, the hot rod has little in common with the 401 Coupe it started out as. Not only is the bodywork completely custom, so is the hand-built frame underneath.
Power comes from a supercharged 4.8-liter (292 ci) Flathead V-12 that sends power to the rear wheels through a five-speed manual transmission. If for some odd reason your caught out in the rain while driving, the car has a power-retractable hardtop under that shapely rear-end.
In addition to being named “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster,” the Mulholland Speedster is now part of the famed “perpetual trophy” that carries the name of the car and builder from each year.