A 1940 Chevy coupe built by Mike Keller and his team at Big Creek Restoration in Ellis, Kansas, was named America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod last weekend at the Goodguys West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton, California, the association has announced. The vehicle is owned by Garry Crawford, a childhood friend of Keller’s father.
As a senior at Ellis High School in 1962, Crawford got his first car, a 1940 Chevy coupe, which he cruised around in with his friend Jerry Keller, according to Goodguys. More than 40 years later, Crawford commissioned Mike Keller to build him another 1940 Chevy coupe, only this one was to be “a lot nicer.”
Working from artist Jason Rushforth‘s design, Keller and his team reshaped the Chevy. The wide, square-ish front end was reworked extensively, including a scratch-made grille surround and insert, sectioned and pie-cut hood, and reshaped front fenders. Flush-fit front and rear windows add to the smooth look. The coupe features 1946 Ford rear bumpers that have been flipped upside down and taillights from a 1939 Chevy. Custom gravel shields were made from scratch. All of the hinges were hidden. The coupe was painted in PPG Vibrance Cinnamon candy over copper. The coupe is outfitted with polished Foose “Knight” 18 and 20 wheels.