Rod & Custom

December 1998
100 Best Rods & Customs
A Collection of The Top Rods & Customs From Across The Country
By Rich Boyd, Michael Breeding, & Jeff Tann

Every year, the editors of Rod & Custom travel to car shows all over the country and have  the opportunity to see and photograph many of the finest rods and customs in existence. Some of the cars we bring to you on the pages of the magazine are professionally built vehicles, while others are valiant efforts owner/builders. This year, we decided to focus our attention on all of the expertly crafted and will-executed rods and customers we see in our travels and select some of the finest examples as part of R&C's 100 Best Rods & Customs of '98. We had the difficult task of selection the Top 10 Best of the Best Rods & Customs of the year out of those 100 superb cars.

 The rods, customs classic trucks, and other specialty vehicles were selected by the editors randomly, and any vehicle '64 or older could qualify. The elements we considered were styling, fit and finish, engine selection, interior design and quality, and, basically, what ever really turns us on. Some of the cars selected push the envelope, while others are really nice traditional or nostalgic hot rods and customs. If your car didn't make it in the Top 100 this year, who knows, maybe '00 will be your lucky year.

--Jeff Trann

My criteria for the 100 Best Rods & Customs and especially the Top 10 cars of 1998 is based primarily on three areas. First is overall fit and finish, including stance, wheel/tire fitment, and surface preparation. Second is the car's ability to command attention, or the power of its sex appeal, including body color and engine presentation. Third is the attention to detail, the manner in which interior and exterior panels are fastened together. This includes any sheetmetal surgery that finesses and improves bodylines or proportion and may add continuity to the overall design. As a package, these items make a superior work of automotive art and give the best vehicles the presence to delight our senses. Oh, and one more thing. They should be able to be driven farther than a couple of miles from a trailer to the fairgrounds!

--Rich Boyd

My choices were based on a simple philosophy: Is it really cool?

The definition of that involves more than just a look, even though that plays a heavy role. Yes, cool is a look. It is also about color, stance, patience, and details. Cool is about taste, vision, and knowing when the car is finished. It is about a car that you are drawn to without its having to slap you in the face because it knows what to wear. Finally, cool is truly knowing why you built the thing in the first place. For some, it is an artful statement, but for most others, they were built for driving down the road and smiling all the way. Which is, cool!

--Michael Breeding

California Street Rods and Rod Millen Enterprises created this laudable

Lexus-powered Deuce highboy for a Toyota executive who wanted something fun and uniquely corporate. Shown at the Grand National Roadster Show, it was well received because of its level of craftsmanship and attention to detail.

This Zipper-bodied Deuce roadster is "Zo Lovely NZ Twilight" or any time of day, for that matter. Mitch Lanzini, a bodyman by trade, perfectly prepped the 'glass Zipper for its PPG and House of Color Purple topcoat.