Bobby Alloway added a major award to his already jam-packed trophy case by winning the SEMA Battle of the Builders competition held recently in Las Vegas. The award, part of the annual SEMA show, was announced Nov. 6 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Alloway took the honors with a PPG-painted 1933 Ford Roadster owned by Larry Olson of Sioux Falls, S.D. The car was on display in the PPG booth throughout SEMA.

Alloway’s award-winning entry featured his trademark black finish, set off with contrasting blazing orange flames running down the sides of the roadster’s body. Alloway uses PPG products exclusively at his shop, Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop, in Louisville, Tenn., and this prizewinner clearly displayed why: The roadster’s finish was attained with PPG’s DELTRON® DBU 9700 Basecoat and DCU 2002 CONCEPT® Clearcoat. With its aggressive profile and stance, the car bore an “old school” street rod look.

To claim the award, Alloway had to battle past a standout crowd of elite and ingenious builders in the aftermarket community. “It feels so good to win the SEMA Battle of the Builders,” said Alloway. “This is just as great as a Ridler or Great Eight win. I almost didn’t enter because I didn’t think I had a chance with an old hot rod; it doesn’t have all the technology that the other builders’ cars had.”

In the end, Alloway’s approach won out. Expert judges Fred Williams (Petersen’s 4Wheel & Off-Road), David Freiburger (Hot Rod) and R.J. de Vera (Meguiar’s) narrowed down a field of more than 200 car builders and customizers, and the 260 custom cars they entered, to 10 finalists. The finalists then evaluated the entries and decided among themselves who would take Top Builder honors.

Six of the 10 finalists used PPG products to finish their cars. In addition to Alloway, these included Jeremy Gerber, 1973 Camaro (Roadster Shop); Phil and Jeremy Gerber, 2015 Chevy Colorado (Roadster Shop); Alan Johnson, 1953 Studebaker (Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop); Andy Leach, 1962 Chevy Bubble Top (Cal Auto Creations, painted by Charley Hutton) and Kyle Tucker, 1970 Chevy Chevelle (Detroit Speed).

Alloway has been building ageless street rods since 1978. He is no stranger to major awards. He’s won the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) award twice, Best Rod at the Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS) in Pomona, Calif., and was in the top ten in the Builder's Challenge at SEMA last year. His cars have won the Goodguys’ Street Rod and Street Machine of the Year and the prestigious Ridler trophy, among others. Alloway has also been honored as Detroit Autorama Builder of the Year and inducted into the National Rod & Custom Car Hall of Fame.


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