Curt Ukasik of RPM Hot Rods, Warrendale, Pa., recently received the Goodguys Trendsetter award, presented annually to rising young talents in the realm of rod and custom car building.
Handcrafting cars in the mountains of southeastern Pennsylvania, Ukasik has left his mark on the industry in both hot rod and muscle car fabrication, according to a press release.
“With a vision to build cutting-edge cars that combine reliability, style and extreme performance, he has taken RPM Hot Rods to the forefront of the industry,” the organization noted.
Ukasik and his team turned out the Goodguys 2009 Gearstar Hot Rod of the Year (Bill Steele’s Model A) as well as the Goodguys 2009 Detroit Speed Muscle Machine of the Year (Bryan Frank’s ’69 Pontiac Trans Am) before setting their sights on the 2010 Goodguys Grand Prize Giveaway Car-the BOSS SNAKE.
Starting with nothing more than a Dynacorn body, various parts from suppliers and a Jon Kaase BOSS 429 Hemi, RPM Hot Rods hand-built the majority of the car, including suspension, engine and body modifications, turning it into a muscle car recreation of the famed “Quarterhorse” cars from the 1970s.
The original Quarterhorse Mustangs didn’t allow room for a BOSS 429 Shotgun Hemi, necessitating a complete reconfiguration of the car’s inner structures. “Ukasik and his team made it look so seamless (that) it appeared as though it rolled off an assembly line somewhere in Detroit,” the group said.
Ukasik is the 13th recipient of the Trendsetter award. Past recipients include Chip Foose, Troy Trepanier, Alan Johnson, Eric Peratt, Tim Strange, Dave Lane, Zane Cullen, Dean Livermore, Jesse Greening, Troy Ladd, J.F. Launier and Phil and Jeremy Gerber.