The results of Popular Hot Rodding's Annual Photo Contest are in, and this year was outstanding. We got so many good entries that we couldn't simply limit our coverage to the 20 finalists. Instead, we're publishing every single one in the hopes that we can provide maximum satisfaction to all involved. There were some outstanding efforts, and our thanks goes out to all those who took the time to send in a complete entry.
Since day one, Popular Hot Rodding has been about what's popular, and in this sense, our Hometown Heroes feature represents exactly what's being built in garages across the country. It's a real-time slice of automotive Americana that hasn't been influenced by magazine trends, or the latest, greatest gimmick to hit the trade shows. It's what you love-and if it's not, just remember that you can always enter into next year's PHR photo contest. If it proves to be successful this year, we could take the same "all in" philosophy next year.
We would also like to give a special thanks to those contest entrants who went the extra mile to make it to our grand photo shoot in the Chicago area. Photog Robert McGaffin-himself the winner of our 2006 Photo Contest-took the reigns for the shoot, proving that in addition to being a great shooter, he's also a competent circus ringmaster. Those present for that got the extra benefit of some real live on-the-job training in photography. Who knows, you could be next!
The Winner Is...It was a tough decision, but we went with Mike Felts' awesome photo of John Massie's '81 Camaro as our 2008 Photo Contest winner. Mike Felts is an up-and-coming professional photographer, who also happens to be the car owner's brother-in-law. That pretty much explains (or confounds) the idea that he was convinced to schlep a ton of photo gear into a warehouse for the entire day. Putting together a photo shoot like this is a hard, thankless job-especially when no money is involved. Mike and John went above and beyond to make a fairly average car look like a million bucks. John's Camaro is mostly all original except for the 350 engine (it used to be a 305). With only 54K on the odometer and a recent restoration under its belt (two years ago), you could say it's better than new. "It's an awesome car to drive and brings lots of attention wherever we go," writes John. "I have three teenage boys, and they always want me to take my Camaro when we go somewhere." As the owner of a '76 Camaro, editor Hunkins knows full well what a sacrifice in comfort that must be for dad and three strapping boys. All the more proof that this is one sweet ride. Congrats to Mike and John on their win!