Steve & Debbie Peel's 1939 Ford Standard Coupe
(from Volume 14, Issue 155)

As you are reading Mike Kelly’s Cruise News we know you are “car crazy”, and as a result you might have crossed paths with Steve and Debbie Peel of Jacksonville. They are both founding officers of the North Florida Show Car Association headquartered in Jacksonville, and attend many car shows around the country, the Southeast, and here in their home state. As Steve would say, “I am car crazy and very busy spending my children’s inheritance”.

After being out of the car hobby for 30 years to support the family, a career in corporate America, and then founding and operating two businesses, Steve, as an old drag racer had the itch to once again drive and own a hot rod. The scratch for this itch began innocently enough with the purchase of a bone stock 1993 Chevy Suburban as a daily driver and work truck for his business. Well, it was not long before the Suburban took on a sinister role as a daily driven bad boy, as many modifications were made including a Vortec supercharger and twin electric fuel pumps - all to produce 502hp in his heavyweight hot rod. While Steve enjoyed his high performance “tank”, it was not exactly what was required to satisfy his itch.

So step two was to move back into the classic cars he knew growing up, which also led to “I want to own a classic car, but I also want it to appreciate in value”. After considerable homework Steve and Debbie purchased a 1966 big block Corvette coupe, and while Debbie had owned a ‘72 Vette, Steve had never even been a passenger in one. This purchase led to a love affair with Corvettes and the purchase of many more, which led to storage problems, which in turn led to a garage addition. After a while too many purchases had been made, and it was decided to keep the collection to seven “keepers”. Among those are a 1961 Fuelie with 34,000 miles, a ‘63 Fuelie with 42,000 miles, a ‘64 coupe, two ‘66 coupes, and two ‘67 coupes.

With the now 2,000 square foot garage and a storage lift it was now time to scratch a new itch and more into the world of street rods. The first one came a year and a half ago with the purchase of a customized 1937 Ford Cabriolet with a Lincoln 460. It was so much fun, the decision to add a second street rod was made.

Last November Steven and Debbie took delivery of the 1939 Ford Standard radical custom hardtop convertible you see pictured here. They are the second owners of this nationally notorious street rod, which began life at the hands of Ron Williams, a well known mid western engine builder and was custom fabricated and built with his involvement and direction by Tolle Road Customs of Mt. Vernon, Illinois, specifically to compete for the 2000 Ridler award. And compete it did, taking both a great eight Ridler award and was the Ridler runner up in 2000. The car was then campaigned extensively, winning many ISCA, Super Chevy and Goodguys events around the country, and accumulated 55 national awards which include: ISCA Western Division Champion, many awards for 1st place Radical Custom Street Rod, Outstanding Custom Rod, Outstanding Detail, Outstanding Paint, Outstanding Undercarriage, and many Best Of Show and Best Of Class awards. Along the way it has also been featured on Dennis Gage’s My Classic Car and in numerous magazine features.

This hot rod features a 1999 LS-1 Corvette engine, ‘99 Camaro 4L60 tranny with electric shift, 8” Ford rear end, Coast To Coast frame, Heidt’s Super Ride II front end with rear coil overs, billet Colorado Custom wheels and a matching steering wheel. The undercarriage is as pristine as the exterior, and the engine bay is a marvel. While there are 261 wires running this machine, not one can be seen, and the body is not even blemished with a gas fill lid as it is hidden in the trunk. The body graphics are the creation of Clayton Dodd, and feature cut glass and gold leaf.

Steve and Debbie introduced her to the Southeast in her first show south of the Mason Line at the 2007 Goodguys Spring Nationals in Jacksonville, and took home a Fab Five of the show award, and followed that by joining 200 other participants at Beach Blast 13 in Cocoa Beach on May 20th, 2007.

By the way, even with all the other cool cars in his garage Steve could not part with the Suburban. He de-tuned it and it is now driven daily as a company car by the administrative manager of his business.

If you are as “car crazy” as Steve and Debbie, join them for the series of four annual shows hosted and presented in Jacksonville by the North Florida Show Car Association. For more info you can visit CN