Founded in 1980 by Frank and Elaine Wrenick
someone destroy a perfectly good Rambler American Wagon? Well, apparently to
create one of the most absurd station wagons anyone has ever seen. “Divers Street
Rods” took the bodyshell of a 1960 Rambler Wagon and a custom-made frame from
Art Morrison and dropped into it the drivetrain (400 Hp 3.6-liter V8) and the
suspension components from a wrecked 2002 Ferrari F360. At the
2008 Detroit Autorama, Mike Warn’s Ferrambo won the coveted Ridler Award, hot
rodding’s top indoor show prize. The
Ridler award is given to the best new custom vehicle shown for the first time.
It is sponsored by General Motors Performance Parts and the prize includes a
trophy and commemorative jacket, a new GM Performance Parts crate engine and a
check for $10,000.
Ferrambo was constructed by Tim Divers and crew at Divers Street Rods in Startup, Washington. Some of Divers Street Rods collaborators included painters and/or body work specialists Shawn McNally, Jim Lykken and Russ Divers; Tim's brother Scott did the interior work; Art Morrison assisted on the chassis and did the steering box.
Ferrambo topped a tough field of “Great 8” finalists at Cobo Hall this year, which included two more station wagons, surprisingly: J.F. Launier’s ’55 Chrysler and the ’56 Chevy of Gordon Peters. This could be a trend: It appears that competition for the Ridler Award is opening up again after several years of domination by the traditional Ford-based rods. Warn’s Rambler/Ferrari takes the “Dare to be Different” concept to another level.
The Great 8 refers to the Best 8, of new cars eligible to compete for the Ridler Award, the most sought-after, custom car show award. This award started in 1964, as a way to honor the early passing of Don Ridler, the first promoter of the Detroit Autorama, who helped launch it as one of the top shows in the country. It is presented to the Best New Car, shown for the first time, anywhere. Because of that stipulation, it eliminates many great cars that have been shown elsewhere, and causes many serious competitors to hold off showing, until the Detroit show. It comes with a fabulous, custom-made trophy, a smaller version as a builder’s trophy, a $10,000 cash prize, a new GM Performance Parts engine, and custom personalized jackets. Because as many as 30 cars could be eligible, the field is selected from the initial group of cars, as the best of the best. The caliber of cars is so high, that to make the Great 8 is an honor in itself. This comes with a personalized sign and custom jackets. These rewards and history, has evolved into this competition becoming the most coveted of awards, as it truly honors the best car of any kind, in the country. It has raised the level of competition to the high 6 figures, or even 7 figures! It is a completely different level of competition, compared to any other show, anywhere.