POSTED: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 9:20pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 9:29pm
Two young men from Tyler are making waves in the world of automotive design.
It’s called the Ridler Award.
No, not that Riddler, this one.
Named for Detroit promoter Don Ridler, it is the highest honor bestowed to a custom car designer. And in 2012, it went to a man from Tyler.
But Dwayne Peace would be the first to tell you, the work was done by his sons.
Dwayne runs Fifth Street Dental Center and his sons Jonathon and Mathew restored this 1955 Thunderbird for the doctor.
So, in 2008, as everyone was getting ready to vote on a President, the Peace family decided to restore the old family Thunderbird.
What they ended up with looks like nothing that ever rolled out of Dearborn.
And as collectible as a ’55 T-Bird is, Dwayne had no problem entrusting the fabrication to Mathew, and the design to 19-year-old Jonathan.
“Yes, I trusted them completely with it,” Dwayne says. “And I actually told them, I said, whatever you want to do to it, go ahead and do it. It was totally taken apart, top to bottom. No bolts or screws were left in it anywhere. And it took 3 years and 4 months to be able to get it to thepoint where we presented it at the Detroit Autorama in 2012.”
Mathew runs his own custom shop here in Tyler called Torq’d Design.
Now in design school in California Jonathan, despite inquiries from Detroit manufacturers, may transfer his passion to designing yachts.