The first of 15 Steele Rubber Products Master Builder Awards was awarded to Bob Olofson at Autorama in Houston, TX. Olofson restored a 1948 Dodge Power Wagon to original condition at his home in Georgetown, TX.
“I was totally shocked … I was extremely honored to receive this award. Of all the trophies, awards and National Class Championships this is at the very top of the list. I feel very grateful to have been selected,” Olofson said after he won.
Steele Rubber Products Master Builder Awards are given to one outstanding vehicle restored with little or no professional help. All display vehicles at the Autorama events are automatically entered. The International Show Car Association (ISCA) selects one winner per show.
The Dodge Power Wagon was purchased in 1948 by the Heiman family as a farm and ranch tractor used to plow, bail, mow, deliver livestock and drive local children to the community barn dance. After 15 years it was stored away in a barn and Olofson was asked by the family to restore it decades later. This power wagon is rare because of the factory delivered rear mounted PTO and drive belt pulley system, driven by the transmission PTO which makes the truck capable of running in either direction. There is an engine driven governor for use of controlling the rear PTO speed which is controlled from inside the cab. He has kept the vehicle in its original condition adding only turn signals for safety and converting it to a 12 Volt system but, leaving the starter as 6 Volts.
“This truck has won more awards than I can count. There is also a sister truck to this ‘48 power wagon, a red 1949 power wagon and both trucks are restored to the same standard. Over the last 5 years, they have placed first and second in their class at every show they have been in,” Olofson added. Olofson is passionate about restorations. This is one of many restoration projects he has undertaken, including a 1951 amusement carousel.
He advises hobbyists to approach projects carefully, “One needs a lot of patience, take your time and plan the project out.”
There are 14 remaining Autorama shows scheduled through April 2013, one Steele Rubber Products Master Builder Award will be given per event. The next show is scheduled for January 11-13, 2013 in Cincinnati, OH. Show details at Autorama.com.
Steele Rubber Products manufactures quality rubber parts and weatherstrip for hot rods and classic cars. Visit steelerubber.com to see the inventory of more than 12,000 parts and products.