PROVO — A Provo automobile glass dealer is reopening a Museum of National Award Vehicles to show off a unique collection of award-winning custom cars that he built himself.
Jerry Woodward's museum treasures include the 1957-built Thunder Rod II and the Vortex X-2000, which he constructed in 1962 and was dubbed the "car of the next century."
The museum was open for about three years in the mid-1990s, but closed when Woodward needed more space for his business, Ace and Jerry's Auto Glass, which was started by his father. Woodward now runs the business with his own sons.
Woodward plans to reopen the museum on Jan. 23 in downtown Provo.
"I've had so many people who have wanted to see the vehicles that I thought I'd open it up again for a couple of years," Woodward told Provo's Daily Herald.
The 81-year-old Woodward built the Thunder Rod II from the chassis and body of a 1929 Ford Model A. The car's turbocharged engine earned it a record quarter-mile time in street drag races for five years and garnered the 1957 Most Beautiful Roadster Award at the Grand National Roadster Show in Sacramento, Calif.
The car's dual-headlight design caught the interest of manufacturers and became the standard headlight design on Peterbuilt trucks, Woodward said.
Designers also loved the elements of the 1962 Vortex. A three-wheeled car with a sleek, triangular shape, the Vortex has recessed headlights and a full-width tail light. Ford Motor Co. used the same design in its 1965 Thunderbirds and it has since become the industry standard, Woodward said.
Woodward won a Grand National Car Show award for the design. In all, he's won six such awards for his combination of ingenuity and skill.
— Associated Press