MINNEAPOLIS _ Tony Lanesky of Anton’s Hot Rod Shop of Cleveland, Ohio, will showcase a 1950 Studebaker dragster as well as another vehicle to be unveiled by Valspar Automotive at the show. Both vehicles by Anton’s Hot Rod Shop are finished in Valspar Automotive finishes and repaired with products from U.S. Chemical & Plastics.
Located in Hiram, southeast of downtown Cleveland, Anton’s Hot Rod Shop is known for hot rods with over-the-top fabrication and engine builds. The SEMA-bound 1950 Studebaker is owned by Anton Lanesky and his wife Shannon. “I always wanted a '50s Studebaker and when a friend had one and couldn’t finish it and offered it up to me, I jumped at the opportunity,” he says.
Today that friend’s Studebaker is a tribute to the "Memphis Belle" — known as the Boeing B-17F “Flying Fortress” during World War II. One for the history books, the Memphis Belle was one of the first heavy bombers to complete 25 consecutive combat missions and return to base with crew intact.
“One day, it was on the rotisserie and it just looked like an airplane, and I thought how cool is that,” he says.
In fact, Studebaker made engines for many of Boeing’s airplanes during World War II and promoted models made during that era alongside heavy bombers. “The 4-panel rear window is exactly what you would find on an airplane from that time,” says Lanesky.
Rounding out the Valspar Automotive booth vehicles are: a 1978 Pontiac Trans Am by The Custom Shop in Flanagan, Ill. and a custom trike from Counts Kustoms and History’s “Counting Cars” TV series
Three additional vehicles will represent Valspar Automotive and its brands in various locations on the grounds outside of the Las Vegas Convention Center: a 1958 Plymouth Belvedere by The Custom Shop; a 1967 Ford Mustang by Brandon Knowles of Brand-X-Customs in Everett, Wash.; and a 1947 Ford pickup by Vescio Customizing & Restoration in Minneapolis.