Bitten by the automotive bug at an early age, while working in the family owned W-J Body Shop in Gadsden, Alabama, Alan Johnson decided to step away from the norm and opened Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop.
The calling card for this new shop was the debut of a sanitary 1937 Ford Cabriolet at the 1993 NSRA Street Rod Nationals. From the moment the car rolled through the fairgrounds, the Pro’s Pick judges and magazine editors had all eyes focused on the soft yellow 37 Ford from Alabama. The car later went onto appear in many street rod enthusiast magazines which gave life to the new hot rod shop.
Alan Johnson came to a pinnacle in the world of street rods. In 1997 Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop debuted a 1933 Ford Cabriolet Highboy at the Detroit Autorama for Jerry Karr. The car was runner-up for the prestigious Ridler Award and won everything else it was eligible to win in Detroit. The ’33 won many Pro’s Pick awards and ended up being named Car of the Year by both Goodguys Rod and Custom Association and Shades of the Past Car Club. The crowning moment was when Alan was invited to display the car center stage at the annual SRMA Banquet held during the annual SEMA Show. At the banquet, Street Rodder Magazine honored Alan by naming him Street Rod Builder of the Year.
The momentum hasn’t slowed since 1997, as Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop continues to build groundbreaking, award-winning hot rods in the form of the 2006 Goodguys Street Machine of the Year winner Bob Johnson’s 1971 G-Force Cuda. The Cuda project sent shockwaves thru the Street Machine world on design, form, and performance. Following up the G-Force Cuda, was the talk of the street rod world – the 2009 Detroit Autorama Ridler Award winning 1932 Ford B-400 “Deucenberg” owned by Doug Cooper. It is still in a class all its own on form, function, and beauty.
With over 70 turn-key hot rod, muscle car and land speed projects completed to date, the 20-plus years of evolution demonstrates that Alan Johnson and his talented crew’s work can’t exactly be tied to one particular influence. It’s truly the sum of all the extra detail that makes a Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop classic hot rod stand out. It’s a simple and basic design that steps away from gaudy and leans more toward visually practical. At the same time, walks along the cutting edge in technology. Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop is not going to fall for riding the wave of trendy theme hot rod building – Alan Johnson’s idea of building hot rods proves Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop is in it for the long haul.
In an industry filled with builders and fabricators, Alan Johnson and the JHRS crew are one of the few teams that all have the same level of drive and dedication for the art of constructing high quality custom hot rods. They are always blending modern technology with true hot rod attitude – seamlessly. Enjoying every bit of the hot rod world – from meeting other builders and hot rod fanatics, to traveling to the next show – Alan Johnson is a true hot rod enthusiast.