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Highlights of the 57th Annual Autorama Classic Car Show at Cobo Center

57th Annual Autorama Highlights -- Part Two

Quicktime Required

<< News >>

Local News / Automotive

Monday, 9 March, 2009 5:59 PM

57th Detroit AutoRama welcomed classic cars, the Mach 5 from Speed Racer and two K.I.T.T. cars

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

by Garrett Godwin
ggodwin82@yahoo.com

 

WATCH: Highlights of the 57th Annual Autorama Classic Car Show at Cobo Center

57th Annual Autorama Highlights -- Part Two

Quicktime Required

DETROIT -- The Motor City revs-up once more for the 57th Annual Autorama event inside the COBO Center during the first weekend of March Madness. As one of "America's Greatest Hot Rod Shows", Autorama is every car person's dream come true for all ages: customized-made, tricked-out, pimpin' muscle cars and cool convertibles such as the Corvette Stingray, the Ford Mustangs, stock race cars, and plenty more to get all of Detroit's engine running.

"It's an opportunity for everyone who builds cars in their garage, professionals, amateurs and all the rest to come and show off their wares, " said Charlie Rose, a Detroit AutoRama organizer. "Not only do they have a good time but the tens and thousands of people who show up really enjoy seeing the cars. It's not just a car show, it's a social/cultural thing. When we come down here, everybody brings their cars we talk for a little bit then we spend another hour talking about each other. It's just a great fraternity of car owners."

Making surprise appearances from the shadowy flight into the dangerous criminal world are both the Knight Industries (the 1982 Pontiac Trans-Am) and Three Thousand (Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang) -- KITT -- from the original and current Knight Rider. Going up to 300 mph with capabilities such as turbo boost, Super Pursuit Mode, and Attack Mode, both KITTs are sophiscated and state-of-the art with nanobites as well as an molecular indestructible bondage shell -- with an artificial intelligence program with an smart-aleck personality assigned to protect all of human life, including its driver: Michael Knight.

"The car was made from a Corvette and in the series he races it against Racer X, " said Sara Kline, a Detroit AutoRama employee working the Speed Racer display. "The way they filmed it was really cool. All the colors were really bright. It was a neat film. I think a lot of the people who knew Speed Racer as a cartoon maybe are a little bit older now and don't probably goes to the movies as much. Kids don't know it as well because the cartoon is not really around anymore."

Coming from the track for Autorama is the signature Mach 5 vehicle from the classic Speed Racer cartoon, recently adaptated for the big screen last summer from the people that brought us the Matrix trilogy and another adaptation of the graphic comic novel, V for Vendetta.

"I'm taking a look around, enjoying a few beers and the afternoon, " said Bob Thompson, a 24-year attendee of AutoRama from London, Ontario. "I've watched the original [Knight Rider] show, not this new one. It's not a bad show, it's not real violent and if you're a car fan, the car has a part in the show. I think that's probably the appeal."

After over 50 years, Autorama still gives everyone -- even the staff -- that same excitement of their love affair with cars, whether this is your first time or not. But whatever you do, just don't think of Autorama as either an extension or a continuation of the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS).

"It's a 1939 Lincoln Zephyr, which was a streamlined car that Ford made in limited numbers back from 1936 to about 1946," said Terry Cook, president of Deco Rides as he describes his car. "This happens to be a sedan delivery, which they did not make. We took a coupe and made it into a sedan delivery. The unique thing about this car is it has a Harley-Davidson motorcycle on a ramp that automatically comes in and out of the back door."

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The Mach 5 car from "Speed Racer"

 

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / ©AMERICAJR.com

The K.I.T.T. cars from the "Knight Rider" TV series.

 

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