DETROIT — The 67th annual Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama, Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts is revved up and ready to roar into Cobo Center on March 1 – 3, 2018. Billed as America’s greatest hot rod show, Detroit Autorama will feature 800 of the most amazing chopped, channeled, dumped and decked, hot rods and custom cars in the world.
This year’s Autorama will also feature a live appearance by NASCAR Racing Legend Tony Stewart, The Hanson Brothers from the movie “Slap Shot”, WWE Superstar Seth Rollins and Legendary Hot Rod Builder Carl Casper along with a showing of Casper’s world famous cars, including the Batmobile from the Batman Returns movie and his Empress that won best of show at the first Cobo Hall Detroit Autorama in 1961 and the Young American Top Fuel Dragster. Casper will be on hand throughout Autorama to meet and greet fans and sign autographs all three days.
“We are always striving to bring new excitement and top ourselves every year at Detroit Autorama,” said Peter A. Toundas, President and Owner of Championship Auto Shows Inc., producers of Autorama. “The most spectacular showing of performance cars anywhere in the country, make the Detroit Autorama 2019 a show that no one will want to miss.”
An additional big draw to this year’s Autorama is the Low Rider Magazine Invitational, a special exhibit of 17 of the most amazing low rider vehicles in the area. This addition to Autorama is a salute to one of the fastest growing segments of the car enthusiast world.
Autorama, the super buffed, turbo charged Detroit tradition is one of the largest and oldest hot rod-custom car show in North America. It attracts visitors from across the U.S. and the globe. The calling card of this renowned show is the presentation of the Ridler Award, the most coveted award in hot rodding. For 56 years the auspicious award has been presented to the most outstanding new custom car, shown for the first time anywhere. Because of this distinction, the show attracts the finest custom car builders in North America to unveil their amazing vehicles for the first time at the famous show.
“It’s extremely gratifying that Detroit Autorama is the home of America’s most important hot rod award. “said Toundas. “This is the motor city and Detroit is where hot rod, custom car shows started so we make every effort to let everyone know about this important heritage.”
Detroit Autorama is the annual winter ritual that brings the most devout gear heads and just plain curious folks, up close and personal, with the autos that appear in hot rod and custom car magazines. The cars, brought by backyard car jockeys as well as the top customizers in the country, compete for top awards in numerous classes. These auto gems vie for awards and prizes in the Summit Racing Equipment Show Car Series.
In addition Autorama participants vie for the prestigious Ridler Award, sponsored by Meguiar’s for the best vehicle first time shown. Some 30 cars that qualify to be judged for the pared down BASF Great 8. Each great 8 finalist is awarded a check for $1,000. It all culminates with the announcement of the Ridler Award Winner when Meguiar’s presents $10,000 cash plus a custom trophy and jacket to the grand winner.
The first Detroit Autorama took place 67 years ago at the University of Detroit Field House as a fundraiser for Michigan Hot Rod Association’s efforts to build the legendary Detroit Dragway. Over the years it moved to the Michigan State Fairground and the Detroit Artillery Armory before coming to Cobo Center as its first paid public show in 1961! In the years since, the show has grown and has earned a stellar reputation as the leading hot rod-custom car show in the nation.
Autorama Hosts Ridler’s Ball
Autorama, will kick off with a stellar Friday night, March 1 event called the “Ridler’s Ball.” Created during the 50th Anniversary of Autorama, the event was such a rousing success that organizers responded by making it an annual event. The roster of more than 1,000 attendees include a who’s who of the hot rod-custom car world across North America
Autorama Extreme, The Show Within a Show
One of the most popular additions to Autorama is Autorama Extreme covering the entire 100,000 sq feet of Cobo Center’s lower level. It features more than 200 traditional rods, customs and bobber bikes inspired by the 1950s. Now in its 14thyear, Autorama Extreme continues to grow every year and is getting rave reviews. A show within a show, it also features Gene Winfield’s “Chop Shop” Demonstrations sponsored by Summit Racing Equipment as well as continuous entertainment by Rockabilly Bands and the Miss Autorama Retro Pin Up Girl Contest that takes place on Saturday, March 2 at 5 p.m., presented by Vinsetta Garage.
More Autorama Features
Back upstairs, additional features of the 67th Annual Detroit Autorama include a special display of Cavalcade of Customs – a 10 car exhibit of specially invited customs.
Returning this year is the extremely popular Autorama Student Career Day, introduced eleven years ago. This year more than 3,000 high school and trade school automotive students from nearly 50 Michigan schools will converge on Autorama on Friday, March 1 for morning presentations by key hot rod builders and industry leaders to learn about career opportunities in this growing field. After hearing from industry leaders, students will have the opportunity to visit the show and view the millions of dollars’ worth of show cars.
The Motor City Mavens 2019 Auto Art Panel Jam and Charity Auction benefiting Leader Dogs for the Blind will be presented by WRIF. More than 200 of the most outrageous pinstripers from across the country will be in Detroit during all three days of Autorama to apply their artistry to items of every variety. They will demonstrate for the crowds and auction the items throughout the event with all proceeds going to Leader Dogs for the Blind. Demonstrations are ongoing. The live auction times are Friday, March 1 at 4 p.m. to 5 p.m..; Saturday, March 2 at noon to 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 3 at noon to 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Other features at this year’s Autorama include the 25th Annual Toy-A-Rama and the Pedal Car Challenge presented by Summit Racing Equipment.
Appearances on the Celebrity Stages:
WWE Superstar Seth Rollins will meet and greet fans on Friday, March 1 from 6 to 8 p.m. NASCAR Legend Tony Stewart will meet and greet fans on Saturday, March 2 from noon to 2 p.m. Dave Kindig from Kindig It Designs and Velocity TV’s Bitchin Rides will meet and greet fans on Saturday, March 2 from 4 to 8 p.m. The Hanson Brothers from the movie “Slap Shot” will meet and greet fans on Sunday, March 3 from 1 to 4 p.m. Horny Mike and the Roadshow Rig from History Channel’s Counting Cars, featuring the “The Pik-Nekkin” table and Mini Mike Trike will meet and greet fans all weekend.
AUTORAMA AT COBO CENTER HOURS
Friday, March 1, Noon to 10 p.m.
Saturday, March 2, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, March 3, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
At Gate: Adults – $21, Children 6 to 12 years – $8, Children 5 and under free
DISCOUNT TICKETS are available at O’REILLY AUTO PARTS: Discount General Admission $19 and Children 6 to 12 years $7
Source: Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama