67th annual Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama features dozens of iconic movie cars

DETROIT — The 2019 AutoRama was a different kind of March Madness with not only the birthday of Justice League director Zack Snyder, but Kevin and Janell Poole’s 2018 Grand Sport Corvette shows that Superman and Wonder Woman are indeed a super-power couple in the form of Super GS.  The Man of Steel and the Amazonian warrior princess may be an item in the comics, but Wonder Woman has also lasso the heart of Batman on both the big and small screen (probably another reason why these three are the DC Trinity).  And speaking of the brooding Dark Knight Detective, this year marks the 30th anniversary of Tim Burton’s Batman with Michael Keaton as the titular Caped Crusader, who still rises after 80 years of instilling fear into the hearts of the criminals and the corrupt as a symbol of justice and hope.

The Batmobile from the 1992 sequel Batman Returns was on dawn at AutoRama with Carl Casper with his new book chronicling his years as the all-time custom car champion of America with photos.  When it comes to AutoRama and Fridays back in the day, only two things occur to me as rolling arsenals: the General Lee from CBS’ The Dukes of Hazzard, and the man … the machine known as ABC’s Street Hawk.  Whereas good ole’ boys Bo and Luke Duke fight the system as a two modern-day Robin Hood, Street Hawk is Knight Rider on a motorcycle: a crime-fighting super-vehicle capable of going up to 300 miles per hour with unlimited firepower and capabilities.

The weather may be frigid outside, but AutoRama won’t frighten the people inside – especially with a car like Tony Gulley’s Ford Shelby GT Mustang nicknamed “Christine”.  When asked why named his car after the Stephen King novel and 1983 film adaptation, Gulley’s answer was simple: she’s very temperamental – just like Christine, a car that has a mind of her own.  AutoRama is not only the place where people bring the customized cars they built, but it is where they can be built as real-life superheroes like James and Rebecca Sawyer with their “Iron Man” armored as a 1988 Camaro IROC-Z.  

Sadly, though, we’ll be Eastbound and Down with a tribute to the late Burt Reynolds.  Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Reynolds was the good ‘ole boy of all good ‘ole boys thanks to films such as DeliveranceWhite Lightning and Gator.  But it was playing the Bandit in Hal Needham’s Smokey and The Banditthat made Reynolds into a top box office superstar: leading the craze of fast cars and CB lingo, both of which inspired and influenced Dukes.  Reynolds died last fall at the age of 82.

The 67th annual Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama continues at Cobo Center on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 pm. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets are $21 for adults, $8 for kids six to 12 and free for children five and under. Discount tickets available at O’Reilly Auto Parts. For more information, visit https://autorama.com/attend/detroit/

A tribute to the late Burt Reynolds. (Garrett Godwin/AmericaJR)
Photos by Garrett Godwin / AmericaJR

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