DETROIT — The 68th Annual Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama, Presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts is revved up and ready to roar into TCF (Cobo) Center on February 28 – March 1. 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.
The highlight of this year’s Autorama is the once in a lifetime showing of the most significant hot rods of the 20th Century. This group of legendary hot rods changed the trajectory of hot rodding forever, because they were so original and futuristic. And this group of five hot rods have never before been seen together, at one time, east of the Rockies.
The iconic hot rods are Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s Outlaw and his Beatnik Bandit, Tommy Ivo’s 1925 T Bucket, Bob McGee’s 1932 Ford Roadster and Norm Grabowski’s Kookie T Bucket– made famous on the TV show “77 Sunset Strip.”
In addition, Hollywood glamour comes to Autorama this year, with the actual P330 Ferrari and Ford GT40 used in the Oscar winning film Ford v Ferrari . The $97 million film chronicles the fight between Carroll Shelby’s Ford GT 40 and Enzo Ferrari’s Scuderia Ferrari for dominance at the 24 Hours of Le Mans car race in 1966.
This year’s Autorama will also feature a live appearance by WWE Legend Ric Flair, Rutledge Wood – NASCAR and Auto Racing Analyst, Mike Finnegan – Host of TV’s “Hot Rod Garage – Road Kill” and “Faster and Finnegan”, Cody Walker from the “Fast and Furious Family” film, Marvel Superhero Spidermanand Aaron Kaufman from the Discovery Channel. as well as an appearance by racing legend Lyn St. James
“We are always striving to bring new excitement and to top ourselves every year at Detroit Autorama,” said Peter A. Toundas, President and Owner of Championship Auto Shows Inc., producers of Autorama. “The idea of bringing the most famous hot rods of the 20th Century to Autorama, together at one time, is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Add to that, the movie cars from the Oscar winning Ford v Ferrari film, and this year’s Autorama is a dream come true for automotive enthusiasts.”
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 57 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 68 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, February 28 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 15th year, 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, February 29 at 5 p.m., presented by Vinsetta Garage. A feature growing in popularity at Autorama Extreme is the Lowrider Invitational featuring top Lowrider Cars.
More Autorama Features
Back upstairs, additional features of the 68th 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 12 years ago. This year more than 3,000 middle school, high school and trade school automotive students from nearly 50 Michigan schools will converge on Autorama on Friday, February 28 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 2020 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, February 28 at 4 p.m. to 5 p.m..; Saturday, February 29 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 1 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 26th Annual Toy-A-Rama and the Pedal Car Challenge presented by Summit Racing Equipment.
Additional highlights include the famous “El Toro” altered fuel race car, 1976 past Ridler Winner and the 2020 Preservation Award Recipient presented by Steele Rubber Products.
Racing Legend Lyn St. James will be appearing alongside the iconic 1969 University of Pittsburgh Camaro that she will race in the 2020 Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix. She will meet and greet fans in the Grand Prix display at Autorama on Friday, February 28 at 1 p.m. and Saturday, February 29 at noon.
Appearances on the UAW Ford Celebrity Stages:
WWE Legend Ric Flair will meet and greet fans on Friday, February 28 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Rutledge Wood, NASCAR and Auto Racing Analyst will meet and greet fans on Friday, February 28 from 4 p.m. to 7p.m.
Mike Finnegan – Host of TV’s “Hot Rod Garage – Road Kill” and “Faster with Finnegan” will meet and greet fans Saturday, February 29, from 12 to 3 p.m.
Cody Walker from the “Fast & Furious Family” movie will meet and greet fanson Saturday, February 29, from 4 to 7 p.m.
Spiderman – Marvel Comics Superhero will meet and greet fans Sunday, March 1 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Aaron Kaufman – From TV’s Discovery Channel will meet and greet fans Sunday, March 1 from 1 to 4 p.m.
AUTORAMA AT TCF (COBO) CENTER HOURS
Friday, February 28, Noon to 10 p.m.Saturday, February 29, 9 a.m. to 10 p.m.Sunday, March 1, 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
For info go to: www.autorama.com or call 248-373-1700
Source: Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama