The indoor car show season is in full swing, and we’ve been on the move this month covering two of our favorite Autoramas—Sacramento and Detroit. Last week, we loaded up our camera gear and headed north to Sacramento with a pack of prewar Fords. All three are flathead powered, sit low and were built to be driven.
We tagged along with Josh Candler in his “Chicken Coupe” ’35 Ford and Brandon Flaner in his ’36 three-window on their road trip to the Sacramento Autorama. Sharp-eyed readers will recognize Geoff Miles’ TRJ “Project ’39” sedan in the background.
The Suede Pavilion was filled with rods, customs and racecars of all kinds, and Brandon, Josh and Geoff’s Fords fit right in. Josh’s ’35 netted the Pavilion’s “Best Hot Rod” award.
We managed to dodge the rain on our ride out and, other than missing an exit or two, the trip to California’s capital city went off without a hitch. Once we arrived, we set up the cars in the Suede Pavilion and pored over the hundreds of rods and customs in attendance. After spending several days at the Sacramento Autorama, it’s clear why it’s revered as one of the nation’s most historic indoor car shows. We’ll have the full story in an upcoming issue of TRJ.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a rod or custom fan, it’s hard to beat a slammed pickup. We were drawn to this metallic copper F1, complete with Merc wheelcovers and subtle orange scallops, that was parked in Sacramento’s Suede Pavilion.
We first noticed Brian George’s Roseville Rod & Custom-built Model A at the Grand National Roadster Show back in 2016. Since then, the Ardun-powered ’31 has netted the Tanks, Inc. Hot Rod of the Year Award, among other accolades. Although it looks like a full-fledged show car, Brian isn’t afraid to log some miles in the immaculately detailed A-V8.
Set Up Day in Detroit
From the highly detailed rods and customs competing for the coveted Ridler Award to the perfectly patina’d survivors in the subterranean Autorama Extreme, the show welcomes cars from every facet of our hobby. Buffers whirred, mirrors shined and carpet was rolled out—it’s show time in the Motor City. Here’s a sneak preview of setup day at the 65th annual Detroit Autorama inside Cobo Hall.
The Detroit Autorama has always been a great place to debut a car, and that’s exactly what Dave Gray of Midland, Michigan, did with his dad’s ’32 Ford sedan. Dubbed the “ElDorodder,” the full-fendered Tudor has hot rod history dating back more than half a century, and the latest version was finished just in time for the show.
We’re always excited to see what new projects are coming out of the Hilton Hotrods stable. Proprietor Bobby Hilton affectionately calls the blue coupe the “Turnpike Cruiser” with its 8×2-fed, 487cid M.E.L., and he says he’ll break in the Hemi-powered sedan with a trip to the Lonestar Round Up in Austin this spring.
We didn’t catch the name of the owner of this Forest Green Chevy, but we couldn’t help but appreciate its understated early-’50s look. The chopped top, louvered hood and abbreviated brightwork enhance the car’s tasteful design.