On Friday, February 24th at noon, Cobo Hall opened its doors for the first day of the Detroit Autorama. Now in its 65th year, the historic event welcomes cars and spectators from across the country to the Motor City for a weekend full of unforgettable car show action. Looking for more coverage? Make sure to check out our Facebook here and Instagram here.
With its checked lacquer and perfect patina, Jeff Knudsen of Holland, Michigan, refers to his ’36 Ford Club Cabriolet as a barn find. The skirts were stored with the car, and other than some touch-up painting and a mechanical overhaul, the flathead-powered Ford is back on the road for the first time in decades.
The Johnson’s Hot Rod Shop team went all-out while building this Deuce sedan for Memphis-based hot rodder George Poteet. The sedan features Y-block power, black paint and extensive nickel-plating by Jon Wright of CustomChrome. It’s one of eight cars competing for the coveted Ridler Award: an Autorama staple since 1964.
Johnny Logsdon unveiled the third version of his 1926 T coupe at the Autorama Extreme. Most recently, the chopped, channeled and shortened Ford sported blue paint and red windows. Power comes from a 2×4-fed smallblock Chevy.
There was no shortage of fine customs at this year’s Autorama, such as Linda and Mike DiPetta’s ’53 Chevy convertible from Rochester, Michigan. The lakes pipes, white top and Oldsmobile Fiesta wheelcovers drive home the early-’50s look.
The panel-painted sedan and blue coupe from yesterday’s email weren’t the only new Hilton Hotrods/Ross Racing Model A’s in attendance. Originally put together as a street rod decades ago, John Stivala’s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based ’29 Tudor got a new lease on life with a Hilton makeover and a Ross Racing Engines smallblock Chevy.
We’re big fans of hot rods with history, and it looks like Tommy Wahl’s T has seen its fair share of it. With its tri-carbed 283, whitewall slicks and outhouse-esque top, the metallic red roadster must have been a real showstopper during its heyday. Tommy brought the car to Detroit from Huron, Ohio.
There’s a whole lot to like about Patrick Hampton’s heavily hammered Model A, from the full fenders to the wicked profile the spindle-mount Americans. The 6×2-equipped smallblock Chevy, steelies on piecrust slicks and in-your-face color scheme certainly don’t hurt either.
Rick Start commissioned Gas Axe Garage to build his ’33 Ford Tudor with a ’50s Cadillac theme. Cad highlights include a tri-power equipped 390, ’51 dash and ’61 steering column and steering wheel. The black paint was sprayed by Those Guys.
Variety is the name of the game downstairs at the Autorama Extreme, as witnessed by Nathan Stewart’s Y-block-powered Model A coupe and Patrick Anderson’s channeled roadster parked beside it. We especially like the custom dual-Y lakes headers on the “13½” coupe.
What if Mercury manufactured a truck in 1932? Mike Tarquinio worked with GIS Automotive, Gene Winfield and Curt Ukasik to create “Edsel’s Shop Truck” out of a ’32 Ford pickup. Last year, the beautifully detailed Ford netted the Goodguys Gold Award.
You seldom see ’55 Lincolns, and very rarely are they as nice as Don Boeke’s expertly chopped hardtop. Dubbed “Nadine,” the car was shaved, slammed and sprayed with a custom paint color known as “Egyptian Lemonade.” The roof features some intricate cobwebbing.
Along with the rods and customs, the Autorama showcased a number of competition machines. This year, the restored Steffey & Rupp “Prussian” AA/FD was given the Autorama Preservation Award. Back in 1965, the dragster took top honors at the first NHRA Springnationals, won the Division 3 Points Championship as well as the first Top Fuel World Championship in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It’s now owned by Norm Sugden.