The 61st annual Autorama custom car show hit Detroit's Cobo Center on March 9 and 10th. The cars were flashy and well done, the crowds large and the atmosphere fun and interesting for the whole family. It was the 50th anniversary of the Ridler Award (for best car of the show) and in tribute many of the former Rider winners were present. The Ridler is only awarded to a vehicle that is being shown for the first time at Autorama, and this year's winner didn't disappoint. The winner was Ron Cizek for a dark red 1940 Ford coupe. It's powered by a Flathead Ford with a big blower and was truly impressive.
There was a large crowd upstairs all day, with all the custom show cars and Batman cars on display, and also a large vendor area. Downstairs offered more action with live music (from The Twistin' Tarantulas among others) and rockabilly haircuts from The Berkley Chop Shop, and displays of individual or groups of cars, mini bikes, motorcycles and almost anything else. From shiny, restored and modified racers to barn-find, piles of primer and rust cars with a beautiful patina. One could spend hours downstairs alone, and the slightly less crowded displays invite taking a long look or even asking the creators (often car clubs), about their creations.
Alas, there wasn't even one example of a scooter this year at Autorama, but there was a stock Whizzer and Honda CT 90, in addition to many custom and non-restored examples of motorcycles. Plenty of mini-bikes too, as two clubs brought a ton of these diminutive wonders to the show, and gathered their own crowds too.
Autorama in Detroit happens every year in February, so mark your calendars now, as even with the Corktown St. Patrick's day parade happening less than two miles away and the Red Wings playing, Sunday was as busy as many had ever seen it. Detroit rock city, for sure, but for this weekend, it was Detroit Autorama city.
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