This was the very first car to greet me, an enormously cool lake racer built from the drop-tank of a 1965 Phantom F-4 jet and owned by Chip Gerber and Steve Tracy. It set the bar pretty darn high. The entrants in the Ridler Competition -- the award for the best new custom car -- were all near the main entrances to the show, which made for a truly awesome entry.
AutoRama is huge. It fills the entire upstairs and downstairs of Detroit's Cobo Hall Convention Center with acres and acres of cars. Here's a view from the back corner, where the toy dealers have their booths.
And here's the sort of variety that you see in just a few cars:
A tricked out Corvette with an unbelievable entertainment center built into it.
An old Hudson Hornet, smoothed, dropped, and painted like an old race car.
And a monster truck. Presumably this was here to keep everybody in line. Cross the show judges and they will crush your hot rod.
Here are a few more shots to give you an idea of the scale:
Aside from all the cars, there were also a lot of car- and transportation-related items: custom motorcycles, custom bicycles, custom boats, displays from a variety of automotive programs, and the official AutoRama Model Car Contest:
Keeping all those cars shiny is a lot of work:
Here we see three guys working on Rocky Boler's 1933 Ford Five-Window Coupe. One of the toughest things about taking pictures was finding a car that wasn't being lovingly polished and polished again.
And the final preview of coming attractions: the AutoRama Extreme displays in the basement.
CAUTION: Here there be rat rods!
I'll post another batch of photos each day and link to them below, so the series is collected in one place. I hope you all enjoy them.
Tomorrow? T-Buckets, Roadsters, and Other Hot-Roddy Hot Rods!