Sunday, March 9, 2014

The 2014 Detroit AutoRama: An Overview

One of the things I'd never managed to get to on the Detroit automotive scene is the annual AutoRama custom and hot rod car show every March at Cobo Hall. I resolved to remedy the omission this year, so get ready for another healthy dose of automotive photoblogging over the next few days as I bring you just a few of the 600+ cars that gathered in Detroit this weekend.

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.

Monday, March 10: T-Buckets, Roadsters, and Other Hot-Roddy Hot Rods.
Tuesday, March 11: Bitchin' Camaros and Other Muscle Cars.
Wednesday, March 12: Super-Bees!
Thursday, March 13: Cute-sters.
Friday, March 14: Trucks.
Saturday, March 15: Gremlins!
Sunday, March 16: Smoooooooth and Swoopy
Monday, March 17: Corvettes
Tuesday, March 18: Dragsters and Race Cars
Wednesday, March 19: Station Wagons
Thursday, March 20: Rat Rods
Friday, March 21: The Leftovers - Cycles, Exotics, and Oddities

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