2018 Detroit Autorama
Street Rodding’s Annual Invasion of the Motor City
Street Rodding’s annual invasion of Motor City
Every car show is a look back. We go there to see vehicles from the past built in a style from some other point in the past—like '32 Fords built ’50s style or
'55 Chevys built ’60s style. You get the idea. Every winter, the Detroit Autorama combines a look back with a look forward. The vehicles participating in the Cavalcade of Customs, the Autorama Extreme, various club displays, and hundreds of others filling downtown Detroit’s Cobo Center satisfy our taste for nostalgia. In addition to the tradition, the brand-new builds competing for the Pirelli Great 8 and the Ridler Award provide a look to the future. Those up-to-date rods show us where our hobby is today and where it’s going.
The 66th Annual Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama presented by O’Reilly Auto Parts was a celebration of design, engineering, and craftsmanship,—with nearly 1,000 rods, customs, trucks, bikes, race cars, cruisers, and street machines joining the party. Special exhibit areas included the perennial Cavalcade of Customs corral. For enthusiasts with an affinity for reshaped sheetmetal, imaginative painting, wide whitewalls, frenched headlights, fancy stitching, and every other aspect of traditional customs, these sleds impressed.
This year’s special display was dedicated to Bonneville Salt Flats Streamliners. The fastest cars on earth have been proving it on the salt for 70 years. The gathering in Detroit featured some of the greatest recent Bonneville racers.
The Cobo basement is home to Autorama Extreme, where traditionally styled, owner-built hot rods, customs, trucks, and bikes hang out.
SR gave away several awards at the event: Best Ford in a Ford sponsored by Ford Performance Parts, the Driven Award presented by Lokar Performance Products, and 10 Painless Performance Products/ SR Top 100 awards. Of course, the coveted award was the Don Ridler Memorial Award. The selection process starts by reducing the field of competitors to eight semifinalists called the Pirelli Great 8. From those eight, judges pick the Ridler winner. In 2018, the honor went to Greg and Judy Hrehovcsik’s '57 Chevy, built by Johnny’s Auto Trim & Rod Shop.