The Great 8 at the 55th Detroit Autorama
Cobo Hall
Detroit Michigan
March 9-11, 2007
Photographer: John Sanderson
3 Pages

The Great 8 refers to the Best 8, of new cars eligible to compete for the Ridler Award, the most sought-after, custom car show award. This award started in 1964, as a way to honor the early passing of Don Ridler, the first promoter of the Detroit Autorama, who helped launch it as one of the top shows in the country. It is presented to the Best New Car, shown for the first time, anywhere. Because of that stipulation, it eliminates many great cars that have been shown elsewhere, and causes many serious competitors to hold off showing, until the Detroit show. It comes with a fabulous, custom-made trophy, a smaller version as a builder’s trophy, a $10,000 cash prize, a new GM Performance Parts engine, and custom personalized jackets. Because as many as 30 cars could be eligible, the field is selected from the initial group of cars, as the best of the best. The caliber of cars is so high, that to make the Great 8 is an honor in itself. This comes with a personalized sign and custom jackets. These rewards and history, has evolved into this competition becoming the most coveted of awards, as it truly honors the best car of any kind, in the country. It has raised the level of competition to the high 6 figures, or even 7 figures! It is a completely different level of competition, compared to any other show, anywhere.

Winner of the Ridler Award

07 Ridler Award Winner (‘36 Ford - First Love) belongs to Ross and Beth Meyers. Troy Trapenier and the crew from Rad Rides made this car what it is today!

Ford36-3w-07Ridler_1949W Ford36-3w-07Ridler_1950W

Ross and Beth Meyers beautiful ‘36 Ford, 3 window coupe, drew a steady stream of attention during the setup time, and all through the show. The understated presentation and conservative palette, really emphasized the incredible amount of thought, workmanship, and detail that was apparent. Their video slide show was worth watching 2 or 3 times, to get a better appreciation of all of the hidden bits.

Ford36-3W-Autorama07-Great8-1080W Ford36-3W-Autorama07-Great8-1081W1
Ford36-3W-Autorama07-Great8-1082W Ford36-3W-Autorama07-Great8-1097W
Ford36-3W-Autorama07-Great8-1119W Ford36-3W-Autorama07-Great8-1120W
Ford36-3W-Autorama07-Great8-1121W Ford36-3W-Autorama07-Great8-1221W
Ford36-3w-07Ridler_1959W Ford36-3w-07Ridler_1962W

Ross and Beth Meyers with Ridler Award

Ross and Beth Meyers with Troy Trapenier


Build Team


Ross, Beth and Troy Holding Ridler Award


The Great 8 Contenders

 The Ridler Award and the Ridler Builders Award

This year’s field started with two ‘32 ford roadsters. Greg Black’s red version, was a new standard of the quality necessary to make the show.

Ford32RdstrRed-Autorama07-Great8-1869W Ford32RdstrRed-Autorama07-Great8-1134W




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