62nd Sacramento Autorama 2012
Cal Expo Fairgrounds
February 17 - 19, 2012
Photos by Jack Lawford
Like most Hot Rod guys, meticulously done custom cars shined to a sharp luster will stop me in my tracks and leave me speechless. This weekend at the Sacramento Autorama, I spent a lot of time motionless and quiet I’ll tell you! Well, in a manner of speaking (or not).
Billed as “The Kustom Capital of the World”, the Autorama is in its 62nd year and with the over 450 fine custom cars, hot rods, classics, motorcycles, and specialty vehicles that were on the Cal Expo Fairgrounds, it’s no wonder that it’s also one of the longest running indoor car shows in the world.
We arrived bright and early opening day Friday, my wife Sue accompanied me this time to take in this amazing show. Right away we said “Hi” to the show promoter, John Buck, on our way in as he and his wonderful crew were skillfully guiding the influx of vendors and participants to their designated parking areas and ensuring everyone had everything they needed. His seemingly tireless efforts make this show and the GNRS two of the most smoothly run events we attend yearly.
Also present and helping participants to get from Point A to Point B was Master Pinstriper Von Hot Rod. Always one of the nicest guys to talk to and a true treat to watch him work his craft, we have fun catching up with Von Hot Rod and are simply amazed at hearing about his globe-trotting travels as he instructs others in the art of pinstriping.
Once inside the Cal Expo Building A/B we were quickly immersed in some of the finest custom cars in the Hot Rod industry. Both top and bottom levels were wall-to-wall with cars of nearly every make, model and year, all of them turned out in their Sunday best for all the attendees to enjoy. And enjoy we did...all the way through C building to the Suede Pavilion and the Expo Center (buildings 1-7) with meanderings through the Cove and outdoor areas. Six some odd hours later we met up with roving reporter Bart Mitchell who had arrived into town, compared notes on what we had photographed and chatted with him for a bit while wandering back through some of displays. We called it a day just after that as our doggies were barkin’ after taking just over 800 pics in one day!
Saturday morning dawned with just the merest mist and any worries of serious rain dissipated for the day. This was a good omen for the Autorama Drive-In car show which brought in a sizeable number of fine cars for Hot Rod enthusiasts to admire and share stories of custom builds - past, present, and future - with the owners who brought their cars to display. The intermittent cloud cover made photographing these beauties (another 300+ pics) easier as you could check out the shiny bits without being blinded.
After spending some serious time photographing the Drive-In cars, we headed back inside to chat with the vendors and capture some of the crowd atmosphere as the spectator traffic picked up as the day wore on. Toward the evening, we found our way back to the Suede Pavilion to see the ladies in the Trophy Girl competition and watch Bart work his photography skills as the ladies posed, vying for the top spots. Mitzi and Co.’s sponsorship of the Trophy Girl competition can be counted on to draw an appreciative crowd and this year was no exception. We were sorry to see the sun go down on the 62nd Sacramento Autorama Saturday as we flew out early the next day. We certainly hope, Sue and I, that you enjoy the photos as much as we enjoyed taking them!