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    Detroit Autorama  2011

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     Hey.... look who  stopped by  the Hotrodhotline.com  booth ... it’s  Gene Winfield !      The Detroit Autorama was a BLAST ....   the cars are always the best and of course the people are great !  We were excited to see many really great cars entered by  young guys .....  such talent ... it’s a great sign for our hobby that so many young people are picking up the torch to continue the hobby.

They don’t call it  Motor City for nothing ..... there are more gearheads per capita than any other place .....  We got into town a day early  and   good friends  Al Tawse  and Matt “the Welder” B  ( our MHRA Hot Rod Garage friends)  took Jack on a whirlwind tour of some great shops in the Detroit area.       Wait until you see this ! 

After a look at the City ...  The first stop on the Detroit tour was at Thomson Automotive in Wixom, MI.   Brian gave us the grand tour .... which was nothing short of amazing.   From the collection of cool cars to the Dodge Tomahawk Concept Motorcycles... to the 1954 Maserati  barn find..... and of course the  fantastic  Thomson  Engines that they are so well known for........

CLICK ON PHOTOS   FOR LARGER IMAGE

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We had to start out with some pictures of Downtown Detroit

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This wonderful old city is really  in despair ... it’s so sad to see so many beautiful old buildings boarded up.

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It’s a mere shell of what it once was ....

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We did get a quick  “drive by” photo of Eaton Detroit Springs ...  a grand old company, helping to keep the City on it’s feet. Excuse the blurry pic... it was from a moving car :)

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Another heartbreak is the number of boarded up houses....

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We were told that the city is selling some houses for  One Dollar... to get them back on the tax rolls..

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The hope for the State is in those businesses that stay and continue to provide jobs and revenue for the gov’t to run.

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One example is the facility at Thomson Automotive.   It’s proof that there is great hope  and  life in the Detroit area.....

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The first thing we see when we walk in is this stunning collection ..

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The variety of cars in the shop was amazing

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This was their first look at the Dodge Tomahawk Motorcycle....

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Jack just had to try it out for size...

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Perfect fit.... 

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The Tomahawk is a Viper V-10 based motorcycle, a 500 horsepower engine with four wheels beneath it. The engine breathes through twin throttle bodies mounted right up front. While the Tomahawk has the same number of tires as a car, it keeps the motorcycle form factor otherwise

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Chrysler sold nine replicas through Neiman Marcus, for $555,000 each. The motorcycles are driveable but  cannot be driven (legally) on public roads, they were meant as rolling sculptures, presumably to avoid legal liability.

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The rear wheel drive machine uses monocoque construction; the engine is a stressed member. The body is made of billet aluminum.  The Dodge Tomahawk can reach 60 miles an hour in about 2.5 seconds, and has a theoretical top speed of nearly 400 mph.

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Each pair of wheels is separated by a few inches and each wheel has an independent suspension

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Two of these motorcycles were going to a collector in Califonia

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They will  be displayed in these huge lexan and machined aluminum display cases.

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Now here’s something that is amazing....

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This is a “barn find” of sorts....  a 1954 Maserati 

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Any guesses on it’s value ???

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In this condition it’s worth a cool  $2 Million

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WOW...   Thomsons is going to restore just the mechanicals ... leaving the body the way it is.

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We wondered why such a valuable car would have been left in a barn all these years... and of course the answer was... It wasn’t valuable when they left it there !   

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This car had been wrecked when they got it in for a complete restoration.

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This meant that many parts had to be fabricated right there at the shop.

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These are a small example of the Engines that have made Thomson Engines so well known.

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For information on  what Thomson Engine offers check out their website   www.ThomsonEngines.com

What a great way to start the day .....   and this was truly just the beginning....  Wait until you see what was next....  

Next stop....  Elwood Petersons  place .... where there were literally  32 Fords hanging from the rafters...  there’s not much to say about this stop..... just take it all in ....    Elwood and his son John have a wealth of wonderful  car guy  “stuff”    .. but don’t bother trying to find him thinking you’ll buy some of it....  This is his  collection and he’s not likely to part with any of it.

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This is a Pontiac Safari wagon that Elwood turned into a truck.... sort of an El Camino !

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This is the only metal recycled at Elwoods.... the rest he keeps !

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This is the “concept” drawing for that last car

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But wait... there’s  more... in the outbuildings.

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And now on to the next stop on Jacks  Detroit Garage Tour


 

 

 

 


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