Detroit Autorama  2011

      Hotrodhotline got a really special invitation while at the Detroit Autorama.... to come and join the  “Great 8 Meeting” on Saturday night.  This is where all of the Great 8 winners are brought together so that they can meet each other,  talk with the  Judges and learn more about the process that will determine the winner of the Ridler Award.  

This was really a great opportunity for Hotrodhotline to be on the inside and learn more about the determination process.    

    The meeting was run by  MHRA President and head of the  Ridler Judging Team, Butch Patrico.  Although Butch has been through this process many times, he remembers that for the contenders this may be  their first experience with this type of competition and he very carefully and with much understanding of all that they are going through... explains the judging process and gives them all time to ask questions of the judging team.  Each contender introduced themselves from their seat informally, and told a little about their project and their team.

 One of the really nice things about the process for this award is that the judges have an opportunity to interview the contenders so that they learn more about the process the owner went through from the initial concept .... how they envisioned their project ... to how it came to fruition.  This brings a level of understanding that allows the judges to evaluate “the whole picture” for each car.   While they do evaluate the car component by component .... they also take a good look at the car as a whole.  Learning what the builder and the owner had in their minds and how they accomplished their particular plan.

We really enjoyed this opportunity and we thank  the MHRA for this special invitation.  We also want to particularly thank Butch Patrico and his entire team for a fantastic job.... they are really great people, devoted to our hobby, and who give a lot of themselves and their personal time to make this show the huge success that it is....   they have many hours in that we never see or know about .... so we THANK them all for that !




Butch answered any and all questions posed by the car owners.








Here the judges are lined up to take questions from the car owners.






MHRA member and our friend Dennis takes notes on the meeting.




Butch took time to make appointments with some of the contenders for judge interviews and questions.



The “Stars” of the Show were of course the Great 8, Ridler contenders.   Each car was a masterpiece in it’s own right and the range of winners was huge ...... we had young guys,   professional builders,   owner builders .... it was great.  One fact we found interesting is that this was the First Year that there was not a car from Michigan in the Great 8.   But the field was awesome ....   here’s a quick look at the contenders and of course the grand award winner...


We had a chance to meet Tim and his wife at the show... very nice people ... they were so excited to be there and to have been selected as one of the Great 8.


This 62 Corvette was very nice....  the “buzz” at the show all weekend was that the Ridler would either be the 56 Sunliner which ultimately won...  or this  Corvette.


Here’s Jack Lawford with owner Bruce Milyard

There were so many really outstanding things about the 56 Sunliner that most felt it was destined to win the Ridler


This car was very deserving of it’s place in the Great 8


This is one of those great stories at Detroit... car owner Derrick Samson has owned this car since he was 12 years old !   How cool is that..


From the moment the Great 8 was announced he couldn’t get the grin off his face... even when the judges were putting him through the paces.

Jack had a chance to talk to Derrick at length and said he was really a great guy.... it’s so nice to hear how he had this car so long and so lovingly brought it to it’s final magnificence  ... Congrat Derrick.   we’ll see you again !

This was really a striking car... very clean and sharp in every way.


Another young contender Jim Marciniak ...  what a fantastic job he did on this Riviera .... not what you think of when you think  “Ridler”  but Jim really made this car a real contender with his keen design ideas and fine work...




Another stunning car... with all the detail and fine qualities we have come to expect in the Ridler contenders


The “Ridler” trophy makes a quick stop in the Hotrodhotline booth before being delivered to the winner .... Bruce Ricks

The crowd gathered quickly after leaving the awards ceremony to bring the trophy to the car that took the honors.  









The crew of  SunCammer was a distinctive presence all during the show with their great looking shirts

Jack Lawford and 2011  Ridler Winner Bruce Ricks

    We don’t have a lot of narrative for these pictures from the awards ceremony.....  we just like to see all of these car owners and builders enjoying their time in the spotlight.   No matter how many people are given awards... and no matter how  “important”  the award... each of them  belongs to  “that owner or builder” and it’s  their moment to enjoy the recognition by their peers and by others in their industry....   It’s their shining moment .. each and every one of them.  And to ALL of them....  we say a BIG  CONGRATULATIONS.....  great work ... and thank them for their creations which are so  important to our industry and our hobby. 
























Our friend DeJuan Taylor got an award for his awesome  Nomad.... 


Charlie Rose introduces Mike Alexander to award the Alexander Brothers Aaward














And the winner of the Ridler Award is....


What a moment this must have been for Bruce Ricks...










And how proud builder Steve Cook must be.  It took great imagination and skill to put together the dream car called Suncammer... A big CONGRATULATIONS to the whole crew.


At the end of the show CJ came by our booth very proud of his award and promising to build another car for the Autorama...

     and that’s it folks.... another Detroit Autorama under our belt and more determination than ever to make this a yearly trek.   Next year we vow to come even earlier so Jack can get into some more of those  unbelievable Detroit area garages and shops.     The whole experience of  Detroit Autorama is fantastic .....  we want to thank  Bob & Bonnie Larrivee and their staff for putting together this great event,  and of course our good friends from the MHRA ....   Charlie Rose,   Butch Patrico,  Al Tawse,  Matt,  Kenny,  Steve, Bill,  Ron, Glenn, Rick  and so many others.   We so enjoy their company at the show ... and appreciate so much all that they do .... these and all of the other  MHRA  members are the grease that makes this wheel run so smoothly.....  they’re behind the scenes, working hours on end to get things ready,  move people in and out... and to make this whole show  FUN for everyone...     In 2011 they have SUCCEEDED Greatly....   THANKS GUYS ! 





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