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Car Show: Detroit Autorama 2020

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Detroit Autorama 2020

Detroit, MI
Friday, February 28, 2020
Photos by: Bob Steinhaus

This year celebrates the 65th anniversary of this car show, which is amazing in itself, and from talking to some of the remaining club members (yes, a few do still exist, and no I am not one of them) who go back that far, their diligent efforts continue on. Original efforts are now mostly made through their children, grand-children and great-grand-children - and even some great-great-great-grand-children - who are still very active in putting this show together and making it relevant each year. Sixty-five thumbs up to the World’s Greatest Hot Rod Show.

The center of attraction to the show is, of course, the Great 8, a selection of eight examples of excellence in car design and modification that are judged with only one car winning the prestigious Ridler Award. Competition for this award has gone insane. Last year’s winner was the radical custom Fawntana Rose “Cad Mad,” which started life as a rare 1959 Cadillac Brougham of which just 99 were originally designed by Pinninfarina of Italy and made by Cadillac. Add 14 years of labor and love along with 2.3 million dollars and Stephen Barton’s dream was achieved – building a car specifically  to win the Ridler Award. Unfortunately, Stephen died before the car was finished, but his brother Craig finished the car and completed his late brother's dream by winning the 2019 Ridler award.

This year’s show also featured original cars from the movie Ford vs. Ferrari and, maybe more recognizable to some, “The Most Significant Hot Rods of the 20th Century;” these include Ed Roth’s Beatnik Bandit and his also famous Outlaw, Bobby McGee’s 1932 Ford Roadster, Norm Grabowski’s Kookie’s T and Tommy Ivo’s 1925 T Bucket.

The list of show cars and events continues to fill the remaining time offered in a three day event, with numerous awards, entertainment and other Autorama Extreme events. If that is not enough, “The famous Chop Shop” returns, featuring the infamous Gene Winfield. Enjoy the pics!

Click on any photo for slideshow

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