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Car Show: 2012 Detroit Autorama Circle of Champions Brunch

2012 Detroit Autorama Circle of Champions Brunch

Detroit, MI
Saturday, February 25, 2012
Photos by: John Sanderson

Circle of Champions Brunch

Saturday morning started with the 16th Annual Circle of Champions Brunch in the Riverfront Ballroom. Renowned announcer Dave McClelland was again the Master of Ceremonies who kept the program moving.  Bob Larivee Jr., CEO of Championship Auto Shows, introduced Don Pilkenton, recipient of the 2012 Builder of the Year award. All previous 49 Ridler winners were announced and honored. The Preservation Award was given to Jack and Scott Pieknik for their family’s 3rd generation 1929 Model A roadster. The featured guest speaker was Jim Farley, Group VP Global Marketing, Ford Motor Co. who gave an interesting talk with many period personal photos and stories about how he became a car guy and where Ford Motor was now going. The Al Maynard Award presented by Butch Patrico and Bob Millard, went to Dave Emery for his 1932 Ford that best exemplified Al’s favorite car. Bob Reynolds, longtime NSRA Advertising Director, and Bruce Ricks, 2011 Ridler Winner, were inducted into the Circle of Champions for their contributions to the support of the Detroit Autorama. A committee of their peers made the selections and Ridler winners are automatically inducted.

After a brief history of the Ridler award was given. It was explained that Don Ridler was the PR man and promoter of Autorama from 1958 through his untimely 1963 passing. Don innovated how car shows were marketed in what is now considered standard procedure. He is now remembered with the annual Don Ridler Memorial Award for the best vehicle shown for the first time, anywhere. This has become the most sought-after car award in North America. The “Pirelli Great 8” finalists were introduced and each said a few words about the experience while slides were shown of their car. They were given their custom embroidered jackets and posed for a group photo. Bob Larivee Sr. then mentioned that he was doing a book signing for his definitive book on car shows, Show Car Dreams. Afterwards, everyone lined up to get their Autorama poster art signed by Don Pilkenton, Bob Reynolds, and Troy Trepanier.

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