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Car Show: 2012 Detroit Autorama Great Eight Ridler Competition

2012 Detroit Autorama Great Eight Ridler Competition

Detroit, MI
Friday, February 24, 2012
Photos by: John Sanderson

The Great Eight Ridler Competition
Over 60 cars were eligible, and were finally narrowed down to the “Pirelli Great Eight”.  The finalists competing for this coveted award included the deep green1953 Chevy pickup of Bob Komlofske, from Prineville OR; the bright red 1955 Chevy 2 door hardtop of Johnny & Frances Edmundson, from Athens TN; the copper colored 1963 Chevy Nova convertible of Ronson & Theresa Burton, from Milton DE; and the dark blue 1932 Ford 3 window coupe of Pete Datino, from Valhalla NY. The remaining four cars were the bright red 1932 Ford 3 window coupe of Dave & Joyce Emery, from Rochester Hills MI; Mike Alexander’s electric orange 1933 Ford convertible, from Grosse Ille MI; the Dwayne Peace red 1955 Ford Thunderbird, from Tyler TX; and finally Gord & Carol Phillips 1967 Ford Shelby GT500 Mustang, from Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada. Every one of these cars could have won hands down a few years ago. Now the difficult task for the judges was to choose the best of the best. The Great 8 finalists each received a $1000 cash award, a beautiful crystal trophy from Pirelli Tires, and a custom embroidered Great 8 jacket.

The 49th Annual Don Ridler Memorial Award
Of course, the competition that brings in cars to compete for the coveted Ridler Award has only become even stronger every year. The amazing part is the diversity of cars built for this competition. It takes experienced builders, previous winners, and first time builders alike, and determines which car has the best quality, engineering, design, and the least defects that exemplify the state of the art in car building. The climax on Sunday evening is the awarding of the prestigious Ridler Award and the $10,000 check by GM Performance to the owner and the similar Ridler Builder trophy to the builder. The winner was the beautiful red 1955 Thunderbird that had a handmade body and frame and some fabulous detailing. Dwayne Peace got the $10,000 check and his son was on the team that built the car! Next year will be the 50th Anniversary of the Ridler Award and should see even stronger competition, if that is possible. The dates are March 8, 9, & 10, 2013.

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