The 58th Detroit Autorama
The Detroit Autorama (or, simply "Detroit" to those who attend regularly) is, all at once, a spectacle, a sensory-inducing event, and a little bit of circus thrown in for good measure. Now in its 58th year, the show attracts the very best builders in the country in the hopes of not just winning a First Place trophy for their particular class, but perhaps to be picked as one of the eight contenders (collectively known as the Pirelli Great 8) for the show's top prize: The Don Ridler Memorial Award, given to a car owner whose first-time-shown car exhibits creativity along with a masterful attention to detail
For the spectators, there were nearly 1,000 vehicles on display at the show, with entries coming from 22 states and 2 Canadian provinces. Being Detroit based, the show leans a little more towards the performance side when speaking about the show cars, so you'll find more show-'n'-go vehicles featured than you'd find on a West Coast-based event.
In another area of the show a 70th anniversary exhibit of the '40 Ford showcased many examples of the venerable vehicle, from truck to coupe. Another facet of the show is the Detroit Autorama Extreme, a show-within-a-show located in the 100,000-square-foot basement of Cobo Center. Now in its sixth year, the Extreme features more traditional hot rods along with a good helping of the outrageous rat rod type of car.
Though some have wondered, with the nation's economy the way that it is, if attendance fell or the quality of the cars suffered at one of the country's premier indoor car shows, but we saw no evidence of either, and everyone is looking forward as the Detroit Autorama marches on towards its 60th anniversary in 2012.