Every year, the classic car show season starts off in March with some great indoor shows to keep vehicle owners preoccupied and help them avoid the itch to bring their vehicle out in terrible weather. Living where we do, snow and salt are a much part of our driving, which also makes classic vehicles and the classic car hobby very seasonal. While it would be amazing to drive classics year-round without having to worry about rust or not, like in California, the time off the roads also allows for owners and enthusiasts to pick up new projects and continue working or restoring their vehicles. Autorama in Detroit and Motorama in Toronto both are indoor events that are held to show off hundreds of beautiful classic vehicles before cruise nights, show and shines and classic car shows start back up in May. Autorama in Detroit is one of the most historic shows and also features some of the most stunning classics including many from our area of Ontario, only 4 hours away in Michigan. While many classic vehicle trends stay the same, Autorama gives a glimpse into what vehicles are taking off for restoration or customization.
This year at Autorama, there was an increasing number of classic Broncos and K-5 Blazers throughout the show floor. This resurgence makes sense with the reveal of the upcoming new Bronco coming very soon, as well as the popularity of the Jeep Wrangler. These classic SUVs with removable roofs are becoming quite relevant again as lifestyle vehicles for the beach or outdoors rather than gas-guzzling SUVs. Autorama also played host to a large amount of GM Squarebody trucks, the 73-87 Chevrolet and GMC series that have gained lots of new custom trends, owners and rising values over the last 5 years. Other than the lifestyle SUVs and later model classic trucks, wagons are still becoming even more popular. The wagons often appear ratty or have beautiful patina, however, some owners spend an absolute fortune restoring wagons such as Nomads, Impalas and much more.
This year, the Great 8 vehicles battling for the coveted Ridler Award were also quite stunning and differed a bit from previous years. From a beautiful and custom 57 Bel Air, to a stunning 50s Oldsmobile convertible, the Great 8 never disappoint. For the second year in a row, the Ridler Award winner was a stunning, custom 2-door wagon. This year, the winning custom vehicle was based on a 1963 Chevrolet Impala. Last year, the winning vehicle being CadMad, based off of a 1959 Cadillac and a Chevrolet Nomad roofline, was just as stunning but even more important for the award, unique.
Being only 4 hours away, Autorama also hosted some familiar faces from the GTA and Ontario. Raw Fish, a stunning custom Plymouth Cuda that is very well known at shows here, was in attendance, as well as the owner’s brother with his stunning forced-induction Chevy Nova which has been customized beautifully. A beautiful white and red C1 Corvette was also in attendance, having also been at SEMA 2019 in Las Vegas. This stunning white and red Corvette was restored by Fast Automotive in Fergus, Ontario and features Wilwood braking, LSX power and stunning craftsmanship.
While 4 hours may not be far for people like myself, some owners may prefer to stick more locally. This coming weekend, Motorama is returning to the International Centre in Mississauga for our local GTA showing of classic and custom vehicles. With awesome Celebrity Appearances including Chip Foose and many more, Motorama hypes up to be a great event as well. For car enthusiasts, it is a time to exhibit our hard work during the winter months as well as catch up with fellow car enthusiasts, owners and club members. Make sure to check out the awesome Motorama 2020 at the International Centre in Mississauga this weekend, from March 13th to the 15th.
Written by David Murphy