Saturday, February 29, 2020


Detroit Michigan
Thanks to Championship Auto Show Incorporated  for inviting down to the TCF Center for a tour of the 68th Detroit AUTORAMA. This annual event known as "America's Greatest Hot Rod Show" showcases dozens of custom and classic cars. AUTORAMA 2020 also has two special exhibits on display with one featuring the race cars used in filming the movie Ford vs Ferrari and the other highlighting 5 of the most significant hot rods of the 20th Century.

Detroit AUTORAMA 2020 is sponsored Meguiars, O'Reilly Auto Parts, and the Summit Racing Equipment Show Car Series. It takes place February 28 through March 1. Show hours are Friday Noon - 10pm, Saturday 9 am - 10pm and Sunday 10am - 7pm. General admission is $21 with children (6 - 12 years old) costing $8 to get in. Children under 6 years old are FREE. Discounted tickets are also available at O'Reilly stores at $19 for adults and $7 for kids. Go to for more info.


movie cars

Two race cars used in filming scenes for the movie Ford vs Ferrari are on exhibit at this year's Detroit AUTORAMA. The #95 car depicts a Ford GT40 in race scenes during the movie. This green race car was also painted during production to also be seen as the red #3 and yellow #8 race cars seen in Le Mans sequences during Ford vs Ferrari.

The red #20 car on display at AUTORAMA was used to depict the Ferrari 330 P3 on-screen in the movie. Both of these vehicles used for filming scenes in Ford vs Ferrari are modern day replicas of the original 1960s era race cars. They were both created by Race Car Replicas of Fraser, Michigan specifically for use in Ford vs Ferrari. Ironically, both of these cars sport Chevy engines underneath their replicated Ford and Ferrari exteriors.

The plot of Ford vs Ferrari is based upon a real life story in this movie which is one of the best racing movies to come out of Hollywood in years. It is the story of American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and fearless British race car driver Ken Miles as they battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary vehicle for the Ford Motor Company. Together, they plan to compete against the race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.

Can Shelby and Miles get their GT40 over the finish line in triumph over the Ferrari 330 P3 which is known as one of the most beautiful and fastest cars ever built at that time. You will have to watch the movie to find out! Pick up Ford vs Ferrari at Best Buy on Blu-ray. If you purchase the movie through link this dad blogger will receive a small commission at not additional expense to you. Thanks for your support!


You can also get an up close look at the Ford GT cars that are currently competing on race tracks around the world. Ford Performance has a motor sports area at AUTORAMA with a number of engines and vehicles on display. Today's Ford GT are still inspired by the race track success of the model that won Le Mans as seen in the movie Ford vs Ferrari.
race cars


Look back at the roots of the show, this year AUTORAMA has a special exhibit of some of the most iconic hot rods that inspired generations of gearheads and wrench monkeys. Take a look at five custom cars that are at the heart of hot rod heritage. On display are Norm Grabowski's Kookie T (known for its appearances on the television show 77 Sunset Strip), Ed "Big Daddy" Roth's Beatnik Bandit (which was the inspiration for the look of one of Hot Wheels first toy cars) and Outlaw, Bob McGee's Ford Roadster, and Tommy Ivo's T Bucket.

hot rod

This car showed the fun side of hot rod culture through a full page picture in LIFE Magazine of Norm Grabowski enjoying a hamburger in his car outside a Hollywood Big Boy restaurant. Grabowski used his career as a stunt driver to get his hot rod featured in a number of movies and television shows, most notably serving as the ride for Gerald Lloyd “Kookie” Kookson III in the detective show 77 Sunset Strip (1958 - 1964). The popularity of this car created what was known as the T-Bucket craze of the late '50s / early '60s. This included inspiring the hot rods used in the Munsters tv show (1964-66). I loved that show! Norm Grabowski's Kookie T is considered one of the world's most famous hot rods ever built.

hot wheels hot rod

This hot rod by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth inspired one of the original Hot Wheels car designs released by Mattel. The Mattel toy car was released in 1968 as one of the first sixteen vehicles for the Hot Wheels brand. The actual hot rod was built in 1960 off of a 1950 Oldsmobile chassis and was known for its bubble top that served as both a roof and a door to the vehicle. One of the most recognizable hot rods loved by both car aficionados and toy collectors alike.

big daddy ed roth

Ed Roth built more than 40 hot rods with original and futuristic designs during his lifetime. The 1960s was considered the "Roth Era" of Hot Rod design with the cars he crafted inspiring others to duplicate his stylings. The car that started it all was his 1959 Outlaw that itself was inspired by Norm Grabowksi's Kookie T but utilized a brand new technique for the chassis by uniquely crafting it with fiberglass. Known for 6'4" height and 240 pound physique, Big Daddy Roth followed up Outlaw with vehicles that looked like spaceships like the Beatnick Bandit (1960), Mysterion (1963) and Orbitron (1964). Ed Roth created cars that both car geeks and sci fi fans can appreciate and it all started with the Outlaw.

hot rod

Returning from military service in WWII, Bob McGee crafted what was to become the stereotype for the classic post-World War roadster hot rod. In fact the term hot rod came from the increasing popularity of people calling modified roadsters "hot" thus hot roadster eventually became "hot rod." McGee's discarding parts that didn't improve the speed or appearance of his vehicle, lowering the suspension, supping up the engine, and giving the car custom painting and upholstery provided a check list of details that became a standard for crafting a hot rod. His 1940s innovations soon became standard fare for hot rods in the following decades. He backed this reputation by getting his customized Ford Roadster to be timed at 112.21 mph in 1947. A 1948 cover photo on Hot Rod Magazine ensured that McGee and his Roadster would be long remembered as leaders in car customization.

tommy ivo

This hot rod gained a following in the 1950s because its owner Tommy Ivo was known for both being an illegal street racer in Los Angeles with a reputation for never losing on the drag as well as competing in sanctioned motor sport track events by the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association). An appearance by the T Bucket (inspired by the Kookie T) in Hot Rod Magazine as well as in the 1956 movie Dragstrip Girl fueled the popularity of this hot rod and its bucket style chassis. Having reached speeds of up to 119 mph drag racing at San Fernando Speedway, Tommy Ivo's T Bucket absolutely earned its cred with hot rod enthusiasts!

In addition to these exhibits, there are also numerous classic automobiles, customized vehicles, tricked out trucks, and race cars to check out. Plus don't miss out exploring the basement exhibit area of TCF Center which is showing a gritty collection of cars from exhibitors like the Deadlast Car Club. This area is featuring live music and car renovation demonstrations as well as showing any car can get a new life. Even a postal truck!

detroit michigan

hot rod

One of my favorite cars at AUTORAMA was this hot rod based upon a Prohibition era rum runner. Now that is a sweet ride!

autorama hot rods

There is sure to be a vehicle on display for anyone to geek out over at AUTORAMA as you wander through its galleries of cars. You can even get autographs and pictures with WWE Legend Ric FlairCody Walker from the Fast & Furious movies, race car driver Lyn St. James and Marvel Comics' Spider-Man. Have some Motor City fun by visiting Detroit's AUTORAMA 2020!
autorama hot rod

detroit muscle car

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