With the car season coming to an end here in Canada, I have to look ahead at the next exciting things to do. There are a few things between now and March, including a few winter photoshoots with hot rods, but with Detroit in March being a big thing on the horizon, I can’t help but look back at this year’s Autorama.
While preparing for Autorama I decided that wanted to do something different. The history of the show at Cobo Hall goes all the way back to 1962. It’s pretty incredible to think that people were doing something so similar so many years ago, and that it’s still so badass today. I still feel as though something today is missing, but of course I haven’t got a clue what it is since I wasn’t there in ‘62. Since the time travel doohickey wasn’t available I decided on a simpler solution. I ordered 10 rolls of 35mm film and left the digital camera at home. Hopefully my photos would look somewhat like the old photos we all know and love.
I met up with my ELTA club brothers at our club shop in London, hopped into Jim Heron’s ‘62 Caddy and we hit the road.
About half an hour before we got to Cobo the white stuff started to appear in the air, so there would be a little more cleaning after we drove into the show with the Caddy. Mark was going to have the same issue with his pickup.
As we pulled in we found that Matt Tuckey had beat us there, left his car and disappeared. No problem there, he probably had to eat. We got mostly set up, when Matt rolls in with a full size plastic cow, which quickly became our mascot for the weekend. Turns out he saw it in the hotel and had to purchase it for the Pinery Flea Market, but the hotel wouldn’t let him take it to his room, so he and Russ had to roll it all the way back to Cobo for the show. It was such a hit that I’m not sure people saw the cars parked next to it.
The ELTA display was exceptionally well rounded. Corvette funny car to traditional hot rod. Evan Hardie debuted The Public Enemy there, while Ryan Hill’s truck was on the cover of a magazine in the goodie bag. Every year I wonder how it could possibly get any better, and every year I’m surprised.
Also in the basement were our friends from the Jalopy Jam Up. Their killer display was another huge hit, with a few of the cars fetching some awards. The Canadians don’t mess around.
New friends were also made. Dave Gray with the Goldchainer debuting at the show was another hit. Dave is one of the friendliest people around. Dave also made the trek up here for the ELTA Big Go Drags in August. Not only does look like a knockout, it launches in the same manner.
The rest of the basement was outstanding this year as well. I was unsure about it last year, but had assumed it was just me since the ELTA wasn’t in attendance. I thought that it seemed quiet and a little strange, and that was confirmed by everyone I talked to. This year the hot rodders came back with a vengeance.
While at Cobo I don’t know if the film cameras helped me feels as though I was there 50+ years ago. Mostly I was worried about the photos looking okay at the end of the day. In hindsight though I do really like looking at film photos of Detroit Autorama. I don’t think I’ll be doing this again, simply because of the cost, but I’ll look back fondly at this.