The SST Car Show crew has been on the road...first in Dallas last weekend for their Autorama, and this weekend in Detroit, at the 65th Detroit Autorama, and the cars on display are in a word....STUNNING!
The Pirelli Great 8 is the path to the Don Ridler Memorial award which in the view of many is like the ultimate custom car building award.
Right now at Cobo Center in Detroit, the Great 8, are on display. These are the best 8 vehicles from really anywhere in North America. They are customs that are in some cases worth a million dollars or more. Every car or truck is a work of art, and virtually every piece on every car has either been customized, or created from scratch.
Many custom car builders aspire to to win the Ridler Award. Some even talk about it, but the competition is so intense only a handful ever make to the Great 8 stage, and even at this point the competition is so tight, that every detail becomes critical. The more custom the car is the better, but the vehicle must also start and drive. Big points are also given for original design work, and custom fabrication not just of body parts but also of mechanical components, including everything in the drive train. It's about presentation, and functionality. The cars are true rolling sculptures, that actually run and drive.
They may look like old school street rods, but these cars are taken to the extreme by the teams that build them. They are both an exercise in technology, and design.
This year 3 trucks are in the running for the top award. There is also a Corvette that looks very much like a production model, but is in fact a tribute to a concept Corvette that debuted at the 1954 General Motors Motorama show, an event that GM used in the past to showcase technology and provide a vision of the automotive future.
There is also a 1966 Corvette, (car widened 6 inches) rounding up the collection, and it is stunning with a silver / grey paint scheme, and a body treatment that is so totally unique that it looks custom but is subtle enough to suggest it might actually have been a supercar production model.
The Pirelli Great 8 Builders this year are: Robby Collins from Ft. Collins, Texas, with his 1949 Chevy pickup (custom build and dark brown); Ted Hubbard from South Bend, Nebraska, with his 1930 Ford Model A highboy coupe; Bobby Jordan from Portland, Oregon, with his 1933 Ford highboy roadster (maroon and black); Larry and Robbie Griffey of Powell, Tennessee, with their 1954 Corvette (brilliant red); Scott Roth from S. Burlington, Vermont, with his 1966 Corvette (widened 6 inches); George Poteet from Memphis, Tennessee, 1932 Ford highboy sedan; Ed Sears from Annapolis, Maryland, with his 1941 Ford pickup; and Dennis Portka from Hamburg, New York, 1929 Ford pickup.
We will find out soon who will walk away with top honors, and the 2017 Ridler Award.