The car restoration project was a bonding experience for father and son – Macomb Daily
Detroit being the automotive capital of the world, it’s no surprise that the Detroit Autorama is the oldest and largest hot rod show in the country.
Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines for this year’s 68th annual Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama, feature 800 hot rods with classic and custom designs at the TFC Center (former Cobo Center), hosted by the Michigan Hot Rod Association and promoted by Championship Auto Shows Inc.
Allen Park resident Frank Bishop has been attending the Detroit Autorama for 20 years and has always talked about showing his car, but never has. Until now.
This year’s Detroit Autorama will be particularly memorable for Bishop, as he first exhibited his Chevrolet Chevelle SS 1972. He bought the muscle because 25 years ago as a repairman when his son, also named Frank, was about 2 years old.
“I had to take the engine out and I remember taking my son and sitting him inside,” he said. “You could hardly see him over the wing. I’ve taken pictures of my son with the vehicle over the years, and you see him growing up next door every year.
After 25 years of working on the Chevelle with Frank by his side, Bishop got his son to drive the vehicle in the show.
Bishop joined the Michigan Chevelle Club about six months ago and was encouraged to enter his Chevelle in the show.
“They (the Michigan Chevelle Club) called me to ask if I had ever thought about putting my car at Autorama,” he said. “That’s why I decided to go. Over the past six months, the work of preparing for the show has been busy.”
More than any other aspect of the show, Bishop can’t wait to be at the Detroit Autorama with his family, proudly showing off their hard work over the years.
This year’s Autorama brings two new special features: the collection of five of the most important hot rods of the 20th century and two real cars used in the recent Oscar-winning 2019 film “Ford v Ferrari”, with Matt Damon and Christian Bale . The film depicts the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans race, for which American car designer Carroll Shelby (played by Damon) built the first Ford GT racing car to defeat Italian driver Enzo Ferrari.
The Ferrari P330 and Ford GT40 used in the blockbuster film stop in Detroit before heading to Chicago on a three-city tour. Peter Toundas of Oakland Township, president and owner of Championship Auto Shows, said the Ford GT40 appearing on Autorama is an original race car owned by the studio, while the Ferrari P330 was built for the movie and is owned by a collector. Minnesota Private Car Rental. .
This is not the first time Hollywood has made an appearance at the Detroit Autorama. Two years ago, Toundas secured the cars of “Fate of the Furious”, the eighth installment in the “Fast and the Furious” film series.
Another highlight of this year is the bringing together of five iconic mid-20th century hot rods, some owned by private collectors, others kept in museums.
These exemplary hot rods are the Customs “Outlaw” and “Beatnik Bandit” by Ed “Big Daddy” Roth, the “1925 T Bucket” by Tommy Ivo, the “1932 Ford Roadster” by Bob McGee and the “Kookie T Bucket” by Norm Grabowski – featured on the TV show “77 Sunset Strip.”
Toundas worked for several months trying to convince owners – private owners and museums – to take their hot rods on the road.
“These vehicles are highly coveted in the industry by world-class manufacturers and have made the cover of Hot Rod magazine,” he said. “It’s really unique to see these cars shown together, they haven’t appeared together in over 50 years. These cars are artefacts and can never be replaced.
As tradition dictates, the Autorama’s Best in Show award, the Ridler Award, will be awarded to one winner. The award is named after Don Ridler, former Michigan state football player, Lawrence Tech athletic director, and first Autorama promoter, 1956-1963. For 57 years, the Ridler Award has recognized the custom car. most remarkable presented for the first time. The jury is headed by Butch Patrico, president of the Michigan Hot Rod Association.
For more information on the 68th Annual Detroit Autorama and to purchase tickets, visit autorama.com/attend/detroit.