This past weekend, Autorama’s World of Wheels show came to the Twin Cities. This show travels around the nation and is one of the premier custom car show series. The show itself is put on by Championship Auto Shows. Sponsors include everyone from O’Reilly Auto Parts to Meguiar’s. I went with Jason Pawelsky and we agreed, without question, that the show had its high points and low points. So! Let’s get to it.
Without a doubt, there were some really nice cars there. A Ford Mustang club was in attendance with a booth filled with Mustangs. One that really stood out was a 1970 Mach1 with gorgeous canary yellow paint. It was one of the highlights of the show and was just a great looking car. It looked terrific and was sitting next to a fourth generation Mach1 (circa 2000). Not to be outdone, the Mustang section had competition from their fierce rival, Camaro. A Chevrolet Camaro club had a section with classic Camaros from yesteryear including a gorgeous Camaro SS featuring a 427 in the engine bay. Of course, quite a few new Camaros were on the show floor as well, sitting next to their vintage elders.
A number of old Chevrolet 210 sedans, along with the older Corvettes, were scattered throughout the show floor. A 1961 Chevrolet Impala was getting quite a bit of attention, probably because it was un-restored and yet looked great for its age. The car’s paint was not terrific and the interior was slightly faded but many of these cars on the floor were full restorations so it was nice to see something that was original and in rather good condition.
Another highlight was a 1957 Chevrolet 210 2-door sedan. This car was being done by L’Cars Automotive Specialties in Cameron, WI. A customer brought the car to the fine people at L’Cars and they have created one heck of a beast for the lucky owners. Starting with an Art Morrison GT sport chassis and a Ford 9 inch rear end, including a limited slip differential as the base, the engine is a crate supercharged LS9 V8 from the Corvette ZR1 with a Hennessy cold air intake feeding the engine. The supercharged LS9 is pushing out 700 hp to the rear wheels and 650 ft-lb through a GM 6L80E six-speed automatic transmission. The exhaust is a polished stainless steel set up from Borla with dual 2.5 inch oval tips in the rear. The exhaust system has an electric cut out system with straight outlets under the car. Bringing all this to a stop is 13 inch Wilwood drilled and slotted rotors in the front and rear with 6 piston calipers in the front and 4 piston calipers in the back. This whole vehicle was 99% completed and they were just working out some fuel delivery issues. Without a doubt, this was one of the coolest cars at the show.
Then there were the low points. One of the saddest things I saw was a GNX and, if you know me at all, you know how much love and respect I have for the GNX. It was just this particular GNX that just made me sad all over. I was excited when I saw it across the show floor but as I got closer and closer, my excitement turned to devastation. The paint was in terrible condition with swirls all over and the rear window had a tint job that looks like a child performed the deed with a break in the middle of the rear window where a new piece of tint was spliced in. The interior was actually in fairly decent condition but the engine bay, which needs no help after leaving the factory, was chromed out. From the ugly, oversized manifold in black and chrome to other oversized things, it was all over the place under the hood. Do not even get me started on the stickers! The thing was just a hot mess, except for the interior. There were more low points because several cars had terrible paint jobs with swirls in the finish. It is one thing when you have original paint, but to restore a car with a new paint job and improperly use a buffer is just sad.
Overall the experience was fun. People were enjoying the cars and the atmosphere. A special attraction for the kids was the Hudson Hornet aka, Doc Hudson, from the movie Cars. Friends know I am a huge Cars fan and so seeing Doc Hudson was yet another highlight for this big kid. Overall, the show was a great way to spend a Winter Saturday afternoon as Spring and the season for fun cars approaches.