America’s Greatest Hot Rod Show heated-up an otherwise cold and snowy Detroit over the weekend as more than 1000 of the world’s hottest custom cars were displayed at Cobo Center.
The 58th event drew large crowds over the three days sicn it featured the best of the best in hot rods, street machines and custom cars – many in contention for the coveted Ridler Award.
Since its inception in the 1960s, the Ridler Award (named after Don Ridler) has proved to be the ultimate expression for custom design excellence. The award is presented to the most outstanding custom car premiered at Autorama.
Many of the world’s best customizers plan for years ahead to design and build what they believe will be the top Ridler contender, each unveiling his/her vehicle under the lights at Cobo.
Choosing the best vehicle from hundreds of entries is a daunting task, and every year Autorama judges narrow the field to the top eight vehicles. Those eight, known as The Pirelli Great 8, provide the pool from which the coveted Ridler Award is chosen each year and are announced at a special brunch on day two of the competition.
This year, Pirelli Tire North America awarded each of the Great Eight winners $1000 in prize money as well as a custom jacket and award at a ceremony honoring the hot-rodding greats, as well as each of the builders and owners of the very special customs.
2010 Pirelli Great 8 Finalists
1933 Dodge Pick-Up
South Lyon, MI
1944 Ford Victoria
1934 Packard Coupe
Richard & Paige Udell
Swan Lake, MT
1932 Ford Roadster
Scott & Jan Burton
1934 Ford Coupe
1934 Ford Coupe
This year’s winner was Tammy Ray of Dahlonega, Georgia. Ray’s car, a 1933 Ford Phaeton named Gold Digger, was built by Ted Thomas of Canton, Georgia and features Pirelli P Zero Nero rubber, Foose wheels, PPG Paint, Dakota Digital gauges and a custom interior by M&M Interiors.
Ray, who owns a gold mine in North Georgia, is no stranger to the Great 8. She was the first female recipient of the award during the 2006 Autorama. That experience led her to plan and prepare to win it all at this year’s show.