2013 Detroit Autorama Extreme — the basement show

Delray Slim says, “When you visit the Detroit Autorama, be sure to see the Autorama Extreme show in the basement. It’s swell.”

 

For MCG’s Autorama main floor coverage, click here.

To see the 2013 Pirelli Great 8 finalists for the Ridler Award, click here. 

MCG likes to call Autorama Extreme the Salon des Refuses of the hot rod world. Cars in primer are expressly forbidden upstairs on the Autorama main floor—it’s actually in writing somewhere—but in the Extreme show downstairs, they are welcomed with loving arms.

Upstairs on the Autorama main floor, teams of technicians in their stocking feet are aligning screw heads and running Q-tips through the panel gaps, gunning for the big trophy. Downstairs, guys are kicking back with some cold ones, enjoying the band. Down here in the basement, style points are unofficially deducted for looking like you’re trying too hard.

The Autorama Extreme show originally arose from the movement that became known as rat rodding, but they don’t call them rat rods anymore. These rodders have rejected the rat label and its connotations of scabby, unsafe cars with rubber mice glued all over them. These cars are sound and roadworthy, and you can call this the traditional, retro, or alternative rodding scene.

And for those who fully embrace it, it’s an entire lifestyle with a real indie attitude: skin art and piercings, ’40s and ’50s hair and fashion, rockabilly-fired music. The cars have a style all their own as well—check out a few of them in the gallery below.

 

Larry Woldhon 1941 Ford Convertible

Larry Woldhon 1941 Ford Convertible

Jeff Watkins 1956 Buick Special

Jeff Watkins 1956 Buick Special

1956 Ford Station Wagon

1956 Ford Station Wagon

Chris Ito 1940 Ford Standard Coupe

Chris Ito 1940 Ford Standard Coupe

Model A Ford roadster pickup

Model A Ford roadster pickup

Ford Model A Roadster Pickup

Ford Model A Roadster Pickup

Rich Norris 1934 Chevrolet Coach

Rich Norris 1934 Chevrolet Coach

Slim

Slim

Kirk Hanning 1934 Ford Tudor Sedan

Kirk Hanning 1934 Ford Tudor Sedan

Terry Lewis 1968 Kawasaki W1

Terry Lewis 1968 Kawasaki W1

Pete Marriott 1940 Mercury chopped convertible

Pete Marriott 1940 Mercury chopped convertible

Gary Hatfield 1935 Ford Pickup

Gary Hatfield 1935 Ford Pickup

Champion Special Model A Ford Highboy

Champion Special Model A Ford Highboy

Chad Folkema 1930 Ford Model A Lincoln V12

Chad Folkema 1930 Ford Model A Lincoln V12

1946-48 Mercury custom

1946-48 Mercury custom

Randy Bianchi 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

Randy Bianchi 1929 Ford Model A Roadster

Clark Bates 1932 Ford Roadster 292-powered

Clark Bates 1932 Ford Roadster 292-powered

Ron Kortier 1940 Mercury Tudor Sedan

Ron Kortier 1940 Mercury Tudor Sedan

Ron Limbrick Ford Model B Riley Two-Port

Ron Limbrick Ford Model B Riley Two-Port

Ron Limbrick 1927 Ford Model T track roadster

Ron Limbrick 1927 Ford Model T track roadster

David Trent 1941 Willys Americar custom

David Trent 1941 Willys Americar custom

Mike Stembgen 1940 Ford Standard Coupe

Mike Stembgen 1940 Ford Standard Coupe

Hilton family Model A Ford Coupe DeSoto Hemi

Hilton family Model A Ford Coupe DeSoto Hemi

Chassis Research-style dragster

Chassis Research-style dragster

Rob and Mary Walker 1956 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan

Rob and Mary Walker 1956 Ford Fairlane Club Sedan

Pancho Rendon and Dick LaHaie vintage Top Fuel dragster

Pancho Rendon and Dick LaHaie vintage Top Fuel dragster

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9 thoughts on “2013 Detroit Autorama Extreme — the basement show

  1. Many of the cars upstairs were amazing but the basement was where the action was. Cool cars and cooler people. Everyone was having a great time. If I ever go back to the Autorama, I’m going to spend a whole lot more time in the basement.

  2. Man that Jo Kerr built two top of the line hotrods, really worth my drive up there… No pics of them on here somehow… Guess ya’ll aren’t showing the good stuff on here.

  3. ware are the real pits or the true classis RATRODS you statered it all .the posterbord reads EXTERAME shiners should be up stares . Piss on shiners

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