The 62nd Sacramento Autorama once again brought the premiere custom car show on the west coast to town. From Friday to Sunday thousands of vehicle enthusiasts visited the Cal Expo Fairgrounds to enjoy a fun-filled weekend of bicycle, motorcycle, motor boat and classic car exhibits.
The theme for this year’s Autorama was "Futuristic" and the Main Hall of Building A housed vehicles that fit the theme.
Some of the finest hot rods, boats, custom vehicles and motorcycles from across the U.S. and around the world made their way to the fairgrounds to compete for awards. Not only were motorized vehicles up for awards but also unicycles, bicycles, mini-bikes and even a stroller or two.
Near the main Cal Expo entrance, a large area was occupied by Ron Sutton’s Winner’s Circle (RSWC) group. The group is a race team and professional Driver Development Program that races and trains young racing stars for professional careers in stock car racing.
Jason Houghtaling, modified team manager, indicated that they have a nine car team in operation under one roof. Their race crews are made up of regular employees, veteran and rookie volunteers, as well as interns.
According to their flyer, crew shop tours are currently scheduled for February 21 and 22 at their Sacramento site, 8581 Younger Creek Drive. Houghtaling said the shop tour takes about an hour and a half.
“Those who attend will get to see what we’re all about such as working on with a crew and other possibilities. We have nine full-time teams that run out of our shop. We have six Midget Race Teams and three NASCAR Modified Race Teams,” said Houghtaling.
Houghtaling also noted that once someone is accepted into their shop they’ll work on actual racing cars, not a prototype.
“As a team member you’re going to work on a car that will be racing and we take volunteer crew guys to the track and we actually get to be hands on and they get right in there working for a professional race team.”
Vehicles were exhibited at different buildings throughout Cal Expo. One of the buildings housed non-motorized bikes of different kinds. A Bike-O-Rama, Auto Radio Stereo Room and an ARC Audio Room housed various vehicles with massive sound systems, and bicycles that dated to the beginning of the century.
Gear Head Garage had several vehicles in the making on exhibit. Vintage Race Boats also had their own exhibit as well as other classic cars. Each of these buildings had something for almost every taste.
Paul Michael Glaser of “Starsky & Hutch” fame was on hand to sign autographs and answer questions. The Torino used on the popular television series was showcased behind Glaser.
A pin striping event and charity auction was held at Mezzanine B, where several of the best pin stripers in the nation worked to raise money for the University of California, Davis Children’s Hospital. They also held live pin striping demos. The auction ended up raising $9,240 for the hospital.
O’Reilly Auto Parts was once again the title sponsor of the event. Les Schwab Tires, Sacramento Vintage Ford, ARC Audio and many other companies also helped sponsor the event, which included the 6th Annual Sacramento Autorama Drive-In.
Several shows were also performed by a 1931 Chevy Coupe named Wild Thang. The vehicle is powered by a fully blown and injected 610 cubic inch aluminum Arias Motor. The machine, running on alcohol, roared and spit out fire, shooting up to 20-foot flames from its exhaust system.
Other entertainment included live music and DJ’s playing oldies music over the Cal Expo sound system.
Over 500 vehicles vied for awards in various categories and a trophy display area housed the numerous trophies that were awarded. Individual and group display awards were presented to the winners.
The awards ceremony was hosted by George Hague. Just before the awards ceremony took place on Sunday 14-year-old Sydney Claire Slaughter, who is currently Miss Sacramento County Outstanding Teen, sang “God Bless America.”
John Buck, producer of the 2012 Sacramento Autorama, addressed the audience at the awards ceremony and thanked his staff and participants.
“Thank you for making history with us in the Custom Capital of the World, Sacramento. On behalf of myself and the entire staff of Rod Shows we thank you for being here. Please give yourselves a big round of applause for being so involved,” said Buck.
The ceremony awarded recipients with plaques, prizes and trophies for their stunning vehicles and displays.
Hot rods, pickups, bicycles, motorcycles, muscle cars and street machines continue to impress the thousands of annual visitors to the event and its popularity does not seem to have dwindled.
Once again, Rod Shows put together a great weekend of events and entertainment for the entire family. Log on to the Rod Shows website to find out more about Sacramento Autorama and to view other events and information.