Skip to main content

Autorama 2011 setup night shows field of 30-plus Ridler Award competitors

Autorama 2011 opens Friday, February 25, but setup has been ongoing since Wednesday, including a new field of vehicles all competing for the coveted Ridler Award.

It won’t be easy this year with a field of 30 plus cars vying for the Ridler. (See video below). It seems the car you think has the greatest potential may not even make the Pirelli Great 8 Finalists.

My own immediate favorites centered on the deep red 1937 Ford shown in the pic and in the video. It just looks so clean.

Then there are others, like the orange-painted 3-window coupe, followed by the 32 Dark Knight 32 roadster, the 1951 Business Coupe, the ‘32 Ford 3-window coupe called FNKool. Not all are in the video this time.

Those chosen to make the cut for the Pirelli Great 8 Finalists will be noted publicly, most likely by Friday night.

As of last night, though, the last night for setup, the judges had their work cut out for them. I was shocked when one of the coordinators told me the field this year, again, was over 30 cars.

Creativity, Engineering and Workmanship

The most important feature of the Autorama is indeed the Ridler Award, named in honor of Don Ridler - early promoter of the Autorama. Originally given to the Best Vehicle first-time shown, the Ridler Award has matured over the last forty years to reflect new ideas, changing designs and concepts.

According to the show’s website,, the award emphasizes three elements as criteria for the judges: Creativity, Engineering and Workmanship. And anyone who forgets those three elements should not even bother participating.

Still, it behooves anyone entering a car into any car show to use that criteria as a guide. It may not win you a Ridler, but you will get noticed and you may even receive one of the private awards.

TN video report

This is my first-ever report for TorqueNews using the video format. The process is a bit convoluted, but it’s the information that is still the most important element. I took a few clips of vehicles that caught my eye. Hope you enjoy them; better yet, attend the show if you can.

I will be going back to cover the Pirelli Great 8 and the final pics of the Ridler winner on Sunday night.

About the Author: After 39 years in the auto industry as a design engineer, Frank Sherosky now day trades, writes articles, books and ebooks via, but may be contacted here by email: [email protected]

Additional Reading:
Autorama 2011 and the Ridler Award coming to Detroit Feb 25-27
Air hybrid technology key to 2016 and 2025 truck fuel economy
NGVAmerica expects growth of natural gas in vehicles to continue in 2011
Dual fuel upgrades on the rise for heavy trucks
Will NHTSA and EPA proposed rules usher America into the age of natural gas?
GE demonstrates dual battery system as optimal for heavy vehicles
Marchionne announces EPA hydraulic hybrid technology for next mini-van