Detroit Autorama 2011 announces Pirelli Great 8 Finalists for Ridler Award

Autorama 2011 officially opened in Detroit today for public viewing, and the officials announced the Pirelli Great 8, the finalists for the coveted Ridler Award.

After viewing the entries last night during setup, I stated it won’t be easy this year with a field of 30 plus cars vying for the Ridler.

And, as usual, it seems the car you think has the greatest potential probably do not even make the Pirelli Great 8 Finalists list.

According to the Autorama website, the following are named among the Pirelli Great 8. Congratulations to the owners.

Entry #0303 – Jim Marciniak from Andover, MN with a 1963 Buick

Entry #0305 – Mike Lethert from Roseville, MN with a 1939 Ford Convertible

Entry #1000 – Tim Gunsalus from West Alexandria, OH with a 1947 Chevrolet PU

Entry #1200 – Bruce & Toni Milyard from Grand Junction, CO with 1962 Corvette

Entry #1600 Bruce Ricks from Sapulta, OK with a 1956 Ford

Entry #1601 – Kenny Frederick from Geismer, LA with a 1957 Chevrolet

Entry #1800 – Kenneth Tallent from McKinney, TX with a 1940 Ford

Entry #1803 – Derrick Samson from Marshall, MO with a 1951 Chevrolet

My own immediate favorites centered on the deep red 1937 Ford. It just looked so clean, but the criteria is tougher especially beneath he surface. If the car, for example, has been viewed at another show, that disqualifies it automatically from earning the Ridler.

There were others that I viewed last night, like the orange-painted pickup truck, followed by the 32 Dark Knight 32 roadster, the 1951 Business Coupe, the ‘32 Ford 3-window coupe called FNKool.

Funny thing this year is that there isn’t a single ‘32 roadster that made the cut. Amazing! But the competition this year is tough. And it’s nice to see other vehicles getting a shot at the Ridler.

Applying the Criteria

As I reported this morning, 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.

So, those who did not make the cut obviously forgot one or two of those; or the others simply met the criteria at a higher level.

I have to admit that Entry #1600, Bruce Ricks from Sapulta, OK with a 1956 Ford may hold a lot of favor. That 427 SOHC engine is a beauty; so modern and clean in the engine compartment.

Likewise, Entry #0303, Jim Marciniak from Andover, MN with a 1963 Buick is another beauty. Haven’t seen a ‘60s era Buick in a long time.

Another Entry #0305, Mike Lethert from Roseville, MN with a 1939 Ford Convertible is a contender.

Entry #1000, Tim Gunsalus from West Alexandria, OH with a 1947 Chevrolet Pick Up appears to be the same color, sea foam green, that missed the award last year. There’s just something familiar about this entry that might give it an edge. In fact, I included it in my video in the previous article, Autorama 2011 setup night shows field of 30-plus Ridler Award competitors.

Well, all of the Great 8 are officially contenders. Now, the judges will be able to focus on a smaller group and be able to hear the presentations by each owner as to why their car is worthy of the Ridler more than the rest.

I’ll follow-up here with pics in a gallery once they get processed.

-----------------------
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 authorfrank.com, 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

Share this content.


Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.