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Winner of Detroit Autorama 2011 Ridler Award is 1956 Ford convertible

The verdict is final as the judges have chosen Entry Number 1600, the 1956 Ford convertible owned Bruce Ricks from Sapulta, OK for the Detroit Autorama 2011 Ridler Award.

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It wasn’t easy this year with a field of 30 plus cars vying for the Ridler. Making the Pirelli Great 8 is already a major acomplishment, but the 1956 Ford owned by Bruce Ricks met the criteria for the Ridler.

As usual, it seems the car you think has the greatest potential does not always make the Pirelli Great 8 Finalists list, let alone the Ridler.

Among the Pirelli Great 8 this year, the '56 Ford beat out the 1963 Buick, a 1939 Ford Convertible, a 1947 Chevrolet PU, a 1962 Corvette, a 1957 Chevrolet, a 1940 Ford and a 1951 Chevrolet.

Ridler Criteria

Aside from having to be a first time showing, the Ridler Award emphasizes three key elements as criteria for the judges:

1) Creativity
2) Engineering
3) Workmanship

And, lest anyone forgets, anyone who forgets those three elements should not even bother participating.

I stated in an earlier article that I thought Entry #1600, Bruce Ricks from Sapulta, OK with a 1956 Ford held a lot of favor. That 427 SOHC engine is a beauty; so modern and clean in the engine compartment, including the dual in-line four barrel carburetors.

Fact is, all of the Great 8 were officially contenders. Yet, as the judges were able to focus on a smaller group, they were also able to hear the presentations by each owner as to why their car was worthy of the Ridler more than the rest.

Congratulations to Rick and his team of builders.

I’ll follow-up here with pics in a gallery as well as video of the award on the floor of Cobo. Thus the Ridler Award officially ends the Detroit Autorama 2011.

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:
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