The 2014 Detroit Cobo Autorama and Autorama Extreme are underway, and here is your first photographic coverage of the event.
Trends I noticed:
* The cars and overall vibe at Autorama Extreme (downstairs) are cooler than ever. Just wow.... The lighting downstairs at Cobo, though, is very challenging when you are trying to get good pictures....as you will undoubtedly note in some of these photos.
* THE hot new car this year (multiple examples of very, very sharp hot rods) is the '30/'31 Model A Chopped Five Window Coupe, along with a couple of similar '29 Model A Five Window Chopped Coupes... From period correct reproductions to the most extreme cartoonesque proportions, mostly steelies with hub covers but some tasty mags....terrific vintage engines and drivelines....and a wide variety of interior treatments...but I can't think of a single example that wouldn't prompt a "cool" or "wow" from any hot rod enthusiast.
* More builders are putting Ford engines in their Ford Hot Rods, thank goodness. Nailhead Buicks, Early Olds V8s', Early Hemis, are also more popular this year in hot rods of all descriptions. Regrettably, no sightings were noted of 5.0L Ford engines in '55 Chevies or '69 Camaros to balance out all the remaining SBC's in Ford Hot Rods....but we still hold out hope for the future (smile...)
* Dark, sophisticated metallics showed up on many new top-end cars and hot rods. Navy Blue, Maroon, and even deep Coffee Brown metallics with heavy pearl flops. (Once again, this is a challenge to photographers trying to shoot high-res photos without a tri-pod and extended exposure time,as these colors just seem to soak up even the most powerful accessory camera flashes.)
* Vintage aeronautical design themes, and influence from European vintage racing cars, is married with American vintage hot rod subject matter in interesting combinations on several vehicles,
* You really need to get to this event. But if that's not possible, browse through these 285 pictures and at least get a sense of what you missed.