Prestegious Fresno Autorama Ends with Retirement of Blackie Gejeian

The Fresno Bee has reported that Blackie Gejeian, the motivating force behind the Fresno Autorama since its inception in 1958, has decided to retire due to ill health. Because of this development, the Autorama that was held in 2010 will now be its last.

For over half a century, the Fresno Autorama has been a major annual car show that drew some of the finest examples of automotive ingenuity. Participation in the event was by invitation only. The prestige of the Fresno Autorama ensured the appearance of creations by many of the greatest automotive designers and craftsmen of their era.


In recent years Blackie Gejeian’s health has been in decline. However, through sheer determination and passion for the event, he has willed his way through his hardships to ensure that the annual Autorama was a success.

This YouTube video which was produced during the set up of the 2008 event shows Gejeian firmly in charge of the Autorama’s layout even though his mobility and his endurance were obviously impaired. It is also obvious to the viewer that his focus and enthusiasm for both the event and for hot rodding itself allowed him to overcome adversity and accomplish his goals.

The event that was scheduled in 2011 was canceled due to Gejeian’s poor health. That cancellation was only the second in the event’s history. Prior to that, the only Fresno Autorama event canceled was in 1998 due to a scheduling conflict.

To Blackie, thank you for all that you have contributed not only to Fresno but also the greater hot rodding and car show community! We wish you a long and healthy retirement and that you are able to be a mentor to the rest of us for many years to come!

About the author

Paul Lambert

Paul Lambert is an independent writer who grew up during a time in Southern California car culture when big horsepower and high speed were celebrated above all. He now understands that turning, stopping, appearance and comfort are equal in importance...almost! Paul tries to find something likeable and interesting about anything with wheels and thinks that the people, history, and culture of hot rodding are often as important to the story as the cars and events being featured.
Read My Articles

Classic Street Rods in your Inbox

Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Rod Authority, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE!

Free WordPress Themes