Blue skies and the warm February sun felt good in NorCal last weekend.
It was perfect weather for a car show as big crowds congregated at Cal Expo for the 70th Annual Sacramento Autorama. An average of 50,000 people come to the Autorama annually and this year was no exception. The buildings were packed with classic and custom automobiles, and 275 cars rumbled in for the outdoor Saturday Drive-in, the biggest turnout ever.
As I strolled the grounds, a guy wearing an Oxi-Washed “Sacramento Autorama 50th Anniversary” jean jacket was walking ahead of me. “Sheesh, that was twenty years ago,” I thought to myself.
Back then as well as today, naysayers were conjuring up dire predictions of our hobby on life support with it’s best days in the rear-view mirror. Yet here we are in 2020 and the kustom car scene is a hearty and hale as ever, with new blood, talent, ideas and execution flowing freely.
This was my sixth time at what I consider to be the granddaddy of “Kustom with a K” car shows in the world. Yeah, all eras of automobiles are represented here, but if you dig Post WW II kustom kars, this is the epicenter of the art form.
Not only that, but where else can one simultaneously gaze at an old school lowrider in the shadows of concrete towers reminiscent of Soviet Cold War-era architecture?
Promoter RodShows gave out over 400 individual awards during the ceremony on Sunday. Of the 400 awards presented, six are considered the epitome of acknowledgment at this big kahuna show, the Custom d’Elegance, the King of Kustoms and the four “Big B” winners. We included Rod Authority’s favorites as well.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the winners in the big cheese categories.
Custom d’Elegance Award 2020 – Jeff Boones’ 1936 Ford Coupe By Stanley Customs
King of Kustoms 2020 – Glenn Black’s 1949 Mercury By Ironworks Speed and Kustom
“Big B” #1: H.A. Bagdasarian Memorial Award – World’s Most Beautiful Custom 2020, Bob Dron’s 1948 Chevy Fleetline Restored By Lucky & Customs
“Big B” #3: The Joe “Candy Apple Red” Bailon Award 2020 – Calvin Fisk’s 1953 Ford Pickup
“Big B” #4: The Dick Bertolucci Automotive Excellence Award 2020 – Jerry Jacobs 1957 Chevrolet Built By Dominator Street Rods
Rod Authority’s “2020 Best Of Show – Indoors” 1960 Oldsmobile, Pearl Elegance By Santos Kustoms
Rod Authority’s “2020 Best Of Show – Outdoors” Kevin Gillis’ 1961 Oldsmobile Dynamic 88 Two-Door Flat Top
We wanted to give a shout out to John Buck and the gang at RodShows for another killer show, we’ll see you next year! For more information about the Sacramento Autorama and for the full list of 2020 award winners, go here
Photography by Dave Cruikshank