Canceled: America's Greatest Hot Rod Show

Car Culture / Comments

Another Detroit event will have to wait until 2022.

What's been often called 'America's Greatest Hot Rod Show' has been canceled for 2021. Organizers for the Detroit Autorama have confirmed the 69th annual show, originally scheduled for April 30 - May 2 at the city's TCF Center, is not happening. The official website recently posted an official statement from organizers apologizing for the cancelation, which can be attributed to the pandemic's current surge in Michigan.

"As the event dates draw near, we and our partners have mounting concerns specific to the sharp increase in the number of Covid-19 cases," said Peter Toundas, president and owner of Championship Auto Shows, Inc. "Our greatest wish is that the Covid-19 numbers would begin to trend downward, but this is not the case."

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"We sense and comprehend the level of discomfort on everyone's part in bringing a large quantity of people into TCF Center under these circumstances."

Toundas adds Championship Auto Shows and its partner, the Michigan Hot Rod Association, have every intention to make Autorama 2022 happen. "We look forward to once again sharing the beauty and passion of the custom car and hot rod hobby in its birthplace, The Motor City in 2022," he said.

The event normally draws a wide variety of heavily modified cars and trucks. Some are pure hot rods while others are muscle cars like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro.

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What they all have in common is the American spirit of modifying cars to the extreme. Squeezing as much power as possible combined with stunning exterior transformations is the norm. For many owners, hot rodding is a longtime hobby and passion that's been passed down through the generations. Autorama is probably the best place in the world for these enthusiasts to gather in one place.

As of this writing, Michigan has over 889,000 active Covid-19 cases and climbing. Turning this year's Autorama into an outdoor-only event would still be playing with fire. Despite everyone's disappointment, show organizers made the right call.

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