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Hagerty
Hagerty Employee

This '31 Chevy "Sho Bird" is your 2022 Autorama Ridler winner

The Detroit Autorama returned this year, following a pandemic-related hiatus that canceled the 2021 event. While show organizers haven't yet released official attendance figures, the sense on the ground was that car lovers returned in droves. Lest you think that the Detroit Autorama is a showcase reserved for hot rods or wild customs based on [...]
https://www.hagerty.com/media/events/this-31-chevy-sho-bird-is-your-2022-autorama-ridler-winner/
146 REPLIES 146
audiocage
Advanced Driver

Custom chromium brake discs put you ahead of the pack, every time!
SJ
Technician

Ugh!
RokemRonnie
Instructor

Styling is just one of the criteria used for judging. The turbos and front suspension use some clever engineering.
I will say that the rest of the Great 8 finalists were cleaner designs.
Air_and_Water
Instructor

I agree completely. It's impressive from a technical standpoint, but to me at first blush every other car in the list is superior from a design standpoint. That, of course, is the point of custom cars, though. They didn't build it for me! 🙂
Tim
Technician

I'm not sure that's clever engineering as much as placement to create a look. I would bet that the suspension actually performs poorly. I'm not a mechanical engineer, but my understanding of how suspensions work makes me question the effectiveness of this layout. And putting the turbos up-front and down low and exposed to rocks and road debris makes no sense from an engineering point of view. Of course, it's not a problem for a car like this that will never move faster than walking speed.
JGeske
Instructor

I am guessing that the suspension is using a bell-crank, like a Christie-style tank suspension or some types of downhill mountain bikes, to redirect the upward motion into the forward and down placement of the shocks. If so, it may have a surprisingly good performance as that is a time-tested system and allows for creative placement of suspension components and utilizing leverage to your advantage (for example translating a small vertical movement into a long movement, allowing a plush ride on limited travel, or the opposite and allowing longer travel on a short and stiff shock). That said, I am speculating based on photos and it may be absolutely horrid as you say and ride like it has no suspension at all. I am making an educated guess (educated in that I in fact did go to college for mechanical engineering, not from knowledge of this specific build).

Also, while the winner is a fascinating example of technical achievement and creative packaging, my vote goes to that blacked-out Rod. This thing is too busy for my taste, and that color makes me gag!
Duramaxriley
Intermediate Driver

It won't run long like that because it will cook the turbos bearings. The oil has to drain back to the sump and it can't do that uphill
DMcC
Detailer

I have to recognize the maker's artistic and technical abilities though. Drive it on the street? Hardly.
Texans71
New Driver

Not my cup of tea but to each his own.
audiobycarmine
Technician

Good Grief!!
The wheeled version of morning-after Pink Elephants!
Kabinenroller
Pit Crew

By far the worst looking car at the event. More is not better. Could they have thrown more junk on this car?? They should judge on tastefulness not the amount of modifications. Poor decision on the judges part.
RJ
Detailer

Precisely what I was thinking. Maybe a prototype for a Hot Wheels fantasy car?
SilentBoy741
Instructor

Forgive the condition, it's from my childhood and has about a million kid-playtime  miles on it.Forgive the condition, it's from my childhood and has about a million kid-playtime miles on it.

 

Swift
New Driver

I just can't find the words.....
docracer
New Driver

Cubic money wins. My opinion...ugly.
msiebel
New Driver

Over-the-top yet gaudy!
59sky
New Driver

Very disappointing. What were they thinking.
ROBBO99
Detailer

Love the wineberry & orange color combo its smoking hott !!
Javman
Intermediate Driver

God awful ugly! Would take any of the other great eights anyday, especially the Study and the Mopars.
tcchuck2005
Intermediate Driver

I can appreciate the craftsmanship. But the styling is not for me.
ThePorscheMan
Detailer

While many qualities of the build are fantastic and beyond reproach and I LOVE the paint it's one of the FUGLIEST rods I have ever seen.
Charlie
Intermediate Driver

The only thing this year's Ridler Award proves is that regardless of how much money your pour into your project, it still won't buy you Class. Gross !!
1933ford
Intermediate Driver

What's with all the negativity!!! It was built for and entered into a SHOW car event. It excelled in every way as a show car. Nuff said.
DMcC
Detailer

Exactly!
TA76
Detailer

A show car should be beautiful . . . this is not. jmho
Tinkerah
Engineer

Fair enough. And to win at this particular show you just have to throw more money at it than anyone else, it doesn't have to be attractive.
OrphanCars
Pit Crew

Elon Musk, your next spaceship nose cone is ready....
It'll be sad to see it go....
pghutch
New Driver

Yikes! A beast among the beauties.
JimVolgarino
New Driver

Maybe it's just the road the hobby has taken that pushes the envelope with more money, more bling, more tricks, more...well, just everything. I'm certain there are many that will be wowed by this creation, but throw enough money at something and you're bound to get plenty of attention. I still love simplicity, utility and some degree of owner participation other than "Here's the checkbook, credit card and bank statement. Have at it." Do any of these recent award winners have owners who actually turn a wrench?
buellerdan
Instructor

Agreed, the Ridler Award has become something that the average hobbyist can no longer relate to. We have lost our way.....
ATmgbjaguar
Pit Crew

Oh my, where are the good taste police when you need them? The functional engineering in the car may be over the top, and the build quality exceptional, but the excess chrome and really wierd colour scheme are absolutely atrocious. The black roadster also pictured in the article is much, much more balanced as an offering.
Mick2
New Driver

That thing is butt ugly!
stickman88
Pit Crew

The car is just over kill. How much junk can we fit onto, under, and inside this car. I'm at a loss for what the judges were thinking. The car doesn't flow at all its just a bunch of items force fitted. The wheels are way to large an the back fenders???. Lots of engineering went into making this work. It's just not my idea of a Great 8 contender. I'm questioning if the car runs. I can't image driving it, if those turbo hooked up it would probably turn this car inside out. I'm sure a ton of money was tossed at this build.
merlebalke
Advanced Driver

I'd love to see a video of this thing actually running and driving.
Tinkerah
Engineer

The article claims that contenders must be functional enough to move into position but I'd bet my plasma cutter that this family is panicking at the thought of any plumbing discoloring.
Tim
Technician

Anyone ever seen the movie Starship Troopers? Reminds me of some of the alien bugs in that movie. It's also as bad as that movie was.

Real talent is knowing how to marry design and engineering. Make something technically great that also looks great. It's a constant battle that requires the most imagination and ingenuity. Merely slapping on more parts and slathering on coats of paint and chrome does not cut it. This car can't even be driven as-is even if you wanted to. Those turbos would be destroyed before long.
sclin10
Advanced Driver

I couldn't have said it better!
Clat72375
New Driver

Obviously a lot of work went into this and they should be proud of their accomplishment. However, it is a bit gaudy and over-the-top for my taste.
SCHNELL
Intermediate Driver

Only shows what time & money can do
js100
Detailer

Too bad they forgot to Google "taste", when shopping for more stuff to stick on. Looks like that extra year of work was misspent.
sclin10
Advanced Driver

It also won the "Most Tasteless Hot Rod" award.
perk120
Pit Crew

proof that sometimes excess is better, excellent workmanship, I am smooth flowing Raymond Lowey design kind of guy
Isaiah1000
Intermediate Driver

I know there's a big argument about cars being art, but this is artful. Makes you wonder what some of those craftsmen would achieve if they turned their hand at goldsmithing or fine painting. But then, the art that sells for a lot make no sense often (banana duck taped to wall?).
JBaguley
Intermediate Driver

I'd like to see some photos with all the dazzle lights turned off.
Autocar
Pit Crew

Miles to a gallon, please.
oldskooltoo
New Driver

Wait one hour after viewing before going swimming !

Morg
New Driver

At some point, someone should have said, "Stop, enough!"
TurquoiseGT
New Driver

I think it's awful! ..... You asked OK. I like absolutely nothing about the car.
BWeston
Intermediate Driver

I was there "live" at Autorama on Friday with one of my fellow dyed-in-wool auto enthusiast friends. This is a recovery year for Autorama - after last year's show was cancelled due to Covid. While there were some really well done vehicles in this year's Great Eight - I'd say the level of competition was less than in a recent / usual year - e.g. no Foose entry, etc. This car that won was clever, had a lot of detail, but was not the winner based on styling, to be sure! Lots of fussy details / overdone on styling, and although great engineering, all of those "guts" out front of the car - whoa! Was not our favorite - we were hoping for a really well done early 1951 Studebaker pickup...the retro 1950's sports racing 2021 Devin roadster was also very clever & really well done.