Detroit Autorama 2015: Presenting the Great 8 Finalists for the Ridler Award

1965 Dodge Dart Willie and Charlotte MaiseStraight from the floor of Cobo Center at the Detroit Autorama, here are the Great 8 finalists for the 2015 Ridler Award. It’s an impressive and eclectic group—have a look. 



Just hours ago, the judges selected the Pirelli Great 8 finalists for the 2015 Ridler Award, hot rodding’s most coveted prize. And once again this year, the theme is variety. The finalists include a ’69 Mustang and a ’69 Camaro, two traditional Ford favorites, a ’32 roadster and a ’37 woody wagon, and several models never seen in the Great 8 before, including a ’65 Dodge Dart and a  ’56 Plymouth Convertible. All are beautifully constructed and immaculately prepared.

But probably the biggest buzz on the show floor this year surrounds the ’65 Chevy Impala Sport Coupe owned by Don Voth. Radically restyled by TV personality and multi-time Ridler Award winner Chip Foose, the Impala drew a thick circle of eyeballers for much of the day. Will the judges be as impressed with Foose’s latest creation as the crowd at Cobo Center? We’ll find out Sunday evening when the Ridler Award winner is announced. Naturally, Mac’s Motor City Garage will have complete coverage. Meanwhile, here are your Great 8 finalists for 2015.


1969 Ford Mustang Tim Palazzo1969 Mustang Coupe, Tim Palazzo, Houston, TX


1932 Ford Roadster Al Nagele1932 Ford Roadster Al Negele, Wilmette, IL 


1969 Chevrolet Camaro Alan Reed1969 Chevrolet Camaro Coupe, Alan Reed, Baton Rouge, LA 


1937 Ford Station Wagon Miike and Belinda Terzich1937 Ford Station Wagon, Mike and Belinda Terzich, Gibsonia, PA


1965 Chevrolet Impala Don Voth1965 Chevrolet Impala Sport Coupe, Don Voth, Abbotsford, BC


1956 Plymouth Convertible Gil Losi1956 Plymouth Convertible, Gil Losi, Murrieta, CA


1959 Rambler American Station WagonDean Osland1959 Rambler American Station Wagon, Dean Osland, Scottsdale, AZ


1965 Dodge Dart Willie and Charlotte Maise1965 Dodge Dart, Willie and Charlotte Maise, Hokes Bluff, AL 


31 thoughts on “Detroit Autorama 2015: Presenting the Great 8 Finalists for the Ridler Award

  1. I’d like to read more (and see more photos of) the Impala. Apparently there’s a 2009 Corvette under the body, bought brand new for the purpose.

    • I totally agree with you, while a nice car, its NOT Riddler quality. It does not “raise the bar”, and in my opinion the paint design is NOT attractive at all.

    • I think it may have to do with small things that are not visible in the photo. Often points are awarded for things like engineering, clean engine installation, interior touches, or suspension. Just guessing.

    • if you parked the camero and the 32 ford in a walmart parking lot, which one would you see first,…..

  2. My brain is missing the bit that allows me to appreciate show cars. All I see are tacky, overblown and over-finished products of misplaced effort. Oh well…

  3. 1937 Ford Station Wagon. Elite Build,It Deserves “Ridler Winner”.Final Answer.

  4. Although post-’49 cars can be considered “Hot Rods”, the purist in me just can’t get past the roots of the genre.

    • You must not have a Grandson who enjoys his era of “hot rods”. That is why the traditional rod hobby is dying with us old Geezers..

  5. The rifled is a fit and finish complimented with design and turning something that wouldn’t be a normal hot rod. The evidence is in the past couple of years of winners. I appreciate the time and effort it takes to compete in the ridler.

  6. My pick would be the 32, but I bet it gets overlooked for the Impala. Good to see a fellow Alabamian with the Dodge Dart, another sharp car that will probably be overlooked. With a wheel change the 37 would be sharp, I’ve never been a fan of black wheels. The Camaro and Mustang just don’t do anything for me.

    I’m sticking with my prediction that the Impala takes the prize.

  7. They all look very nice & have a hard choice between the 69 Camaro & 56 Ply. Conv.

  8. Although it is not the criteria, if you could pick one for your driveway, which one would it be? For me it would be the 32 roadster. I believe it will best stand the ” test of time”

  9. Many people don’t realize that the 65 Impala is 3/4 size. It’s about the size of a Camaro. Talk about the work and craftsmanship that has gone into this is way over the top. Sure i am a big 32 Roadster fan but compared to the Impala it’s just another Roadster. By the way, the Impala is siting on a new Corvette chassis.

  10. That’s something I didn’t realize. But if I had commissioned such a thing, I’d choose a something with a bit more style like a Riviera. For my own driveway, I’d take the Dart but with different wheels. Wagon wheels on cars should have stayed back in the 1920s.

  11. So much go say, but I will just say this, I’m surprised by some of the cars chosen for the final eight, my eight would’ve been much different. I’m surprised to see the Foose impala as a competitor as I’ve seen rendererings and build shots of the car and thought that these things disqualify a car, guess not. Though the car is absolutely out of this world and likely deserves the Ridler this year in my opinion, this coming from a guy who owns a custom 65 impala.
    Thank you for bringing us the pictures!!! I look forward to the Ridler like little kids look forward to Christmas every year! I think the impala will likely take the title this year, I like the theme and appreciate the overall design of the car and it is executed extremely well and out of the eight , the car I’d prefer to own.

  12. the Rambler and the chev impala does it for me…A ton of detail in each….The 37 Woodie with the black wheels and lack of bumpers is a complete disapointment….

  13. The Roadster Shop’s “Maliciouss” and “Sliced Charger (’68)” made the greatest impressions on me. Those cars were each worthy of being in the Great 8. However, with their “32 Ford” already in the mix, it wouldn’t be fair if they had three cars in the running of the Ridler.

    Of the Great 8, I like the ’56 Plymouth convertible and judging by the comments it looks like I’m the only one. My wife liked the ’59 Rambler, but we both agreed that Foose’s ’65 will most likely win the Ridler. It was easily in the top 5 of the entire show.

    As usual, I now look forward to next year’s show.

    • i agree with you on the plymouth, from a ford fan but that car is outstanding, and to get twice as much car perfect might be twice as hard.

  14. The 65 Impala is my choice, it was a beautiful car with numerous settle custom designs. I think putting the stock 65 in the display gave you a chance to really see some of the custom work they performed.

    • I thought the original car in the display made a great statement about the built one..

  15. I like the 56 Plymouth!!!!!!!!!!!!! You don’t hardly of these cars around!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I like being different then the norm!!!!!!!!!!!!! But they all are great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would be very proud to own any one of them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. 59 rambler is out for me. Hate to say it. Start with a sow’s ear to make a silk purse doesn’t work for me. I think they got it right this year. Foose. The Camaro and the ‘stang belong in this group. The 32 is super and there is a lot around, the woody is fantastic.

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