Great 8 chosen at the 2014 Detroit Autorama

1932 Ford Fordor Highboy Don and Carolon Smith Mansfield TXRushed to your digital doorstep, here are the Pirelli Great 8 finalists for the Ridler Award at the 2014 Detroit Autorama. 


Mere hours ago, Autorama judges selected the Pirelli Great 8 for 2014. The keyword this year is variety: From a group of 38 eligible cars and perhaps 15 solid contenders. they chose as their finalists three traditional hot rods, two Tri-Five Chevrolets, a radical custom, and two Pro Touring-style machines.

On Sunday evening, one of these eight cars will take home one of the most coveted prizes in the automotive world, the Ridler Award. Take a moment to look over this exceptional assortment of handcrafted machinery. Do you have a favorite.?  Any predictions?

Be sure to check back at Mac’s Motor City Garage for fast, full coverage of the Ridler Award presentation and an in-depth look at the winning car.


1933 Ford 5W Coupe Rocky Boler Southampton NY 1933 Ford Five-Window Coupe Rocky Boler Southampton NY

1933 Ford Sedan Delivery Al and Jean Seese Lees Summit MO 1933 Ford Sedan Delivery Al and Jean Seese Lees Summit MO

1956 Chevrolet 210 Dan Duffy Marietta GA 1956 Chevrolet 210 Two-door Sedan Dan Duffy Marietta GA

1957 Chevrolet Bel Air John Sadler N. Little Rock AR 1957 Chevolet Bel Air Hardtop John Sadler N. Little Rock AR

1964 Buick Riviera J.F. Launier Osoyoos BC 1964 Buick Riviera J.F. Launier Osoyoos BC 

1967 Chevrolet Nova Steven Tornari Parkland FL 1967 Chevrolet Nova Steven Tornari Parkland FL 

1969 Camaro RS-SS Brian and Gianna Ganos Muskego WI1969 Chevrolet Camaro RS/SS Brian and Gianna Ganos Musekgo WI 

1932 Ford Fordor Highboy Don and Carolon Smith Mansfield TX1932 Ford Fordor Highboy Don and Carolon Smith Mansfield TX 

23 thoughts on “Great 8 chosen at the 2014 Detroit Autorama

  1. I’m really not a purist. I’ve cut on some cars. I guess I don’t understand the genre of making cars that don’t get driven.

    They should have an 88-mile endurance Tour like Pebble. 🙂

  2. I’m completely out of touch with the world of hot rods, and this blog does a great job bringing me both the old and new. I like four of today’s featured and have one that’s a favorite, but I agree with Barry. Why spend a quarter-million or more on a car that you can’t drive? Custom or classic, doesn’t matter. For that money (like I have it), I would consign an artist to paint a large canvas or two of my favorite cars, and hang it in the garage.

    I think Hot Rod does have a tour, maybe in conjunction with the Woodward. I think it’s bigger than 88 miles. I’ve read several articles on great looking cars that were a major pain to drive.

    PS: these are great cars but IMO, they need to pay more attention to wheels.

      • If it quits cutting its blower belt off and leaking power steering fluid everywhere… It may get driven some real miles. That one was built with “Form” over function if you know the truth.

    • I agree , its gotta be the Riviera and I happen to know it will get driven . He totally built the car with the intention of going 200 MPH +++

      • Look up J.F. Launier on youtube and watch him beat the crap out of his last Ridler contender.

  3. Love that muscle cars actually made it to the great 8 but I gotta predict the 33 is the winner

  4. Its got to be the riviera !!!
    Nothing says let ride better than a Ls an turbos !!!

  5. The Riv by Laurnier stands out over the other contenders in engineering and design. To me the others look like everything else you’d see at the usual custom car shows, nice but not Ridler winners. If I had to pick one to drive, it’d have to be the Nova. Yes these cars do drive, that’s just one of the criteria to enter. So to me it’s the Canadian contender all the way.

  6. Congrats JF you are in Elite and rare company to have 3 Great Eight winner’s under your belt. The Riv stands out and above the competition , you and your shop and Lee have done it again. Can’t wait til you take her to a track and see what she’ll do. Good luck tomorrow. My opinion the Riv wins hands down.

    • The Riv may have the quality. But the hood treatment, side Mirrors and front valance look like such heavy handed poorly designed elements of a car that could have been really great. LESS IS MORE……Canada. And it will probably still win.

  7. I just got back from the Autorama. Again this year, Autorama Extreme was my absolute favorite feature of the event. Despite this, I took time to study the Great 8 award winners and surprised myself with my favorites. When I saw the Riviera from across the hall, my first initial inclination was to hate it. After examining all the details, it quickly became my favorite. Loved the Nova also, which even surprised the people I was with.

    BTW, the car that won my class at Pebble Beach hands down last year didn’t go on the tour. No trophy for our car but we had an absolute blast on the tour. Like Barry, we enjoy driving our car(s) regularly.

  8. Absolutely hate the Riv. Terrible body lines and hood. To much yellow.
    I would go with the Nova

    • Thought you were a friend of JF if you can’t appreciate the amount of work and mods that went into it nobody can. You just dropped a few pegs among the Elite builders in my books!

    • You are not Chip Foose. Very cowardly to leave comments like that with another builders name.

  9. I’d go with the 33 Five Window coupe. If it didn’t have the supper glossy paint, it could have come from the 1950s. A real ‘Hot Rod’.
    The Riviera looks like a squashed taxi cab.
    And what’s with all the black wheels? From 20 feet away they just disappear into the wheel wells.

  10. I am acquainted with the owner builder of the 33 sedan delivery. It is a great driver, well capable of withstanding a Power Tour run. Most parts built in his machine shop. Assembled, wired, plumbed and conceived by him. Most parts are unique to this build conceived by Al designed in CAD by a friend of over 60 years. The number one chassis builder in the country said it was impossible to fit a C5 chassis underneath a 33. 40 + hours of measurement and hours more CAD work and welding. The impossible is possible. I have the pics on my phone. Nearly 300 pages of documentation prepared not for the show but material to the build. Every part built then rebuilt until it looks and works. Untold hours. It is not a trailer queen. A real street rod in every sense conceived and built by its owner.

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