68th Annual Sacramento Autorama, Fuel Curve

Sacramento AutoRama – Slick Sleds Take Over California’s Capital

Nowhere else in America is the custom car culture celebrated and awarded quite like it is at the Sacramento AutoRama. Held for the 68th consecutive year, the AutoRama is a homecoming for lead sleds and the stylists who create them.

68th Annual Sacramento Autorama, Fuel Curve

68th Annual Sacramento Autorama, Fuel CurveThe show has been held at Cal Expo for decades now filling numerous exhibit buildings with not only customs but the season’s freshest hot rods, classics, motorcycles and more. While some cars were showed two weeks earlier at the Grand National Roadster Show (including David Martin’s 1931 Ford which captured America’s Most Beautiful Roadster in Pomona) some are being shown here for the first time.

68th Annual Sacramento Autorama, Fuel Curve68th Annual Sacramento Autorama, Fuel Curve68th Annual Sacramento Autorama, Fuel Curve

The same team that produces the GNRS also runs the Sac AutoRama. Promoter John Buck is joined by his lieutenants Michelle, Laura, Kevin, DJ Axle and a host of others. A special highlight for this year’s AutoRama was inside building C where a gathering of West Coast Kustoms car club members exhibited their cruisers. The club’s co-founder Penny Pichette’s presided over the festivities. In addition to all that, live music, vendors and food stations kept everyone entertained for hours.

68th Annual Sacramento Autorama, Fuel CurveGrabbing the headlines above all of that are the special awards for the lead sled customs. Much like in Pomona, an “8-footer” trophy is awarded here. Instead of going to a roadster though, it goes to the H.A. Bagdasarian World’s Most Beautiful Custom. Vacaville’s Cliff Mattis got to add his name to the trophy by winning over the judges with his “Dillinger” 1941 Buick Sedanette by Lucky 7 Customs. The award pays homage to Autorama founder and Sacramento businessman Harold Bagdasarian, who started AutoRama in 1950. “Baggy” as he was known passed away in October 2014 at age 91.

68th Annual Sacramento Autorama, Fuel CurveOther big custom awards here include the Sam Barris Memorial Award which went to the radical 1965 Volkswagen Bus “Surf Seeker”, the Joe Bailon Award was presented to Mike and Rita Garner’s 1950 Mercury “American Dream” (pictured above), and the Dick Bertolucci Automotive Excellence Award went to the Kindig-It Customs built 1957 Chevrolet Corvette “Family Affair” – all of which pay tribute to the Capitol City’s most famous customizers.

68th Annual Sacramento Autorama, Fuel Curve68th Annual Sacramento Autorama, Fuel CurveHeld on President’s Day weekend, the 68th annual Sacramento AutoRama had a relaxed vibe with everyone having plenty of time to get back home Sunday evening to enjoy the Monday holiday. Some of whom went home with well-deserved honors.

Sac Autorama Extras

Director of Media & Marketing

A lifelong car kid, Steven grew up around drag strips – his name may sound familiar because his grandfather is Bob Bunker, a Pro Mod pioneer who piloted the “Folsom Flash” ’55 Chevy from the ’70s through the ’90s. Steven’s father, Bob Bunker Jr., heads up Bunker Motorsports and is a regular in the West Coast racing scene, building chassis and race cars for more than 30 years. With genetics like that, it’s no wonder Steven has a passion for both cars and motorsports. In addition to helping his father and honing his fabrication skills at Bunker Motorsports, Steven began shooting photos at the drag strip and capturing the action with his Canon camera. He is now artfully crafting stories around the awesome machines at the shows, as well as the men and women behind them. When he's is not on the road covering events, he spends his downtime out on the water fishing, building his 1962 Chevy Nova, or cruising his 1987 GMC Suburban.