Sacramento Autorama 2023: The Best Of The Cal Expo Car Show

A Total Of 18 Competitors For The Custom d’Elegance & ARP West Coast Challenge Series

By Brian Brennan   –   Photography By John Drummond

The Sacramento Autorama is about a lot given the number of cars in competition indoors and the outdoor Drive-In for everyday hot rodders. It’s a series of pretty good shows by themselves but once they are all put together you have a truly mega show filled with all types of hot rods and custom cars … something for everybody as the saying goes.

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Here we are going to zero in on the two big draws for the competitors. There is the Custom d’Elegance and the ARP West Coast Challenge Series. Let us look at who is in the running for both awards.

Custom d’Elegance Contenders

This is the premier award at the Sacramento Autorama and with it comes a winner’s check of $5,000 and a very cool trophy. Originally created in 1953 is open to all customs built from manufacturer year of build from 1936-1964. The rules call for a silhouette change including top chop, body channel and/or sectioning. The outward appearance must be in the true spirit of a classic custom.

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Read More: 73rd Annual Grand National Roadster Show

The Custom d’Elegance is a special class with awards for Display, Engineering, Paint, Engine, Interior, and Detail. All entrants will receive a class participation award and therefore are not eligible for other Custom Category class awards. Vehicles are eligible for other Sacramento Autorama pick awards. The overall winner is determined by a judging committee.

The 6 Competing In The Custom d’Elegance

03 Robert Cserhalm from Sweden 1948 Chevy Fleetmaster
Robert Cserhalm from Sweden 1948 Chevy Fleetmaster
02 Jesse Orozco of Salinas CA 1956 Chevy 210 Sedan
Jesse Orozco of Salinas CA 1956 Chevy 210 Sedan
04 Jeff Smith of La Mirada CA 1950 Mercury Hardtop
Jeff Smith of La Mirada CA 1950 Mercury Hardtop
06 Brian Omatsu of Torrance CA 1951 Mercury Coupe
Brian Omatsu of Torrance CA 1951 Mercury Coupe
05 Cesar Ruiz Jr of Castro Valley CA 1936 Ford Roadster
Cesar Ruiz Jr of Castro Valley CA 1936 Ford Roadster
01 Cody Walls of Lewes DE 1949 Buick Sedanette Sacramento Autorama
Cody Walls of Lewes DE 1949 Buick Sedanette Sacramento Autorama

Cody Walls is competing in both categories for the ARP West Coast Challenge and the Custom d’Elegance.

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The ARP West Coast Challenge

This is a four-show series that starts at the Grand National Roadster Show then goes to Portland Roadster Show, Spokane Speed and Custom show and ends at the Sacramento Autorama. This is the first year and there are 12 vehicles in competition and will be judged as who is the “Best of the West”. To be considered for the competition the competing vehicle must attend at least three of the four shows to qualify.

There is plenty of prize money up for grabs. As such this is sure to make this one of the indoor show series that car owners and builders will want to compete in over the coming years.

Read More: 2023 Detroit Autorama The Great 8

First place prize money offered by ARP Fasteners is $12,500, followed by second prize with $6,500, and third prize is $3,500. There will be competition flags given to all the contenders as well as jackets and a special award at the end of the tour.

To win each entrant/competitor must enter each show individually. These entrants can also pick up awards and prize money that each of the shows offer themselves. For example, should an America’s Most Beautiful Roadster or a Slonaker winner compete in the series the winner not only takes home his $12,500 for winning at the Grand National Roadster Show but is now posed to win at each of the other shows. Each of the other events have posted winnings of $5,000 each and from here eventually the West Coast Challenge Series winner can take home an additional $12,500. That’s a potential cash total of $40,000!

The 12 Competing In The West Coast Challenge Series

14 Brent Scheider of Pleasanton California with his ‘70 Chevy Chevelle
Brent Scheider of Pleasanton California with his ‘70 Chevy Chevelle
15 Jerry Logan of Toledo Washington with his 1934 Ford pickup
Jerry Logan of Toledo Washington with his 1934 Ford pickup
12 Curt Rardin of Milwaukie Oregon with his 1954 Custom Cobra
Curt Rardin of Milwaukie Oregon with his 1954 Custom Cobra
08 Scott Cooper of Orland California with his 1926 Ford Model T “tall” pickup
Scott Cooper of Orland California with his 1926 Ford Model T “tall” pickup
16 Dan Hayes of Tigard Oregon with his 1948 Chevrolet Thriftmaster
Amie and Kelly Gauthier, of Langley British Columbia, Canada, and their 1951 Chevy 1300 pickup.
09 Mitch Kelly of Garden Grove, California with his 1957 Chevy Bel Air
Mitch Kelly of Garden Grove, California with his 1957 Chevy Bel Air
10 Ray Poletti of Seattle Washington with his 1940 Lincoln Zephyr
Ray Poletti of Seattle Washington with his 1940 Lincoln Zephyr
11 Joe Fredricks of Post Falls, Idaho with his 1958 Chevy Impala
Joe Fredricks of Post Falls, Idaho with his 1958 Chevy Impala
13 Wally Belt of Salem Oregon with his 1933 Ford Roadster
Wally Belt of Salem Oregon with his 1933 Ford Roadster
07 Amie and Kelly Gauthier of Langley British Columbia Canada with their 1951 Chevy 1300 pickup
Dan Hayes of Tigard, Oregon’s 1948 Chevrolet Thriftmaster.
17 Jeff Hess of Woodland Hills California with his 1956 Olds convertible
Jeff Hess of Woodland Hills California with his 1956 Olds convertible
01 Cody Walls of Lewes DE 1949 Buick Sedanette Sacramento Autorama
Cody Walls of Lewes DE 1949 Buick Sedanette Sacramento Autorama

Cody Wall is competing in both the competitions for the Custom d’Elegance and the ARP West Coast Challenge Series.

Read More: Rodding Around News – L.A. Roadsters Father’s Day and West Coast Challenge

Be sure to check back in to the Modern Rodding website late-afternoon on Sunday to see who wins each of the major awards. You will also find out who is the first ARP West Coast Challenge Series winner and take home a sizable check. See, the Sacramento Autorama is emerging as a significant “player” on the indoor car show circuit. MR

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