In another area of the show a 70th anniversary exhibit of the '40 Ford showcased many examples of venerable vehicles, from truck to coupe. Also found in the center of the massive Cobo Center was a 28-foot-long Batmobile, a handmade and street-worthy creation from sculptors Bob Dullam and Bob Causey, who worked from 1:1-scale clay models in making the life-size vehicle. In contrast, a '60s-era Batmobile (like the one from the TV show) was also on display elsewhere in the hall.
Another facet of the show is the Detroit Autorama Extreme, a show-within-a-show located in the 100,000-square-foot basement of Cobo Center. Now in its sixth year, the Extreme features more traditional hot rods along with a good helping of the outrageous rat rod type of car. It's a well-received part of the Autorama, and it seems to grow in size each year. The attendees have their own award presentation and entertainment (rockabilly bands play each day), and it is a fun contrast to the gloss and chrome found upstairs in the "regular" show.
By the end of the weekend even more history was recorded when it was announced Tammy Ray, of Dahlonega, Georgia, was this year's recipient of the Don Ridler Memorial Award-the first woman to do so. (She was also, in 2006, the first woman to make the Great 8 with a different car).
Though some have wondered, with the nation's economy the way that it is, if attendance fell or the quality of the cars suffered at one of the country's premiere indoor car shows, but STREET RODDER saw no evidence of either, and everyone is looking forward as the Detroit Autorama marches on toward its 60th anniversary in 2012.