Promoters, participants, and spectators all agree the biggest change over the past six years has been the increase in the quality of the cars entered. Tim King of the Detroit Poor Boys has been showing with the club since the first year of the Autorama Extreme. "We've seen the quality of the cars go from rat rod to real traditional hot rods," King says. "There is a lot of innovative stuff down here, some stuff that really belongs upstairs." In addition to showing his car with his club, King (along with Roger Atwood and Stretch) is responsible for another specialty of the basement: homemade automotive-themed trophies. This year the three of them have roughly 40 hours invested in the 23 trophies that were awarded, each one unique, incorporating some part of the award into the trophy. King concluded, "It's fun finding the stuff to make the trophies out of. It's an art and we enjoy doing it."
In addition to hosting better cars, Ruedisueli also believes the clubs are raising the bar by making better club displays each year and debuting fresh builds. "With nearly 50 percent of the cars shown being club cars, they are getting more and more creative with their displays," Ruedisueli says. It's also the clubs that the promoters have come to depend on for new, fresh builds. "Seventy-five percent of the cars here are fresh builds, whether it be a totally new car or upgrades to an old one. I can always count on the So-What guys (eastern Pennsylvania) to bring new stuff and good cars to help bring the show to a better level," he says.
With the 2010 edition of the Autorama Extreme in the books, it's time to start building for next year. Will we see total traditional domination of the Basement? Time will tell.