Rosemont, Illinois, March 4, 2011 - The 49th annual Chicago World of Wheels show opened on Friday at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont offering automotive enthusiasts a wide range of vehicles and activities. From the Surf City U.S.A. display featuring the "Roswell Rod" bubble car (a tribute to Ed "Big Daddy" Roth) and a collection of Woodies (including a unique Rolls-Royce) to the 30th anniversary Chevy Vettefest and an appearance by "Billy the Exterminator", there is something to appeal to every member of the family.
Competition also got underway for this year's Legend Cup with judges paring the field down to the Top Twenty. Finally, the legendary Bigfoot monster truck thrilled the younger fans in attendance with a car crushing display.
The action will continue tomorrow with the announcement of the Select Six and the Import Tuners' Galleria culminating on Sunday when the winner of this year's Legend Cup will be announced.
This 1963 Buick Rivera owned by Jim & Jacque Marciniac of Andover, MN made the Select Six
Saturday Sees Select Six Chosen at Chicago World of Wheels
Rosemont, Illinois, March 5, 2011 - The weather in the Chicagoland area was cold and blustery on Saturday, but that did nothing to prevent the action from heating up inside the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont during the second day of the 49th annual Chicago World of Wheels show. Competition in the Legend Cup continued as the panel of judges announced the Select Six, the half-dozen finalists for this year's award. Import car fans were able to take in the Tuner Galleria featuring some of the area's top rides, with Sammie Sweetheart from TV's "Jersey Shore" signing autographs for her fans. For those preferring to ride on two wheels, the Cyclerama features some of the top motorcycles from around the country. Finally, the 4th annual Chicago Brushmasters Charity Auction benefiting the Hope Children's Hospital Ronald McDonald House offered fans the chance to bid on one-of-a-kind automobilia created by top local artists on site.
The action will conclude on Sunday with more tremendous hot rods an appearance by Jennette McCurdy of the "ICarly" show, and, most importantly, the awarding of this year's prestigious Legend Cup.
Shore View, MN's Jim Tousley's 1948 Chevrolet was chosen for the Select Six in Chicago.
Chicago sportscaster Mark Giancreco's 1957 T-Bird made the cut for the Select Six.
The 1956 Chrysler of Franklin, Wisconsin's Nancy & Roger Ritzow was among the cars chosen
Mundelein, Illinois' Brent Jarvis' 1965 Corvette was tabbed by the judges to be in the Sel
Bruce & Judy Ricks from Sapula, OK saw their 1956 Ford Sunliner make the Select Six in the
This stunning 1987 Harley Softail was part of the Cyclerama display at the Chicago World o
The Chicago Brushmasters conducted their annual auction to benefit the Hope Children's Hos
The 1956 Chrysler 300B "Passion" of Franklin, Wisconsin's Nancy & Roger Ritzow was awarded
Ritzows' 1956 Chrysler Claims Legend Cup Chicago World of Wheels
Rosemont, Illinois, March 6, 2011 - A spectacular 1956 Chrysler 300B named "Passion" and owned by Nancy and Roger Ritzow of Franklin, Wisconsin captured the prestigious Legend Cup presented by CleanTools, Makers of the Absorber at the 49th annual Chicago World of Wheels show. During the awards ceremony at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, the Ritzows were presented with the Legend Cup trophy and a check from Absorber for $5,000. Built by noted custom car builder Troy Trepanier over a period of 16 months, the winning entry also holds the unique distinction of turning laps at famed Road Atlanta, where it hit speeds exceeding 140 mph.
"It is absolutely awesome to win the Legend Cup," said Mr. Ritzow. "We knew how good the car is, but to come here and win with the competition that was in this show is truly amazing to me, and I truly appreciate being awarded this honor.
"I'd like to thank Troy and the whole crew at Rad Rides by Troy, including Moose (Trepanier team member Brian Ferguson) who is the car's custodian, taking it everywhere we need it to be. They went the extra mile to make sure everything was taken care of, and their efforts obviously paid off."
Celebrating its fifth year in 2011, the Legend Cup is open to any hot rod or custom vehicle never previously shown in the Chicagoland area. Although the actual competition did not start until Friday, the seven-member World of Wheels Advisory Board started their work during set-up day on Thursday, walking through the show conducting preliminary evaluations of every possible entry among the over 700 cars on display.
Through numerous meetings and deliberations, the board reduced the field to twenty vehicles on Friday, with the Select Six named on Saturday. After a final review, which included a one-on-one interview with each vehicle's representative, the winner was chosen based on its style, quality and craftsmanship.
"The level of competition for the Legend Cup has increased exponentially every year," said Pete Toundas, President of Championship Auto Shows. "Every vehicle in this year's Select Six showed a tremendous amount of creativity as well as workmanship of the highest caliber with an outstanding vehicle and competitor being named the winner. It was a great ending to a wonderful show."
Bill Stewart from CleanTools (l.) and Troy Trepanier of Rad Rides by Troy pose with 2011 L