The Pirelli Great 8

Competition for the Don Ridler Memorial Award ebbs and flows every year, but 2012 will be remembered as an “up” year as more than 60 vehicles competed to be one of the eight finalists (collectively called the Pirelli Great 8), of which one would come away with the coveted Ridler award.

The Detroit Autorama marked its 60th year in 2012, and the Don Ridler Memorial Award is almost as old, as it celebrated its 49th year of being one of the greatest tributes one can receive in hot rodding.

Named after the early Autorama promoter, Don Ridler, the award came into existence a year after his death in 1963 as a way to honor the man for his professionalism and creativity. The award, given to a first-time-shown vehicle of any year, make, or model, is meant to reward car builders for their creativity.

And possibly the only way this year’s Ridler competition could be topped in any way is that next year’s Autorama will celebrate 50 years of the Ridler, so you can bet people will be coming out of the woodwork to witness that one! The cars presented here are the Pirelli Great 8 finalists and the Don Ridler Memorial Award winner for 2012.