Autorama 2020: Tim Allen's Mustang, Lambo Paint on a GTO, Multiple LS-Swaps and More!
We hit the ground at the 2020 Detroit Autorama World of Wheels in search of admirable custom builds outside of the famed Great 8 finalists that flooded the interwebs last weekend. Over 800 hot rods, muscle cars, kustoms, trucks and motorcycles filled the Cobo Center’s two floors, and no, they weren’t all just trailer queens. Here is a deeper dive into five of our favorites, plus a gallery because we just couldn’t get enough.
1. Gran Turismo Omologato
We have our theories on why this 1972 Pontiac GTO wore a name tag that read “Last Gasp Goat.” Perhaps it’s in reference to Pontiac dropping the GTO name as a model, only offering it as an option to the Lemans series, or the untimely death of The Judge. There’s no doubt that ‘72 was a rough year for muscle car fans, but we were pleased to see such a stunning example from this generation on the show floor.
The chocolatey-brown paint drew us in first. We later learned the color is Marrone Eklipsis Metallic, the same palette used on Lamborghinis. Under the hood is a numbers-matching 400-ci engine with FAST fuel injection. A TCI Turbo 400 transmission was installed to handle the power. First Choice Upholstery installed brand new interior and Dakota Digital gauges keep the driver informed. UMI and Global West suspension components work together for a smooth, grippy ride. Nitto NT555G2 tires wrapped around color-matched 17-inch REV wheels provide optimal traction on the street or during track days.
2. “Project Twin”
Tim Allen is the proud owner of this 1965 Ford Mustang Fastback named “Project Twin” for its dual Torqstorm superchargers. The all-aluminum Titus performance 427-ci Cleveland engine block is built to push 1,030-hp and 920-ft.lb. of torque to the rear 20x11” Detroit Steel Wheels – it’s a good thing the Nitto tires are extra grippy.
Since starting cars during show hours isn’t allowed, we can only imagine the eargasms induced by the rowdy engine notes that rush through the Hooker mufflers and custom stainless-steel exhaust.
TPN Color Lab sprayed the exterior in white pearl, and SPC Interior upholstered the cabin using Ferrari red leather, including a hand-stitched red leather headliner.
3. First Love
This 1972 Ford Ranchero GT is John Ivankovics’ first love. It’s the first car he ever drove, cough, illegally at age 12, cough, and also the first vehicle he drove legally on the road.
The car’s tri-coat pearl white paint is adorned with a factory reproduction stripe package. A custom tonneau cover protects the bed, and inside, a GT performance steering wheel allows for a proper firm grip for those spirited drives. For power, a 351 Cleveland engine is paired with a C4 transmission to put the Nitto NT555 G2 tire rubber down. The Ranchero’s 17” Magnum clone wheels amplify the car’s overall traditional look.
4. Got Gas?
The American Gasser Hot Rod Shop is known for building admirable customs, and this 1946 Chevrolet Pickup is exemplary of their work. The exterior is drop-dead gorgeous, from the flush-mount glass to the custom chrome and two-tone paint. The finish was so flawless that we couldn’t spot a single a dust speck. Frankly, we were afraid to breathe on it.
Yes, this truck is actually driven. By the push of a button, the built LS3 roars to life. The 4L70 transmission transfers 525-hp to the car’s Nitto NT420S tires like a champ. Wilwood disc brakes on all fours make safe driving easy on public roads.
5. Luxury Performance
Mint condition 1971 Chevrolet Monte Carlo’s are hard to come by. This example was built in Canada and is owned by John and Barb Marecki from Clinton Twp., Mich.
It’s 350-cid engine breathes through a two-barrel carb. A 10-bolt rear end transfers power to the wheels while UMI sway bars and control arms support a smooth and calculated ride. During the build, the car kept its factory burnt orange metallic color, plus the original brown vinyl top and sandalwood interior. A custom dual exhaust doubles the listening pleasure.
There are more cool cars out of this year’s Autorama to be seen, including a custom ’59 El Camino, an LS-powered Mazda RX-7 FC, and a one of the most beautiful Mustangs we’ve ever seen. Scroll through the gallery for more.
Also, the Autorama World of Wheels is known for off-the-wall crazy customs like these.