Incredible feature cars from SEMA and beyond will be at Motorama

Although the majority of the vehicles appearing at the 6th Annual Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo are homegrown entries, show car director Gary Challice is always excited to bring in a few ‘special’ Feature Cars; vehicles that have garnered international attention.

For the 2020 edition of Motorama, running March 13, 14 & 15 at Toronto’s International Centre, Challice has arranged for several ‘First-Time-Shown in Canada’ vehicles, and their builders, to participate.

“We have vehicles coming in from Iowa, New York, the Carolinas and Massachusetts. And all of them have either appeared at SEMA, in Chicago, in Detroit, or in one case, on the Hot Wheels Legends Tour,” revealed Challice. “It’s nice to bring some cars here that Motorama visitors might not otherwise have had a chance to see.”

Although not eligible to challenge for the $5,000 Motorama Grand Champion prize, all of the American entries will have the opportunity to return home with the ‘Stars & Stripes’ award, valued at $2,500 USD.

Eddie Pettus (Eddie’s Rod & Custom) has been to Motorama on two previous occasions and will return this year with a double-barrelled entry.

“We’ve got a newly completed 1963 Corvette we’re showing off for the first time,” announced the Iowa resident. “It’s a retro-mod that looks stock, but it has an LT4 motor under the hood coupled to a six-speed transmission. The car is dark blue, has one-off custom wheels and a black, custom leather interior. A real nice car.”

Pettus’s other project, ‘Sugga,’ comes directly from the Las Vegas SEMA show and is a little more radical.

“We took a 1956 TP-21 Volvo Swedish military ‘taxi cab’ and mounted it on a ’94 Dodge ¾-ton Dodge 4X4 truck chassis. We jammed a 12-valve, compound-turbo Cummins Diesel, pushing out about 600 horsepower, under the hood and got some great big (37”) tires to get the power to the ground. It should be a pretty-good handling, off-roading vehicle.”

Another radical build on display at Motorama is Chad (Chad’s Custom Dreams) Martin’s ‘Brutally Sexy.’ Starting life as a 1936 Chevy Sedan, Martin rebuilt his all-steel creation “from the chassis up” and the end result is a spectacular 750 horsepower, pearl green and cream, Dually pick-up.

“It’s a one-off custom truck I started dreaming about in 1999, and finally, here it is,” said Martin.

So unusual is his build that the Southern Carolina native was invited to be a part of the Hot Wheels Legends Tour, a cross-country competition culminating at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The goal of the Hot Wheels tour is to declare a grand champion whose vehicle would be recreated in the form of a 1/64 scale Hot Wheels car and available for sale to the public. Although he didn’t win first overall, Martin’s piece certainly well represented the Hot Wheels legacy.

Another American entry comes from Livonia, NY courtesy of Mike Johnston. His 1935 Ford Coupe is a past Street Rod National East award winner and was featured on the cover of Rodder’s Journal magazine.

Not all of the specialty entries come from south of the border, however.

Viv Agresti hails from nearby Bradford, Ontario. His successful farming career allows him to enjoy his custom car hobby. Agresti has previously owned such award winners as a 1956 Nomad, a 1969 Camaro and a 1959 Corvette.

The Corvette was not only an attraction at the SEMA Show, last November, but it was also a part of the backdrop at the Hot Rod Banquet in the Las Vegas Convention Centre. Making its Motorama debut, this stunning car is guaranteed to turn heads at the show.

Concluded Challice, “being able to showcase cars that have been on a international stage, such as SEMA, Syracuse, Detroit or Chicago, really boosts Motorama’s reputation. That is not to downplay the Canadian entries, the Canadian builds are on par with anything in the world, but it opens up the doors for increased exposure for all of the car builders.

“Motorama has quickly developed into a very prestigious show; this is where people want to unveil their latest projects. This is where they know their work will be seen on a top tier stage and in front of people who are knowledgeable and appreciative.”

In addition to showcasing their vehicles, many of the owners and builders will be participating in the on-stage discussions at Motorama. You can see these and many other incredible cars March 13, 14 & 15 at Toronto’s International Centre.