Motorama Mayhem… in the Backroom Presented by Zehr Insurance will once again be a centre for nostalgia, with retro music, fashion and cars providing showgoers with a glimpse into the past.

This show within a show will be highlighted by the fourth annual Miss Motorama Pinup Pageant, scheduled for Saturday, March 11, 2023, on the Mayhem room stage. Suzie Newbold, who owns Suzie’s Bombshell Boutique in Port Dover, ON, will return as host of the pageant.

From a Marilyn Monroe ‘bombshell’ look to everyday styles worn by women in the ‘40s and ‘50s, pin up fashion includes clothing with a sassy element to it, that can also be used more practically.


“Some of the styles are a bit more outrageous or more towards the super-sexy, curve-hugging kind of dresses that you might want to wear on a special occasion,” said Newbold. “But there’s also the other end of that fashion spectrum where there’s just a simple skirt and vintage-inspired sweaters and tops that you could really just wear any day of the week.”

Bios submitted through the Motorama website give judges a look at contestants’ personalities and the level of affinity they have for vintage culture and car culture. Newbold says that many contestants will spend hours learning how to do vintage-inspired hair and makeup and that their efforts don’t go unnoticed.

“When the gals are actually on the stage, the things that we’re looking for are poise, the ability to convey their personalities through the way they speak, but also through the way they’ve put together their outfits,” she said. “If you have somebody who really knows how to put the whole look together, with all the right accessories – and some girls even bring props, which is super cute – that just really puts a star next to their name if they’ve gone the extra mile.”

The top-three contestants will receive prizes during the post-pageant awards ceremony, but it’s not really about that.

While there can only be one Miss Motorama, the camaraderie is something that stands out to Newbold. She says the Pinup Pageant is a great opportunity for the women to meet others with the same interests and make connections within that vintage subculture.

The Pinup Pageant will be just part of the spectacle of the Zehr Insurance Mayhem room, which will be busy all weekend long in Hall 3. Suzie’s Bombshell Boutique will also set up shop on all three days.

The Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo Presented by eBay Motors takes place March 10, 11 & 12 at The International Centre, across from Toronto’s Pearson Airport.