SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The world’s second longest-running auto show is located here in Sacramento – and is back after a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
“We got the word out and everyone said, ‘Thank God it’s back!’ said John Buck, who puts on the show.
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It’s been a long road, but the Sacramento Autorama at Cal Expo is back on track. There are more starters than ever this year.
“We have received more than 500 cars [and] there’s another 600-700 cars coming out, so it’s going to be a 1,200-car weekend, which is phenomenal,” Buck said.
Car enthusiasts like Buddy Hale of Tempe, Arizona compete for thousands of prizes.
“It’s great to see everyone,” Hale said.
His team bought a 1952 Volkswagen Beetle in San Francisco ten years ago from a hot rod shop that started it. Finishing it was a labor of love
“Half a million dollars’ worth of work, probably more than that,” Hale said.
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The car has earned celebrity status among people after its restoration on social media. They get the chance to see the finished product in person at shows.
“They’re just stunned by the detail and the amount of work involved,” he said.
Part of the work Hale does is making displays. He places mirrors under the car so you can see the details of the engine.
Cars are divided into different categories for competition. There is a section dedicated to lowriders of all shapes and sizes. Some cars come with displays that explain the process.
“Everyone here is obsessed,” Hale said. “You must have that. Otherwise you are not here.”
Hale competes across the country. He is happy that the mask mandates have been lifted and hopes this will bring more people to the Autorama.
But it’s the camaraderie that really gets his engine going.
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“There’s a small circle of people that we know are just as crazy as we are,” Hale said.