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  • Kevin German / The Sacramento Bee

    Spectators check out the classic car section of the Sacramento Autorama back in 2006.

  • Pete Murphy polishes the fins of a 1959 Cadillac in preparation before a previous year's opening of Autorama.

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    Where: Cal Expo, 1600 Exposition Blvd., Sacramento

    Hours: Noon to 8 p.m. today, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Trophy and award presentations begin at 4 p.m. Sunday.

    Cost: $20 for adults; $10 for children ages 6 to 12; free for children 5 and under when accompanied by adult. Parking is $10 on Cal Expo grounds. Pre-sale tickets are $18 for adults and $8 for children at participating O’Reilly Auto Parts stores.

    Information: Call (877) 763-7469; visit

64th Sacramento Autorama kicks off three-day run Friday at Cal Expo

Published: Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 - 10:19 pm
Last Modified: Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 - 10:50 am

Auto enthusiasts complain that, unlike in years past, many of today’s cars look pretty much alike. The profile of a contemporary sedan might be any one of five or six models, even to the trained eye. Many sport utility vehicles have similar exterior skin and sculpting.

That kind of motor vehicle sameness is not going to be a problem this weekend at Cal Expo in Sacramento.

The 64th Sacramento Autorama, featuring some of the West’s top automotive craftspersons and hundreds of colorful cars, kicks off its three-day run today.

This year’s theme is “Need for Speed,” and many displays on the grounds will be decorated to reflect that.

Billed as one of the longest-running indoor car shows in the world, this year’s event will spotlight more than 500 custom cars, hot rods, classics, motorcycles and specialty vehicles from across the nation. Those vehicles will compete for dozens of awards in various classifications.

Numerous awards – including the 8-foot-high H.A. Bagdasarian World’s Most Beautiful Custom Award – will be handed out at 4 p.m. Sunday.

Autorama was started by Sacramento businessman Harold Bagdasarian in 1950. While serving as president of the Capitol City Auto Club Thunderbolts, he talked club members into having a show to settle friendly arguments over the merits of their respective customized cars. The initial show had 22 entries at a downtown Sacramento auto dealership.

Show ownership has changed hands multiple times over the years. Rancho Cucamonga businessman John Buck took over in 2005 and now runs it and other automotive gatherings under the business name Rod Shows.

Read more articles by Mark Glover

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