A 1949 Buick owned by Cody Walls was awarded the show’s top honor, while Jeffrey Hess’s 1956 Oldsmobile was crowned West Coast Challenge Series Grand Champion
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (April 30, 2023) – The O’Reilly Auto Parts Sacramento Autorama, one of the world’s longest-running indoor car shows, closed out its 72nd annual event by recognizing some of the country’s finest custom cars with trophies and prizes on Sunday, April 30, at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds. Overall, the show hosted over 500 world-class custom vehicles and handed out more than 400 individual awards during its closing ceremony.
The show’s prestigious Custom d’Elegance award was presented to Cody Walls for his beautiful 1949 Buick Sedanette. This incredible custom sits 15 inches lower than the stock version and features spectacular gold paint, a chopped and sectioned body and custom taillights. The show’s most coveted award is given to the chopped, channeled or sectioned vehicle that best embodies the true spirit of a classic custom. Walls received $5,000 in prize money courtesy of ARP Fasteners.
New for 2023, the West Coast Challenge Car Show Series presented by ARP Fasteners crowned its first Grand Champion during the Sacramento Autorama. Jeffrey Hess was presented with the inaugural Best of the West award for his 1956 Oldsmobile, beating out 11 other vehicles that competed in at least three of four select car shows in California, Oregon and Washington. Hess received a $12,500 prize, while second- and third-place finishers Jerry Logan (1934 Ford Pickup) and Brent Scheider (1970 Chevelle) received $6,500 and $3,500, respectively.
“Each year, I am amazed by the depth of automotive history and innovation in Northern California,” said John Buck, owner of Rod Shows and producer of the Sacramento Autorama. “This year’s show highlighted some of the best rods and customs from around the country, and we were delighted to highlight the new West Coast Challenge Car Show Series. We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend, and I’m already excited for next year.”
Other significant awards included the four historic “Big B Awards.” Ray Poletti won the H.A. Bagdasarian World’s Most Beautiful Custom award for his 1940 Lincoln Zephyr three-window coupe. The trophy and its $500 prize are presented to a custom from 1936 to the present, as selected by the family of H.A. Bagdasarian.
The next “Big B Award” was the Sam Barris Memorial Award, named in honor of legendary custom car builder Sam Barris. The Barris family selected Jesse Orozco’s 1956 Chevrolet 210 Sedan as the car featuring the best metalwork, alignment of body panels and paint. Orozco earned a $500 prize for the win.
The Candy Apple Red Joe Bailon Award was designed and created by Bailon, one of the nation’s premier custom car designers and builders. This year, the award was presented to Mitch Kelly and his 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. Kelly received the award and a $500 prize.
The last of the “Big B Awards,” the Dick Bertolucci Automotive Excellence Award, was given to a vehicle manufactured before 1973 that the family of the late hot rod and custom builder Dick Bertolucci felt exhibited the best craftsmanship in assembly, fit, finish and detail. This year, the Bertolucci family selected a 1936 Ford Roadster built by Cesar Ruiz for the trophy and $500 in prize money.
For more information about the Sacramento Autorama, the complete list of 2023 award winners and updates on upcoming Rod Shows events, please visit www.rodshows.com/sa/.
About Rod Shows
Rod Shows produces the West Coast’s premier indoor hot rod and custom car shows, including the Grand National Roadster Show and the Sacramento Autorama. Its professional show management team sets the highest standards for top-quality competition and displays with every show and personally visits the country’s top automotive coachbuilders and events throughout the year, ensuring the Best of the Best participate in its events. For more information, visit www.rodshows.com.