Toronto’s Motorama custom car show is back with a whole new set of attractions, including celebrity appearances, award-winning cars and even some real-time hot rodding happening right on the show floor.
For years, the International Centre in Toronto has been home to a mid-March custom car show—for a while it was called the Motion Custom Car Show, then Performance World, then MegaSpeed. After a stellar show last year, the team is bringing the event back under the banner of the Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo presented by Mothers.
Close to 25,000 hot rod and motorsports enthusiasts passed through the doors in 2015, and this year Motorama plans to pack ‘em in by offering even more—they’re filling up another two halls in the International Centre, in fact.
Hot rod celebrities at the show this year include Steve Darnell, owner of Las Vegas’ WelderUp rat rod shop and star of Vegas Rat Rods; and, on Saturday, ZZ Top frontman Billy Gibbons and legendary hot rod builder Jimmy Shine.
There’ll also be actual hot rodding going on in real time on the show floor, as the Ontario-based Lead Kings Car Club performs a top chop on a 16-year-old enthusiast’s four-door ’50 Pontiac, for free, in a mock garage over the show’s three days (thank Lincoln Electric for the welding machines).
If hot rods aren’t quite your thing, this year also marks the debut of the Spring Fever tuner and modified car show that’ll be built into the larger Motorama event, featuring cars from across Ontario, Quebec and New York.
Motorama will again have a special KARS Expo section full of performance parts vendors, some of whom will be bringing some interesting eye candy to draw people to their booth. The highlight will almost definitely be the Canadian-owned and Chip Foose-designed and -built “Impostor,” winner of the 2015 Ridler Award, hot rodding’s most prestigious accolade.
With all this and more – not to mention a whole other set of draws for motorsports enthusiasts, like an autograph session with NASCAR’s Bobby Allison – the Motorama really seems to have built up some momentum. With luck, Toronto’s mid-March custom show may finally have found a permanent team of organizers running it, with a real sense of what Canadian car enthusiasts want to see.
The Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo presented by Mothers runs March 11th through 13th at the International Centre in Toronto, near Pearson Airport. Adult tickets are $20 per day or $50 for a three-day pass.