Dale Mazure, of Royal Oak, poses in his garage Feb. 14 with the first-place trophy he won from Autorama in 2013 for his 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air in the “restored 1949-1957” category.

Dale Mazure, of Royal Oak, poses in his garage Feb. 14 with the first-place trophy he won from Autorama in 2013 for his 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air in the “restored 1949-1957” category.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Royal Oak residents to represent at Autorama

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published February 21, 2018

 Mazure, a retired General Motors engineer, will bring his restored 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air to Autorama March 2-4.

Mazure, a retired General Motors engineer, will bring his restored 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air to Autorama March 2-4.

Photo by Deb Jacques

 Grosse Pointe resident Keith Echols’ Chevrolet Caprice — customized by Royal Oak resident Murray Pfaff — will appear in The D Lot at Autorama March 2-4.

Grosse Pointe resident Keith Echols’ Chevrolet Caprice — customized by Royal Oak resident Murray Pfaff — will appear in The D Lot at Autorama March 2-4.

Photo provided by Murray Pfaff

 Frankenmuth resident Jeff Monchilov’s Corvette roadster —  customized by Royal Oak resident Murray Pfaff — will appear in The D Lot at Autorama March 2-4.

Frankenmuth resident Jeff Monchilov’s Corvette roadster — customized by Royal Oak resident Murray Pfaff — will appear in The D Lot at Autorama March 2-4.

Photo provided by Murray Pfaff

ROYAL OAK — With Woodward Avenue running right through Royal Oak, it’s no surprise that the city’s residents will make their presence known at the 66th Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama at Cobo Center March 2-4. 

Dale Mazure, 76, will bring his 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air in “matador red,” and custom hot rod designer Murray Pfaff, 50, will put on his own 6,000-square-foot display featuring seven cars that he customized.

Mazure — an interior trim engineer who retired from General Motors and who is a United Street Machine Association car club member — said he became interested in cars in high school. He said he purchased the Bel Air, classified as a restored original, two decades ago.

“I had the engine compartment restored to look original, and had a little body work done to it — some new chrome and new stainless steel,” he said. “It’s always been a real good looking car.”

He said he enjoys taking the Bel Air to local car shows when the weather is pleasant. He stores it in his garage the rest of the time.

“People in their 70s like to see the car the way it looked back in 1957,” Mazure said. “The color itself stands out, because the matador red is kind of an orange red, not a fire engine red, but kind of in between, and it just attracts your eye.”

Mazure and Pfaff both like Autorama because of the wide variety of vehicles, from local hobbyists’ pet projects to nationally acclaimed show stealers.

Pfaff said he has worked on custom hot rods since he was a teenager, and he opened Pfaff Designs out of his garage 15 years ago.

“I started out as a hobbyist doing it for fun, then I started doing it for other builders across the country,” he said. “It evolved from there, and now it’s my full-time gig.”

Pfaff has shown vehicles at Autorama the last eight years.

His display, called The D Lot, will include six Chevrolets and a Ford from around the country, he said. Over the last four years, he said, he has partnered with Forgotten Harvest to raffle off donated gearhead prizes and to provide more than 100,000 meals in southeast Michigan.

More than 800 hot rods, custom cars, trucks and motorcycles from across the country will be on display during the event.

“This year, hosting Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the famous ‘Fate of the Furious’ movie cars, along with all of our features, makes the Detroit Autorama 2018 a show that no one will want to miss,” Peter A. Toundas, president and owner of Championship Auto Shows Inc., which produces Autorama, said in a prepared statement. 

“It’s extremely gratifying that Detroit Autorama is the home of America’s most important hot rod award,” Toundas said in the statement. “This is the Motor City, and Detroit is where hot rod custom car shows started, so we make every effort to let everyone know about this important heritage.”

A highlight of the show is the presentation of the Ridler Award, which is given to the most outstanding new custom car shown for the first time anywhere.

The award was named after Don Ridler, the first promoter of the show. 

This year’s Autorama will feature a special exhibit of five of the land speed record-breaking speedsters that have run on the famous Bonneville Salt Flats, including the 2017 record-breaking gold Speed Demon. In 2017, Speed Demon claimed the Speed Week trophy for the seventh consecutive year, with a 438.643 mph pass on the Salt Flats.

Autorama will kick off with the live, outdoor Rolling Towering Inferno Flame Throwing Fest, in which two cars and a super truck shoot flames at 11:45 a.m. March 2 in front of Cobo Center, on Jefferson Avenue. 

The Motor City Mavens’ 2018 Auto Art Panel Jam and Charity Auction, benefiting Leader Dogs for the Blind, will be presented by 101 WRIF radio. More than 200 pinstripers from across the country will be in Detroit during all three days of Autorama to apply their artistry to items of every type. 

Autorama will be held noon-10 p.m. March 2, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. March 3 and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. March 4 at Cobo Center. Autorama is hosted by the Michigan Hot Rod Association.

Admission costs $20 for adults, $7 for children ages 6-12, and is free for children younger than 5. Discount tickets are available at O’Reilly Auto Parts. For more information and for celebrity appearance details, call (248) 373-1700 or go to www.autorama.com.