Southfielders to show off hot rods at Autorama

By: Kayla Dimick, | Southfield Sun | Published February 7, 2017

SOUTHFIELD/DETROIT — The North American International Auto Show has come and gone, but Detroit’s “real auto show” is about to roll in.

In its 65th year, Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama is slated for Feb. 24-26 at Cobo Center, 1 Washington Blvd. in Detroit. The event will feature 800 hot rods and custom cars, with contributions from many local residents.

In honor of the milestone anniversary, 20 of the most notable cars ever seen at Autorama will be featured, including the Batmobile.

 Larry Harvey, of Southfield, stands with his 1967 Cadillac DeVille. Harvey plans on showing several cars at the event.

Larry Harvey, of Southfield, stands with his 1967 Cadillac DeVille. Harvey plans on showing several cars at the event.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley

Another famous car known for its stunts will kick off the show, organizers said.

“It has become sort of a tradition of having the ‘Dukes of Hazzard’ stunt show outside at 11:45 (a.m.), right before the doors open,” event spokesperson Linda Ashley said. “It will feature the flying General Lee — which is actually going to fly off the ramp and land. I’m told it’s all going to be in one piece when it lands. That tradition is an exciting way to open up the show.”

TV stars of “The Dukes of Hazzard” will be on hand to meet and greet audiences 1-5 p.m. Feb. 24 and 25, organizers said.

Other celebrities scheduled to be at the event are WWE’s AJ Styles; Danny “The Count” Koker, from TV’s “Counting Cars,” and his band, Count’s 77; Rick Harrison, from the History Channel’s “Pawn Stars”; and Skai Jackson, from Disney’s “Bunk’d and Jessie.”

Southfield resident Larry Harvey said he is bringing his white and orange 2017 Chevy Stingray to show off at the event, along with a green 1967 Chevrolet Cadillac convertible two-door coupe.  

Being a gearhead is a family affair, Harvey said, as he and his brother try to outdo each other when it comes to hot rods.

Harvey, who has been a car collector for over 25 years, said he got the Cadillac around 10 years ago in an attempt to show up his brother.

“My younger brother had a 1970 Lincoln Continental, and I just wanted to go one step above him,” Harvey joked.

Harvey worked at General Motors for 30 years before retiring around two years ago, he said.

“I’ve been working in the auto industry ever since I was 18 years old, and I’ve owned cars all my life,” Harvey said. “My younger brother was a big influence on me because he always — even as a kid — he was fascinated by cars. Along the way, he influenced me because he got into car clubs, so I got me a classic car and got into the car club as well. ... All my life I’ve been into cars in some way.”

Retired Ford engineer Jerry Brooks, of Southfield, will be showing off his orange 2015 Chevy Corvette at the show.

While some car collectors may get satisfaction from driving their cars, Brooks said he enjoys taking note of a vehicle’s aesthetics.

“I’m not too much into a lot of speed, even though I like the idea of a vehicle that looks like it could go fast,” Brooks said. “I’m more into the aesthetics. That’s what really caught me about this particular body style of Corvette.”

Autorama will run noon-10 p.m. Feb. 24, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Feb. 25 and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Feb. 26. Tickets cost $20 for adults and $7 for children 6-12 years old. Children 5 and younger are admitted for free. Discount tickets can be purchased at O’Reilly Auto Parts stores.

For more information, call (248) 373-1700 or visit autorama.com.