Daniel Attalla’s 1970 Dodge Superbee will be featured in Autorama this year.

Daniel Attalla’s 1970 Dodge Superbee will be featured in Autorama this year.

Photo by David Hakim, provided by Daniel Attalla

Local car enthusiasts fired up about Autorama

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published February 20, 2024

 Louis Lyne’s 1967 Lincoln Continental will be displayed  alongside several other Lincolns at Autorama this year.

Louis Lyne’s 1967 Lincoln Continental will be displayed alongside several other Lincolns at Autorama this year.

Photo provided by Louis Lyne


GROSSE POINTES/DETROIT — Fans of superheroes and souped-up cars alike are excited about this year’s Meguiar’s Detroit Autorama.

The hot rod show — now in its 71st year — will roll into Huntington Place (formerly Cobo Hall) in downtown Detroit March 1-3 and will not only feature scores of special vehicles, but also five generations of Batmobiles from Batman movies and television, along with celebrities like Dee Snider, lead singer of the heavy metal band Twisted Sister, and Noel G from the “Fast & Furious” movie franchise.

“There are so many exciting features at this year’s edition of Autorama, that we can hardly wait to share all of it with the great auto enthusiasts of metro Detroit,” Peter Toundas, president and owner of Championship Auto Shows Inc., producer of Autorama, said in a press release. “Detroit’s Autorama was the first and is the most revered hot rod custom car show in the country, attracting enthusiasts from across North America. However, being that this is the motor city — we, of course, have the most knowledgeable, passionate and dedicated hot rod/custom car fans in the world. That’s why we look forward to their reaction to this year’s Autorama. We are so proud that the world of custom car shows started in Detroit and has grown to be the most important custom car/hot rod show in the nation.”

As in years past, several local residents will be on hand to show some of the vehicles they’ve lovingly restored and maintained.

Among them are Louis Lyne, of Grosse Pointe Farms, who’ll be displaying his white 1967 Lincoln Continental. It has what are called “suicide doors” and is a four-door convertible, “which is very rare,” Lyne said.

Lyne is a member of the Detroit Lincoln Group, an organization of fellow Lincoln owners and collectors who gather to talk about their Lincolns and swap tips about maintaining the beautiful but notoriously finicky vehicles, which he said were “very overengineered.”

“We’re a little bit like a self-help group,” Lyne quipped.

This year, Lyne and fellow Detroit Lincoln Group members will be showing about 18 different Lincoln models at Autorama.

“They’re going to be lined up nose to tail,” Lyne explained.

He acquired his Continental — which Lyne said is “quite glamorous looking” — in 2004, but it needed a lot of work and was in the repair shop for several years.

“I’ve always liked that car,” Lyne said. “It’s been in a lot of movies.”

Among its on-screen appearances have been “The Matrix” and the TV series “Entourage,” Lyne said.

He said the convertible’s retractable roof goes into the trunk. Unless, of course, it decides to be uncooperative.

“It’s always a work in progress,” said Lyne, who had his Continental reupholstered last year and is showing it at Autorama for the first time this year.

The convertible — which has about 4 miles of electric cords inside it and weighs about 6,000 pounds — was ahead of its time in many ways, featuring things that weren’t common at that time, such as power steering and power seats. Despite its quirks, Lyne does drive it around town when the weather is nice, so Lake Shore Road/Jefferson Avenue motorists may have seen him tooling around town in it.

“I drive it all summer if I can,” Lyne said in his lilting British accent, which he has retained despite living in America for the last several decades — he’s been in Michigan since 2002. “I jump in it every time there’s a hint of sunshine.”

Also showing a unique vehicle is Daniel Attalla, of Grosse Pointe Woods, whose black 1970 Dodge Superbee will be featured. Attalla, a Mopar collector, has about 11 vehicles, of which the Superbee is one. Besides being a rare color for that vehicle and era, he said his is one of only four such coupe versions produced and is believed to be the only one left in existence.

“I drive it sparingly,” Attalla said. “It’s completely original. It’s been restored to factory specifications.”

Attalla has won honors for some of his vehicles, including a People’s Choice Award during the 2021 EyesOn Design car show at the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores for his 1970 Plymouth Superbird, and first place the same year at EyesOn Design for a Plymouth Sport Fury GT.

“Dodge and Plymouth did a lot of cool stuff in the 1970s,” Attalla said. “It was the height of the muscle car era.”

He’s had the Superbee for about six years.

“It’s strictly meant to go fast,” Attalla said of his “very sinister-looking” car. “I’m excited to show it.”

He said these vehicles aren’t for the faint of heart. Attalla said his Superbee is “a real hemi car from the factory.”

“I like the history and the rarity of them,” Attalla said. “Just to get in, pump the gas. You can’t tell people what the experience (of driving them) is — you have to get in.”

In addition to Lyne and Attalla, Grosse Pointe Park resident Howard Kay is scheduled to bring his yellow 1973 Ford Mustang convertible and his red 1972 Ford Mustang Mach 1.

Discount Autorama tickets are available from participating O’Reilly Auto Parts stores. For more information about Autorama, visit autorama.com.