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 Austin Kryta, 11, will bring his 2018 Stanley Quarter Midget N C Chassis to the Autorama show in Detroit this weekend.

Austin Kryta, 11, will bring his 2018 Stanley Quarter Midget N C Chassis to the Autorama show in Detroit this weekend.

Photo provided by John Kryta


Shelby residents to showcase vehicles at Autorama

By: Kara Szymanski | Shelby - Utica News | Published February 24, 2020

  Shelby Township residents John Kryta and his brother, James Kryta, will  showcase their custom-built 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge.

Shelby Township residents John Kryta and his brother, James Kryta, will showcase their custom-built 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge.

Photo provided by John Kryta

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Two Shelby Township residents are ready to strut their self-built vehicles at Autorama in Detroit this year.

In its 68th year, Detroit Autorama is returning to TCF Center, formerly known as Cobo Center, Feb. 28-March 1 to feature 800 hot rods, customs, trucks, motorcycles and more, all custom built by car enthusiasts.

Detroit Autorama is an annual event that brings fans up close to the vehicles that appear in hot rod and custom car magazines. The cars are brought to the show to compete for top awards in numerous classes.

John Kryta and his brother, James Kryta, will showcase their custom-built 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge. John is also head of the quarter midget race club for youngsters, in which his son, Austin Kryta, competes.

Austin Kryta will bring his 2018 Stanley Quarter Midget N C Chassis to Autorama. Michigan Midget Racing Association quarter midgets are race cars for kids that are 1/4 the size of a full-size midget race car.

“Autorama is a very big deal for our club. This is where we get to show off the cars and talk to new families that want to get into racing,” said John Kryta.

He said that he and his brother have successfully entered a vehicle in Autorama for many years.

“Every year for the last 20 years, we have put an award-winning car in the Autorama show,” said John Kryta.

John and his identical twin brother find and work on these cars together while competing with and sometimes against each other.

“Some years we have two cars in the show that are competing against each other. We do just about everything together — always have. In the past 15 years, we have built and restored many cars just to compete in the Autorama show. It is the highest award you can win in the area against some of the best cars in the country. While the Autorama is billed as the greatest hot rod show in the country, the largest class is the restored division that we show in, with several hundred restored classics. We have earned Best Restored of the Show many times and shoot for it every year,” said John Kryta.

He said that he and his brother don’t just make the vehicles for themselves; they also make vehicles for the customers of the business they both own.

“I don’t just build the cars for us; we build them for the customers that buy our parts. We together own Inline Tube; that is a restoration company that makes over 27,000 parts for the kind of cars we restore. We started out of a two-car garage in Fraser 25 years ago making a few parts for our cars. That led to making parts for friends and then on to customers. As we restored a car, we found everything that was worn out, broken or impossible to restore and started making those parts. Every year, we build a car to showcase all the parts we make and show the customer that with a little hard work and our parts, your project can be just like ours, and we are here to help with the parts,” he said.

John Kryta grew up going to a car show with his dad and his brother, and John dreamed of building the cars on display, like the custom-built 1969 Pontiac GTO Judge.

“I grew up in Buffalo, New York, and as a kid, my twin brother and I always begged my dad to take us to the show. Although that show was about 1/10th the size of the Detroit show, we walked around for hours dreaming of building models and someday the real cars,” he said.

After moving to Detroit in 1990 to attend the University of Detroit Mercy, John and his brother attended Detroit Autorama and dreamed of being a part of it.

“It took 10 years, but we entered two cars in the 2000 show and have had cars in the show every year since. We have many first-place awards, but the really special award is Best of Show-Restored, which we have earned 10 times. This award means you have left no bolt overlooked and have risen above all the restored cars in the show to be the best. This will be our 20th time in the show, and it is something that I bring my 11-year-old son to every year, and he enjoys it as much as we do,” he said.

Peter Toundas, the president and owner of Championship Auto Shows Inc., the producers of Autorama, said that Autorama is always looking for ways to bring in new and different vehicles.

“We are always striving to bring new excitement and to top ourselves every year at Detroit Autorama,” Toundas stated in a press release. “The idea of bringing the most famous hot rods of the 20th century to Autorama, together at one time, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Add to that, the movie cars from the Oscar-winning ‘Ford v Ferrari’ film, and this year’s Autorama is a dream come true for automotive enthusiasts.”

TCF Center is located at 1 Washington Blvd. in Detroit.

For more information, visit www.autorama.com.