2014 Detroit Autorama Ridler Award Preview

2014 Ridler Award Winner, 1964 Rivision

Ridler Award Goes to 1964 Rivision Buick Riviera …

And the winner of the 2014 Detroit Autorama Ridler Award is … the 1964 Rivision a Buick Riviera Custom built by owner and builder J.F. Launier of British Columbia, Canada. When the announcement was made the crowd at Cobo Hall’s Grand Ballroom exploded as a large contingent of Canadians had made the trek here to Detroit to show support for Launier and his gorgeous custom Rivision. Launier’s long pursuit of the Ridler Award had come to a successful conclusion.

J.F. Launier is the owner of JF Kustoms in Osoyoos, British Columbia, Canada. He is coming into his prime as a custom car designer and builder. He had in the recent past had three other client owned cars make it to the Great 8. This time he said he pulled out all the stops to build his own car. In his acceptance speech he referred to being an launier-ridler-winner“owner/builder” and referenced that it had been a long time since an “owner/builder” had won the Ridler Award. Launier had invested $300,000 in parts and materials and 20,000 hours of labor to complete this car. His Rivision had an all hand fabricated metal body that replicated a 1964 Buick Riviera. Buick’s Riviera was limited by production costs. J.F., who says he has been fascinated by Buick’s early Riviera since his childhood,  decided to build his Rivision “to be something between a Ferrari and a Rolls-Royce,” he said. 

Launier was also awarded the Builders Trophy at the 2014 Detroit Autorama. Each year, in addition to the Ridler Award, they also give out a trophy for the best custom car builder. Launier’s 1964 Rivision so impressed the judges that he also won the Builders Award this year. In the photo he can be seen hoisting both trophies. He designed his custom Buick Riviera to be a road racer and that is what he intends to do with the 1964 Rivision … race it. He believes the twin turbo setup that he improvised on this car will give him a competitive advantage in road racing.   Click here for more detailed information about the 1964 Rivision, this year’s Ridler Award winner.

Another chapter of the 2014 Detroit Autorama Ridler Award was written here on Sunday as this year’s Ridler winner has been chosen. The Ridler Award is the most coveted honor in the custom car hobby.  

Eight custom cars were chosen out of 38 cars entered in the Ridler Award competition here at Cobo Center. These constitute the Great 8, the name given to the group of eight finalists. By definition of the rules they all had to be fresh builds, never shown anywhere before, all hoping to capture the Ridler Award, considered the highest achievement in the custom car building hobby. 

Below we have listed all of the Great 8 cars including the 1964 Rivision. Click the link below each photo to see more pictures and details about the car. Be sure to go to our Facebook page where you can see which car our readers picked as the top car for the Ridler Award.

1956 Chevy 210 Post

One of the cars chosen to the Great 8 is a 1956 Chevy 210 Post brought to the show by Dan Duffy of Marietta, Georgia. The car was chosen from the Radical Hardtop category. This the first time Dan has brought a car to the Detroit Autorama to compete for the Ridler Award Great 8. In fact, it is the first car he has had built for competition. Nice start. Click here for more photos and background info.


1969 Camaro Pro Touring

Brian and Gianna Ganos brought their 1969 Camaro RS/SS Pro Touring car to the 2014 Detroit Autorama. And now they have won a spot in the Great 8. Brian told us the paint was done by Charley Hutton, veteran custom car painter who has done many Ridler Award winners. It was entered in the Street Touring category for 1968 to the Present. Click here to view more photos and history of the build on this Camaro Pro Touring.


1967 Chevy Nova

Pretty radical design and build here. Steve Tornari from Parkland, had this car designed, constructed and assembled by Miranda Built in Palm City, Florida. He said he has been on the edge all week.  They just completed the build on Tuesday, packed it in the trailer and hoped for the best. It has been chosen to compete in the Great 8. Click here for more photos and history on this popular Pro Touring Nova.


1964 Rivision

The 1964 Rivision is the brainchild of J.F. Launier from British Columbia, Canada. He and his entourage were working on getting this 1964 Buick Riviera Custom which he calls Rivision, ready to show. They have invested $300,000 and countless hours of work into bringing this “vision” to life. It has been chosen to compete in the Ridler Award Great 8. Click this link to view more photos and read our detailed report on the build. 


1957 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop

Another first time contender, John Sadler, brought his 1957 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop to the Detroit Autorama to compete as a Radical Hardtop. The total car is a redesign from what the original ’57 was. So it was chosen to the Ridler Award Great 8.  Click this link to see more photos and learn more about the ’57 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop.


1933 Ford Sedan Delivery

Albert Seese of Lee’s Summit, Missouri brought his 1933 Ford Sedan Delivery to the Detroit Autorama. His car has advanced to the Ridler Award Great 8. It was entered as an Altered Street Delivery – Pre-1935. Click here to view more photos and read the background history on the Sedan Delivery.


1933 Ford 5-Window Coupe

This is a 1933 Ford 5-Window Coupe was entered in the competition at the Detroit Autorama 2014. Rocky Roler of Southampton, New York has it in the Altered Street Coupe Pre-1935 category. It has been chosen for the Ridler Award Great 8. Click here to view more photos and read about the build.


1932 Ford Sedan

Don Smith of Mansfield, Texas has his 1932 Ford 4-Door Sedan in the Altered Street Sedan Pre-1935 category. His car is a strong candidate for the top honors, and has made its way into the Ridler Award Great 8. Click here to get more photos and history on this incredible old school custom hot rod.

Cars On Line.com readers will have  chance to vote for their favorites among the Ridler Award Great 8. We will post each car  to our Facebook page. Fans can vote with their “Likes” for each of the Great 8 finalists. Let’s see who is the “peoples choice” to win the Ridler Award.

The 62nd Annual 2014 Detroit Autorama,  granddaddy of all custom car shows opened this weekend at the Cobo Center in downtown Detroit. The Ridler Award, the most coveted award in the custom car hobby, was announced here on Sunday. You could cut the tension with a knife as the owners of those eight cars waited for the final announcement in the Grand Ballroom Sunday night.

The Don Ridler Memorial trophy is always awarded here at the Detroit Autorama. This will be the 51st annual award. The 2014 Detroit Autorama was held in the Cobo Center, a famous venue along the Detroit riverfront, March 7-9, 2014. The 2014 Detroit Autorama is sponsored by the Michigan Street Rod Association. Don Ridler was a tireless promoter for the Michigan Street Rod Association. The Ridler Award is in memory of his contributions. 


Last Year’s Ridler Award Winner

The now famous 1940 Ford Coupe named “Checkered Past” by Ron and Deb Cizek of Nebraska, is now on display here. Cars On Line.com newsletter readers will remember last year’s exciting competition when we were there for the announcement of the Ridler Award in the ballroom at Detroit’s Cobo Hall. (Click here for an update on last year’s Ridler Award winner.) Cizek’s 1940 Ford Coupe toured the country this past year and appeared at many of the high profile car shows. Cizek’s company, Cal Creations, has campaigned the car at Goodguys in Columbus, Ohio where it won Street Rod of the Year. Here are a few of the photos we took of “Checkered Past.”

1940 Ford Coupe "Checkered Past"

1940-ford-2 1940 Ford Coupe "Checkered Past" 1940 Ford Coupe "Checkered Past" 1940 Ford Coupe "Checkered Past"

 Stay tuned for more information on the 2014 Detroit Autorama.  We will have fresh updates on the incredible custom cars at the show.

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4 Responses to 2014 Detroit Autorama Ridler Award Preview

  1. Dennis Lasko March 13, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    At this pass 2014 Detroit autorama one from PA that had a look like Cord front end, white conv top 1946 Dodge int/panel Dash, wire wheels with Buick parking lights on the front fenders. The color was kinda candy red. I can’t think of why no one took a picture of cool car. Someone should take pictures of the cars for record and people can go wet to view the cars & trucks.If by the way you know place to see all the cars & trucks of the 2014 Detroit Autorama please let me know by email. THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME. Dennis L peeteepapa@wowway.com


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