Sacramento Autorama Reveals 2023 Award Winners

The O’Reilly Auto Parts Sacramento Autorama closed out its 72nd annual event by recognizing some of the custom cars that received trophies at the event.

Overall, the show hosted over 500 world-class custom vehicles and handed out more than 400 individual awards during its closing ceremony.

The show’s Custom d’Elegance award was presented to Cody Walls for his 1949 Buick Sedanette. The vehicle sits 15 inches lower than the stock version and features gold paint, a chopped and sectioned body and custom taillights. The award is given to the chopped, channeled or sectioned vehicle that best embodies the true spirit of a classic custom, organizers said. Walls received $5,000 in prize money courtesy of ARP Fasteners.

New for 2023, the West Coast Challenge Car Show Series presented by ARP Fasteners crowned its first Grand Champion during the Sacramento Autorama. Jeffrey Hess was presented with the inaugural Best of the West award for his 1956 Oldsmobile, beating out 11 other vehicles that competed in at least three of four select car shows in California, Oregon and Washington. Hess received a $12,500 prize, while second- and third-place finishers Jerry Logan (1934 Ford Pickup) and Brent Scheider (1970 Chevelle) received $6,500 and $3,500, respectively.

“Each year, I am amazed by the depth of automotive history and innovation in Northern California,” said John Buck, owner of Rod Shows and producer of the Sacramento Autorama. “This year’s show highlighted some of the best rods and customs from around the country, and we were delighted to highlight the new West Coast Challenge Car Show Series. We couldn’t have asked for a better weekend, and I’m already excited for next year.”

Additionally, Ray Poletti won the H.A. Bagdasarian World’s Most Beautiful Custom award for his 1940 Lincoln Zephyr three-window coupe. The trophy and its $500 prize are presented to a custom from 1936 to the present, as selected by the family of H.A. Bagdasarian.

The Sam Barris Memorial Award, named in honor of legendary custom car builder Sam Barris and selected by the Barris family, went to Jesse Orozco’s 1956 Chevrolet 210 Sedan as the car featuring the best metalwork, alignment of body panels and paint. Orozco earned a $500 prize for the win.

The Candy Apple Red Joe Bailon Award was designed and created by Bailon, and was presented to Mitch Kelly and his 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air. Kelly received the award and a $500 prize.

The Dick Bertolucci Automotive Excellence Award is given to a vehicle manufactured before 1973 that the family of the late hot rod and custom builder Dick Bertolucci felt exhibited the best craftsmanship in assembly, fit, finish and detail. This year, the Bertolucci family selected a 1936 Ford Roadster built by Cesar Ruiz for the trophy and $500 in prize money.

Click here for a complete list of award winners.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at ahecht@cahabamedia.com.

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