By Jeff Sanford
Toronto, Ontario -- March 22, 2016 -- This year's Motorama Custom Car & Motorsports Expo wrapped up recently at the International Centre in Toronto, Ontario. The event was another great success, according to the founder and President of Ink & Iron Automotive, Hilary Noack.
“It was really good. It was a good crowd and busy. There were people from all walks of life,” said Noack in a recent interview with Collision Repair magazine. “Saturday was the busiest day. I don’t if you watch the television show Walking Dead, but that’s what it seemed like. The crowds of people just kept coming,” she says.
This year was the first time Ink & Iron had its own booth. They brought in a '55 Bel Air they had worked on in the summer and a wide body 300Z. “We had an import and an older car,” she says, noting that it was interesting to watch the crowd's reaction. “You'd see the old-timers around the Bell Air and then the younger guys around the 300.”
Ink & Iron seems to be the first all-female auto body shop in Canada, and many in the crowd appreciated that fact. “We got to meet a bunch of cool ladies. People would come up to us and say, 'I'm a female welder.' It was great,” says Noack.
This year's show was presented by Mothers Car Care Products. Builders like Gene Winfield, Jimmy Shine, and Canadian builder Jeff Norwell were on hand. There were rat rods, street tuners, hot rods, lead sleds, gassers, blown engines and every other kind of customization. Billy Gibbons from the band ZZ Top was also on hand. Hundreds of tech school students swarmed the show floor on the first day. The NASCAR Pinty’s series booth racer Alex Labbé and his car were present. So was racecar driver Bobby Allison. Also on hand was The Imposter, the Chip Foose-designed winner of last year's prestigious Ridler award.
“That car was really cool,” said Noack. The Ink & Iron crew hopes the time spent behind the booth will generate some business in the year ahead. “We had a couple of people inquire. We handed out a lot of cards. We'll see. This is the time of year when people begin thinking about getting their car fixed. Spring is coming. Hopefully there were some local people who will come around,” said Noack.
The show was divided into two main areas, the classic room and the tuner room. Yep, tuner culture is definitely still going, even it has downshifted a bit since its heyday.
“It has downsized a lot. It used to be like a nightclub in there, with the low lights and loud music. They don't have that. But they’re still there,” says Noack. “It seems the big thing now are those big bolt on looking flares and fake rivet stickers on the body. A lot of the cars also had the negative cambering of the wheels.”
What were some of the other trends this year? “There seems to be a shift to wider bodies. Going wide seems to be a thing,” says Noack. When it came to colours, “Blue was really common. There were some really nice blues. That seemed big this year.”