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“Mulholland Seedster” Awarded the Custom d’Elegance at the 67th annual Sacramento Autorama

Sacramento, Calif. (February, 2017) – The Sacramento Autorama, one of the world’s longest running indoor car shows, celebrated its 67th year and handed out over 400 individual awards during its closing ceremony on Sunday, February 19, 2017. The most prestigious of these awards were the “Custom d’Elegance” which was awarded to the “Mulholland Speedster” built by Hollywood Hot Rods, the “King of Kustoms” award which went to John D’Agostino, and the H.A Bagdasarian “World’s Most Beautiful Custom” award which was presented to the “Mulholland Speedster” built by Hollywood Hot Rods.

The 67th Annual Sacramento Autorama did not disappoint fans, living up to its reputation as the “Kustom Capital of the World” with over 650 of the finest custom vehicles on display for the 35,000 people in attendance.  The cars in attendance were the best in their categories which included everything from radical customs to motorcycles, trucks, hot rods, muscle cars, and street machines.  At the end of the weekend, the best of the best were recognized with one of the highly-coveted Sacramento Autorama trophies.

The most coveted award of the Sacramento Autorama was the “Custom d’Elegance” which was given to the best chopped, channeled and sectioned vehicle from 1935-1948 that embodied the true spirit of a classic custom. This year, Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hotrods beat out the other five contenders earning his spot alongside iconic customizers like Gene Winfield, Joe Bailon, George Barris, and John D’Agostino on the historic perpetual plaque as well as $2,000 in prize money. Troy Ladd’s car, a 1936 Packard called the “Mulholland Speedster” and owned by Bruce Wanta, not only stunned the crowds all weekend and got a lot of attention but is now also the only vehicle in history to win both the “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” and “Custom d’Elegance” titles.

The other highly sought-after award at the show was the “King of Kustoms,” which recognized the best 1935-1964 custom build with particular focus on bodylines, design, flow, and quality of workmanship. Along with those features the judges also considered the use of color, design of the paint, as well as the look of the interior with the outward appearance maintaining the true spirit of a classic custom. This year’s winner was John D’Agostino with his 1958 Packard named “Rita.”

“The best thing about the Sacramento Autorama is that it gives custom builders a place to show off their vision of how they feel these classics should have looked originally,” said John Buck, owner of Rod Shows and producer of the Sacramento Autorama.  “This year’s winners were shining examples of that. Troy Ladd’s history-making win as the first builder to ever win both the ‘Custom d’Elegance’ and ‘America’s Most Beautiful Roadster’ titles shows just how amazing his ‘Mullholland Speedster’ really is.”

In addition to the “Custom d’Elegance” and “King of Kustoms” awards, there were four more coveted awards given out known as the “Big B” awards.  The first, called “World’s Most Beautiful Custom,” was given out by show creator H.A. Bagdasarian’s family and was presented to their favorite custom from 1936 to present that featured a silhouette change, including a chop, channel, or section. The winner, who got their name enshrined on the eight-foot tall perpetual trophy and the $500 prize, was Troy Ladd and his 1936 Packard, the “Mullholland Speedster.”

The second “Big B” award, known as the “Sam Barris Memorial Award,” was picked by the Barris family for best metal work, alignment of body panels, and paint. This year the Barris family chose Troy Ladd with his 1936 Packard for the award. The Joe “Candy Apple Red” Bailon Award was designed, created, and handpicked by Joe Bailon who is known as one of the nation’s premier custom car designers and builders. This year the third “Big B” trophy and its $500 prize went to Joe and Carol Cusumano for their 1954 Mercury named “Tangerine On Ice.”

The Dick Bertolucci Automotive Excellence Award was the final “Big B” award of the event and was awarded to the vehicle manufactured before 1973 that Dick Bertolucci personally felt exhibited the best craftsmanship in assembly, fit and finish, and detail.  This year, it was Michael McAuliffe and his 1940 Ford Sedan called “The Second Time Around” which impressed Mr. Bertolucci enough to take home the trophy and $500 in prize money.

For more information about the Sacramento Autorama and for the full list of 2017 award winners, please visit

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