|1954||1955||1966||Michigan Motor Show (1953)|
While most people associate the term “Motorama” with GM’s spectacular events and cars of the 1950′s, few remember that R.E. Petersen, founder of Hot Rod Magazine, consistently offered a different Motorama experience from 1950 to 1955. Petersen’s Los Angeles based Motoramas featured Bonneville cars, Drag cars, Hot Rods, Custom Cars, Motorcycles, and most importantly in 1951…the introduction of America’s first fiberglass cars.
The name of the event in Los Angeles changed in 1954 and 1955 – perhaps as a result of a challenge by GM given they had solidified their use of the “Motorama” name by 1953 (it had various names before this). In 1954 and 1955, Petersen called his event was called the “International Motor Revue”. The next “Petersen Motorama” was offered in 1966 and the name combined the two previous names – now it was called the “International Motorama”. This was the 7th and final showing of the Petersen Motorama experience.
In a recent conversation with Bill Burke (2009), Bill and his son Steve related that Petersen also held Motoramas in other parts of the country. Bill would know, he worked for Petersen and managed parts of the event from 1952 thru 1955 – and 1966. We’ve been looking for confirmation of the other Motoramas and we found our first “Petersen Motorama” that occurred outside of Los Angeles – the 1953 Michigan Motor Show. The program from this event is also shown here on our website.
We hope you enjoy the programs presented and are excited to share this information with each of you as a recognition of the outstanding job the gang at Petersen did on the Motorama shows of the 1950′s and 1960′s.