HomeCar CultureCommentaryMulholland Speedster wins top prize at Sacramento Autorama

Mulholland Speedster wins top prize at Sacramento Autorama


The custom 1936 Packard racked up a number of top awards | Sacramento Autorama
The custom 1936 Packard racked up a number of awards at Autorama | Sacramento Autorama photos

The stunning Mulholland Speedster, a custom 1936 Packard roadster built to emulate the grand coachbuilt cars of the 1930s, has claimed its second top prize this year, winning Custom d’Elegance honors Sunday at the 67th annual Sacramento Autorama.

In January, the V12-powered Packard, built by Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hot Rods, claimed the honor of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster at the Grand National Roadster Show in Rancho Cucamonga, California. Ladd is the first builder to achieve both prestigious awards in a single year.

Another custom Packard, a 1958 roadster named Rita, also won a coveted award
Another custom Packard, a 1958 roadster named Rita, also won a coveted award

The Custom d’Elegance award is the pinnacle of more than 400 awards presented at Autorama and recognizes “the best chopped, channeled and sectioned vehicle from 1935-1948 that embodies the true spirit of a classic custom,” according to an Autorama news release.

“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.”

The Mulholland Speedster also won two other major awards at Autorama: World’s Most Beautiful Custom, which focuses on a complete custom build of a 1936 vehicle, and the Sam Barris Memorial Award, named for the brother of the famed customizer George Barris and recognizing the best metal work, alignment of body panels, and paint.

Another highly sought-after award at Sacramento is King of Kustoms, which recognizes “the best 1935-1964 custom build with particular focus on bodylines, design, flow and quality of workmanship.” That prize was won by John D’Agostino with his 1958 Packard named Rita.

The three-day Sacramento Autorama, held at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds, featured more than 650 top-drawer custom vehicles with an estimated 35,000 people attending. The cars competed in categories that included radical customs, motorcycles, trucks, hot rods, muscle cars and street machines.

For a full list of the 2017 award winners, visit the Autorama website.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and SPEED.com, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.

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