Photo Credit: Tom Jensen

Photo Credit: Tom Jensen

One of the most important and impressive components in Auction Company’s new collaboration with the car culture celebration in Reno Tahoe, Nev., is the creation of the Cup, a Hot Rod and custom prize designed to stand alongside such prestigious competitions as the Don Ridler Award and America’s Most Beautiful Roadster.

The inaugural Barrett-Jackson Cup will be awarded during this year’s Downtown Reno Show-n-Shine for Hot Rods, Street-Rods and custom , a key event in the 27th annual Hot August Nights. With a total prize purse of $40,000 plus a 430hp LS3 crate engine from Chevrolet Performance and including $20,000 for the car that earns the Ultimate Best of Show Award, the Cup has attracted the interest of top designers and builders from all over the nation.

“It’s pulling guys who have never come to Hot August Nights,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “It’s pulling the crème de les crème of the builders.”

Three of the most recognized names in the Hot Rod and custom car world – Bobby Alloway, Pete Chapouris and Bob Millard – have been enlisted as the judges for the Barrett-Jackson Cup, which elevates the competition’s national prestige and importance.

The judges were handpicked by veteran custom car builder and multiple-award winner Bob Johnson of Gainesville, Ga., who was approached by Hot August Nights’ leadership to choose the top experts in the industry to serve as the deliberating body for the competition.

“Anybody who knows anything about cars knows who these guys are,” Johnson said. “These guys, their credentials are impeccable. They will give the car show credibility.”

Alloway, owner of Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop in Louisville, Ind., and Pete Chapouris, owner of the famed SoCal Speed Shop of Pomona, Calif., are both top award winners in just about every major custom competition in the country, as well as being longtime judges for many of them.

“Between the two of them, there’s hardly any car that they wouldn’t understand,” Johnson said. “These guys know cars. They can walk up and critique a car so fast it would make your head spin. And if somebody whines about losing, Bobby’s not above going back and showing the guy just why he lost.”

Johnson selected Millard, the head of one of the nation’s top custom-car event organizations, the International Show Car Association (ISCA) of Auburn Hills, Mich., as the third judge.

“Millard has been running major, major car shows all over the country, including the Ridler and the Autorama in Detroit,” Johnson said. “Every major show in the country, he’s had a hand in, as far as the ISCA. He knows cars inside out.”

The judge selection was also made with an eye toward regional rivalry: “We have one East Coast guy and one West Coast guy. We don’t want to see any favoritism,” Johnson said with a chuckle.

The three noted experts jumped at the chance to take part in the new Barrett-Jackson Cup, he added. “It wasn’t like I had to do a whole lot of selling to get these guys involved. They all agreed and were happy to do it. They saw the potential with Barrett-Jackson being involved now.”

With its tempting cash prizes and top judges, the Barrett-Jackson Cup has attracted some strong competition from Hot Rod builders nationwide, he said, including past winners of other major awards who have committed to bring their cars to Hot August Nights.

“This is big,” Johnson said. “I really believe that in a few years, this show will outshine every show in the country. I’d say three years max.”

The Cup competition is being held in conjunction with the first-ever Hot August Nights Auction presented by Barrett-Jackson, happening at the Reno-Sparks Convention Center from August 8-10. Approximately 400 special vehicles are expected at this inaugural auction, Jackson said, with the bulk of them being sold at No Reserve, a signature feature of Barrett-Jackson auctions.

The competition for the Barrett-Jackson Cup began with daily awards for participants in the Downtown Reno Show-n-Shines starting Wednesday, Aug. 7, and will continue through Friday, Aug. 9. Fifteen daily Best of Show winners will receive a ribbon and an invitation to return for the Finals on Saturday, Aug. 10.

The 45 finalists will be staged from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday in the Downtown Reno Ballroom, where the top five will be selected and sent to the Barrett-Jackson auction for final judging. Once the Final Five have been judged, they will head back to downtown Reno to be shown on Virginia Street for the Awards Presentation with a fireworks display presented by the Silver Legacy Resort Casino.

The winner of Ultimate Best of Show and the inaugural Barrett-Jackson Cup will receive a $20,000 prize plus a LS3 Crate Engine donated by Chevrolet Performance. First Runner Up wins $10,000, Second Runner Up gets $6,000, Third Runner Up collects $3,000 and Fourth Runner Up takes home $1,000.

Steve Davis, president of Barrett-Jackson, said the Cup competition will take its place as “an incredible Barrett-Jackson signature event” that will create a focal point within Hot August Nights.

“Our goal is to create this show within a show that will be on par with the finest car shows in the world,” Davis said. “We’re raising the bar to top levels never been seen before except at world-class Street-Rod shows.”

The Downtown Reno Show-n-Shine is the result of collaboration between the Eldorado Hotel Casino, Silver Legacy Resort Casino, Circus Circus Hotel & Casino and Harrah’s Reno. The Barrett-Jackson Cup will be on display at the Hot August Nights’ headquarters at 1425 E. Greg Street in Sparks, Nev.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to create an award that will establish one of our participants as the Ultimate Best of Show in the country,” said Tony Marini, executive director of Hot August Nights. “This award is a prime example of how Barrett-Jackson has truly embraced the spirit of Hot August Nights, and we are thrilled to have them as part of this community-wide festival.”

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