Back With A Bang: Toronto’s Motorama Expo

It had been over 600 days since my last indoor car event.

Truthfully, it’d been that long since I’d attended any sort of indoor gathering. The feeling of doing something fairly regularly, then stopping cold turkey was odd, to say the least. I felt like half a Speedhunter; hunkered in my office relegated to mostly writing while waiting for the storm to pass over. But thankfully, the pause button is no longer depressed in Ontario and it’s finally time to get back to business.


With 50 years in its wake, Motorama is one of the longest-running events in the province. The last two years withstanding, it has always been hosted during the second week of March.


In 2022, it was postponed until late April due to frustrating moving goalposts related to Covid regulations.


I feel for the event the organisers; shifting an event is never an easy thing. Usually, the closer an indoor show gets to summer weather here in Canada, the less inclined people are included to commit to a three-day-long stationary outing.


But, with such a long drought between events, builders were more than ready to get back into the swing of things and showcase what they’ve been chipping away at for the past two years.

I’m not privy to numbers, but hosting the event later in the year may have actually helped draw more cars from certain demographics – particularly those that drive the cars they show.


A spring show usually doesn’t have to deal with salt or snow-covered roads – just a little rain. Thankfully cars are not made of sugar.


Plenty of builds looked absolutely ready for the cruising season ahead while others still need a bit of spit shine. This wild Harley-Davidson-powered Corvair trike had recently been dragged from hiding, waiting for a triumphant return to roadworthy knick.


I’m a sucker for any survivors and this bike made it quite remarkable.

No Two Halls The Same

With a show like Motorama you never really know what might be in the next aisle over.


Of course, I’ve said this all before, but I am saying it again to reaffirm that Motorama is still one of the most diverse shows to take place in Ontario.


Boasting four halls this year the show was a lot to cover, especially for someone coming off the bench after two years. Figuring out which direction to go with the coverage has caused a mildly concerning amount of smoke to pour from my ears.


But fret not, I have a plan to follow this post up with at least one more that touches on a few of my favourite builds.


I also need to provide a proper look at ‘Mayhem’, Motorama’s backroom dedicated specifically to hot rod kulture.


Oh, and there were a few low riders present too that deserve at least a little look.

Tank Life

However, before I draw this post to a close I suppose I should address the elephant in the header.


Unmissable from basically anywhere in the central hall was the ‘Sherminator’ – a 1980 GMC Sierra Grande perched upon a Madill Yarder chassis. Madill is a company that used Sherman tank components to build their tractor chassis, so while this build is perhaps more logging equipment than it is a tank, it’s more tank than it is a truck.


It is all operable from the cab due to some very ingenious engineering by the previous owner who used it as a workhorse for many years. Somewhere in that Mad Max-looking contraption is a 4-71T diesel motor backed by a custom 36-speed semi-automatic transmission.


The tank belongs to Filthy Rich of Deboss Garage, and Rich also brought his recently-refreshed and Caterpillar-powered Kenworth K100 truck. If you want to make a unique statement at a show, this is one way to do it.


There’s more to come from Motorama 2022, so stay tuned. It feels great to be back!

Dave Thomas
Instagram: stanceiseverythingcom



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A lot to like here, but the navy S15 (pic 3) is beautiful forbidden fruit for us in the U.S.



Yeah that's a nice ride! Just can't figure out why JDM people think God created JDM! OMG! My buddy thinks Honda is the greatest car EVER invented. Wanted to name his son
Honda...his wife said "divorce?" Do you guys really think JDM trumps GDM?(German Domestic Market?) Porsche is the greatest marque ever! Ferrari and Mercedes not far behind. I try to be open about all cars but JDM people are weird. I'm the same way with GDM just not as obnoxious. JDM seems like more for kids. GDM is for groanups. Turbo S Porsche vs. Godzilla. Bring it! Neighbor has a M8 Competition. 3 neighbors with E46 M3s. I've got a tuned/restored MKIII Jetta.


You're being pretty hypocritical in your views with GDM the same way others are with JDM haha It just comes down to people get overly excited and attached to the things they like or are passionate about. Someone may think the world of their Chevy, other may think its a piece of junk. Some may safe the Porsche 911 is just a fancy VW Bettle and that all Honda's are rice rockets lol. Just try to be open minded and know everyone thinks the world of the cars they like.


Please tell me there is an upcoming feature for the harley trique and that tank.


That Impala don't seem like a regular low-rider with that side exhaust.

And a RE-swapped Mini? Colour me intrigued. I hope it's one of those cars for your highlights post.


Good eye ;)


I'm not a modern truck guy, but classic are another thing. That International C-series in picture ten is a thing of beauty! Looked like a great eclectic event.

Richard Deboss

Remember if your not filthy your not rich!

Couldn't have chosen a better vehicle for the first picture


That silver mustang is absolutely awesome. So simple and clean but you just know it sounds awesome when fired up. Great article really enjoy seeing a wide range of cars.


Thanks for sharing, Dave! I lived in Toronto for nearly 15 years, and always enjoyed going to Motorama. Were you at the Autoshow when they did the Shelby pavilion? That was something else!

Not surprised the Sherminator hails from B.C. Love the bucket in the 14th pic. It's like you said: there's always a wide selection of cars at this event. Enjoyed part one, and am sure part two will be just as good.


Dave you need to do a feature on the Deboss Garage recently-refreshed and Caterpillar-powered Kenworth K100 truck

Peanutbutter Arbuckle

a corvair powered harley drag trike

that deserves an article to itself!!


Can't hate on nice Canadians so not putting anything down here, great job and go on with your maybe faithfully-retro selves but: this might be the first Speedhunters where the TRUCKS just make the cars INVISIBLE with how wild and well done they are. What a post...

Makes sense given being The North beyond The Wall (455holes are everywhere, but at least Canadian ones seem to keep to themselves and stay quiet, as they should) but despite Canada having paved/repaved/developed more into the 21st century, the trucks here show some awesome work, from the penny pinchers LS-dakota to the mini-semi rod to the shermanator (lol dude needs to watch American Pie to realize his name has a very different context to some). Even the slammed Gladiator isn't bad at all if parked next to a 1950's finned land battleship... If the interior is modded like a rolls, then a little-less slammed JL would make another perfect road trip beast.

Some Canadians ignorantly fan over 'Murica but if those wake up and realize they have a great identity for themselves to focus on and not let USA's rot infect them, there will be more incredible posts from there yet to come!

PS: Where's the utes?!? Australia loves em, why no for Canada?


StraightR. Are you suggesting Canadians and Aussies are similar folk, and our desire for utes should be synonymous? I often find it funny reading and/or listening to American's perception of us "Northern" neighbors. No shaming on Dave here, but this feature shows very little of our car culture and is more akin to a small meet at the local grocer.


What part of Canada are you from? I want to visit your local Grocer :)