During the weekend of January 17-19, the World of Wheels autorama cavalcade of customs swept into the Phoenix Civic Plaza as one of the stops on its 2003 tour. This World of Wheels event, called The 34th Annual Carquest World of Wheels, featured plenty of high-quality customs all parked indoors for a weekend of custom vehicle viewing open to the public. Not often do you get the high numbers of extremely high-quality vehicles in one place at one time like you do at a World of Wheels event. While the variety of customs on display was staggering, there wasn't a huge amount of any one type of vehicle on display, making those in attendance trip down memory lane one moment and check out a late- or new-model custom the next.

Special celebrity guests and their vehicles were also on hand for the event. Vern "Mini Me" Troyer from the Austin Powers movies was somewhere in the middle of a huge crowd signing autographs, but we never saw the diminutive actor. "Steve" Wilkos, the bald bouncer/bodyguard from the Jerry Springer television show, was also there, and no one could miss his large frame on a podium signing away. Chad Lindberg, the actor who played "Jesse" in The Fast and the Furious, sat near the RX-7 from the movie, signing autographs and answering questions. Not far from Chad, Troy Trepanier's creation, "Chicayne," built on a Biscayne platform, had a massive crowd around it all weekend.

The World of Wheels 2003 Show Series covers 18 states, including a stop in Canada, for a total of 23 show venues overall. For more information on the World of Wheels event tour, or for a schedule of events with more in-depth information, contact: Championship Auto Shows Inc., Dept. MT, 1765 Star Batt, Rochester Hills, MI 48309, (248) 293-1700, info@autorama.com, www.autorama.com.