In 1964, legendary car customizer and icon Darryl Starbird produced his First Annual Rod & Custom Car Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The event began as a moderate gathering of local and neighboring hot rod and custom builders to display their latest creations. Being Tulsa is located smack dab in the middle of the United States, the event soon proved to be a perfect gathering for enthusiasts from all corners of the USA. In what seemed to be no time, this Midwestern show from humble beginnings was rivaling the more publicized and established East and West Coast events. Now, almost 50 years later, Darryl Starbird’s Annual National Rod and Custom Car Show in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is still not only flourishing, but has established itself as one of the premier rod and custom car shows in the entire world! It currently is the largest indoor rod and custom car show in the country with over 1,000 vehicles covering a broad spectrum of innovation, tradition, performance and creativity from all walks of the automotive realm.Through its historic reign the show has provided family entertainment for millions of car crazy Americans.
As surprising as this next line may be, at the turn of the century Tulsa, Oklahoma, was the oil capital of the world. Because of its central location in the United States of America many of the largest oil companies and manufactures called T-Town home. Beyond that Tulsa’s central location was the ideal spot for the oil industry to hold its largest trade show. To accommodate all the booming black gold industrial machinery and companies, Tulsa erected the International Petroleum Exposition Center (now dubbed the River Spirit Expo at Expo Square) designed to hold all that the oil industry could throw at it—or in it!
What Tulsa ended up with is one of the largest clear span buildings in the world providing 448,400 square feet of column-free space under a cable-suspended roof. The building is designed with two levels, connected by side ramps and stairs, that allow for a variety of floor plans. Long story short, because of the massive size and open space the building offers not only the ideal platform for a state-of-the-art car show, but the addition of a plethora of entertainment and attractions. The Starbird Rod & Custom Car Show utilizes every square-foot of it, making it the largest indoor car show in the U.S.A!