O'Reilly Auto Parts 'World of Wheels' kicks off in Rosemont

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Famed automotive announcer Doc Riley has been a fixture on the car scene for decades. He’s seen it all.

Riley is in town this weekend for a huge hotrod show in Rosemont, one of the biggest in the country, which is fitting because Chicago’s love affair with automobiles is about as big as it gets.

"Chicago is car country,” Riley said.

And it's been that way for over a century!

"The first organized road car race was here in Chicago,” he added.

The year was 1895 with a field of 6 cars, and the Chicago car culture has been growing ever since.

"Hotrods to Customs to Muscle cars to street machines,” Riley said.

If you name it, you can probably find it at the O'Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels. 

For Phil Becker and his wife, their car isn't about the build, it's about quality time.

"We have been traveling all over the country for years. Going from coast to coast, north to south and everywhere in between,” Becker said.

Not all of the over 500 cars at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center are over the top customs.

"Even some cars that go back in the day. They are stock, we call them survivors,” Riley said.

Riley says the Chicago stop is always special, and not because the city is so closely tied to automotive history, but because he gets to see that love of cars passed on from generation to generation, right before his eyes.

The 54th Annual O'Reilly Auto Parts World of Wheels opens up Saturday morning at 10. It runs through Sunday, and attendance over the three days is expected to be close to 100,000.