2018 Grand Na­tional Road­ster Show

Seven Decades of Amer­ica’s Most Beau­ti­ful Road­ster ... and More

Street Rodder - - CONTENTS -

You know how Jan­uary is typ­i­cally “the start of the in­door show sea­son”? (Re­ally, it’s the start of most things that cor­re­spond to our cal­en­dar sys­tem …) But this is Cal­i­for­nia, and un­like most other states, there re­ally isn’t a win­ter or in­door car show sea­son, per se—we just have car shows year ’round, and some just hap­pen to be held in­doors … mostly. It is what it is, and Jan­uary is the be­gin­ning of the 2018 car show sea­son, which kicks off at the Fair­plex in Pomona with the 69th An­nual Grand Na­tional Road­ster Show. And … it’s usu­ally when the area gets its ini­tial dose of in­clement weather, a fac­tor bet­ter suited for events held in­doors.

I’ve been go­ing to this gala gig (which some re­fer to sim­ply as The Road­ster Show, of­ten con­fus­ing it with the L.A. Road­sters event, but we’ll go with GNRS for short) for many years—from its fi­nal ex­hibit at the Oak­land Coli­seum, its brief stints in San Fran­cisco and San Ma­teo, to its in­au­gu­ral So­Cal show­ing here in Pomona where it’s much eas­ier to get to for folks like me (sorry NorCal). But de­spite the venue/ge­o­graph­i­cal and pro­moter changes, some things will never change—the aura sur­round­ing the GNRS that not only draws peo­ple from far and wide, but does so in a very spir­i­tu­ally com­mu­nal way. An an­nual re­union of rod­ders, if you will, it’s the one show where four days barely gives you enough time to see ev­ery­thing—and ev­ery­one. The “fea­ture” as­pect of the GNRS that has re­mained the same since it was first be­stowed upon a South­ern Cal­i­for­nian by the name of Bill Neikamp in 1950 is the cher­ished Amer­ica’s Most Beau­ti­ful Road­ster award ac­com­pa­nied by the now-fa­mous 9-foot tro­phy that show founder Al Slon­aker orig­i­nally had cre­ated as po­ten­tial bait to lure in road­ster own­ers

from down south. Don’t imag­ine Slon­aker ever imag­ined his scheme would do the ex­act op­po­site, but he oughtta be real pleased to see how the show’s grown to be­come the “long­est run­ning in­door car show in the world.”

This year’s AMBR hon­ors went to the Martin Spe­cial, the '31 Ford road­ster un­der­taken by Hot Rods & Hob­bies for its name­sake owner, Dave Martin. A def­i­nite crowd fa­vorite, the an­tic­i­pated restora­tion de­but of the Ed­die Dye '29 Ford road­ster by Cir­cle City Hot Rods and owned by Tom Bobowksi was given the Bruce Meyer Hot Rod Preser­va­tion Tro­phy.

I will ad­mit there was one slight dif­fer­ence at this year’s event—the in­clement weather that’s usu­ally fac­tored in, well, it ap­par­ently de­cided to take the week off and spend some time back east. Pomona Valley and its sur­round­ing ar­eas be­low the foothills of the San Gabriel Moun­tains were clear, dry, and un­sea­son­ably warm—al­beit a bit windy come Sun­day when the

69th (or is it the 70th?!) edi­tion of the Grand Na­tional Road­ster Show came to a suc­cess­ful end with the tra­di­tional clos­ing of the awards cer­e­mony.

For more pho­tos visit: https://bit.ly/2DXAKCq

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