What a contrast on one weekend. While Revs in Florida was feasting on Ferraris and Bugattis, Revs in California was having a hot dog at the Grand National Roadster Show.
Roadster is an all-encompassing term here because what was being displayed in the many showrooms at California’s Pomona Fairgrounds varied from ground-hugging low riders to Radical Custom Hardtops to a hall filled with 1940 Fords.
While the Roadster show has been in several different venues, it has been around since 1950, just like the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. You may have never heard of the heroes of the roadster show, like Blackie Gejeian, LeRoi “Tex” Smith or Boyd Coddington, but there are also familiar concours faces at the show. Bruce Meyer, a many-time entrant at Pebble Beach, has the show’s Hot Rod Preservation Perpetual Trophy in his name. Bruce Canepa, a major competitor at the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, won his class in 2015 at Pomona with a 1932 4-door Ford powered by a Gurney Weslake V-8.
There’s something else Pebble Beach and the Grand National Roadster Show have in common. Automobies with extrordinay workmanship.
So low and sleek with a bit of low rider, a 1968 Buick Riviera done by John D’Agostino Customs in Discovery Bay, California. Its name is The Pantheon.
We thought Monza, Italy was only famous for its race track, but it’s also the home of Lorenzo di Dossena who brought a 1959 Cadillac Custom Hardtop to Pomona from Italy. And does it honor Enzo? No, it’s named for Elvis.
A 1930 Ford Sedan so chopped and channeled. It was originally built in Nagoya, Japan in a hot rod shop called Paradise Road and for some reason has the name Rod-riquez. The engine is a 1949 Olds Rocket V-8.
Not loved in the past, perhaps, but making a comeback with the roadster crowd, the Lincoln-Zephyr V-12.
The Best of Britain? A 1948 MG TC powered by a Daimler SP250 2.5-liter V-8 topped by a supercharger and backed by a 5-speed gearbox with overdrive.
A supercharged 1940 Ford belonging to longtime Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance judge, Ken Gross.
Named Aquarius, James Hetfield’s and Rick Dore’s creation emulates the 1938 Delahaye Type 165 by Figoni & Falaschi in the Mullin Museum. Aquarius is owned by James Hetfield of the rock group Metallica.
An entrant in the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster class, a 1927 Ford Roadster with a steel body and power from a small-block Chevrolet V-8.