Thursday, April 23, 2009

Grand National Roadster Show - 2009

Grand National Roadster Show - Custom Garage Magazine #5
Text & Photos by: Alex Maldonado (Transmission77)

2009 marked 60 years of “The Longest running indoor car show in the world”, The Grand National Roadster Show. Not even the crippled economy could keep die-hard car enthusiasts away from this hopped up extravaganza. It seemed that there was a place for everyone and everything. With thousands and thousands of sq.ft, the show was filled to capacity. In the main hall were all the heavy hitter’s, you had shops like Brizio's, SO-CAL Speed Shop, Jalopy Shop and Hot Rods & Hobbies. I was relieved to see that this year there wasn't an over abundance of "million dollar" rods. Instead, they were replaced with some seriously cool pieces, like Hot Rods & Hobbies 1950 Merc. This street machine was rocking a two-pound shift knob made of 100% silver. For all you die-hard traditionalist, there was Don Ferguson’s 1934 Coupe. This original 50's racer looked as good today as it did forty years ago when it made its runs at El Mirage. If that wasn’t enough, Bill NieKamp’s 1929 Model A Roadster was on display. Bill’s roadster won “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” back in 1950.

As I made my way through the rest of the hangers and the fairgrounds, I came to realize just how diverse this show is. Almost every genre of automotive culture was in attendance. There were Tri-Chevy’s, Muscle cars, Lowriders, Drag racers and of course, the low buck steel. This brings me to the Suede Palace, an old hanger set aside for all the homegrown customs and traditional hot rods. Two or three years ago, this hanger was more than enough space to house these hot rod deviants. Today, it is a different story there were hot rods and custom spilling out of the Suede Palace. There where as many cool cars outside as there where inside. Some of my favorite customs came from San Jose’s “Gambino Kustoms”. If you haven’t seen these rides check them out,

After three days I still didn't see it all. So many cars, so little time, especially when beer breaks lasted a few hours. By Sunday the show was reaching its end and the winners would be announced. This year’s AMBR (America’s Most Beautiful Roadster) went to Harry Willett’s and his ’32 Ford roadster. Honestly, it’s an amazing roadster but it’s just not my cup of tea. Most of us could have built our dream car for the money spent on the display alone. Pound for pound, the GNRS definitely did not disappoint. I had a chance to meet up with some friends, shake hands with a certain star from TV show LOST and to top it off I even spotted Tera Patrick walking around. There you have it, TV stars, porn stars and even rock stars; it doesn’t get much better than that.

View more pix: Grand National Roadster Show 2009

1 comment:

Chritian Mejia said...

Excellent job Alex. The actual print came out fantastic. I want a copy! Signed!