Many thanks to US-based journalist and author Tony Thacker for sending a preview of the above-titled car show to be held at the end of Janury 2022:
I am, of course, talking about the Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS) coming up on its 72nd year over the weekend of Jan 28-30 at Pomona, California. The show got its start in Oakland, California in 1950 when the first winner was Bill Neikamp’s street and lakes racing flathead-powered ’28 Ford Roadster on Essex rails. That car, which still exists at the Petersen Museum, would still be a winner today but in many ways we have come a long way in 70 years.
The show moved to its permanent home at the Fairplex, Pomona in 2004 and now attracts some 600 vehicles displayed in seven huge buildings. There are typically up to another 1,000 cars displayed outside depending upon the weather. It’s winter then and it has been known to rain but it’s a warm rain. Rain or shine, you’re going to see more than a 1,000 top-notch cars and rub shoulders with many of the builders. And some might even talk to you.
Scattered around the show cars are any number of manufacturer’s booths that display their latest builds and products. You can expect to see everybody from Brits such as Mick Jenkins of Mick’s Paint (Bldg. 6) to Mike Hermann of H and H Flatheads (outside Bldg. 7) and many many more.
A huge draw of the show remains the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) Award that typically attracts nine top class entries. And now, since 2020, there is the Al Slonaker Memorial Award sponsored by ARP Fasteners to the tune of $12,500 (as is the AMBR Award) for any car or truck not competing in the AMBR. Meanwhile, if you like a little rust on your ride there’s always the Suede Palace and the theme of Building #9 this year is Hot VWs of which there will be many famous hot VW drag cars.
Besides the stunning show you can also visit the Wally Parks Motorsports Museum that is adjacent to the show. However, there is a separate charge for the museum as it is not part of the GNRS. Also be careful when parking in front of the museum because that is Fairplex property, not the show’s and not the museum’s, and they can hit you pretty hard for the convenience. In the past, it has been $25 per car.
Within a few minutes drive of the Fairplex there are a number of shops that often have open houses or at least let you look around. They include the Early Ford Store in San Dimas, The Kennedy Bros., the Veazie Bros., Mick’s Paint and Walden Speed Shop are all within a stone’s throw in Pomona while Schrader’s is just a few miles west in Azusa.
Further afield are the John Force Race Shop, Yorba Linda; The Lions museum, Wilmington; The Justice Bros. Museum, Duarte; the Petersen, Los Angeles and the new Segerstrom Shelby Event Center in Orange County. Obviously, check their web sites for opening times, prices, etc.
If you want to get out of the cold and enjoy a long weekend in sunny southern California maybe the Granddaddy is for you. The dates for 2022 are Jan 28-30 and for more info go to RodShows.com. Incidentally, the WinterNationals are Feb 17-20 likewise at the Fairplex Pomona so maybe you can hit both.