2015 Grand National Roadster Show

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.

Roadster Show-001

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.
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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.
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What a strange mélange. A 1950 Mercedes-Benz 170-S with a 4.3-liter Chevy V-6, 5-speed Tremec gearbox, Corvette rear end and a Corvette C-4 suspension.
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Not loved in the past, perhaps, but making a comeback with the roadster crowd, the Lincoln-Zephyr V-12.

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Called the Sun Seeker, a rare 1932 Ford Roadster Pickup finished in pearled silver.
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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.

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Larry Olson’s 1933 Ford Roadster won the 2015 America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award.
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The Pierson Brothers–Bob and Dick–had a famous 1934 Ford Coupe that raced on the dry lakes. This is their stock 1936 Ford three-window what was used as a tow car, but also raced.
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Called the “29er,” a Ford Model A roadster powered by a 355-cubic-inch Chevrolet V-8. Cars are displayed with mirrors on the floor so viewers can admire the undercarriage.
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Vintage road racers know the 1952 Kurtis 500, which was shown in the Handbuilt Sports Car class.
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A supercharged 1940 Ford belonging to longtime Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance judge, Ken Gross.

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Called the Rivet Roadster, this 1932 Ford has a Chrysler 392 Hemi and a Tremec 5-speed.
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Hollywood Hot Rods has created an homage to the 1936 Packard and calls it the Mulholland Speedster.
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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.
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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.

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