As I sit down to write this editorial it is the beginning of the indoor car show season, which is always fun. It's also my first chance of the year to see old friends and new cars. So why is this year any different? Well, for the first time in a long, long time, SoCal rodders are in for a special treat because the Grand National Roadster Show has migrated (although it's moved about on more than one occasion) from NorCal to SoCal (sorry, guys). For starters, as strange as it may sound, there just aren't any worthwhile indoor car shows in Southern California. It's true, the birthplace of all things fast on four wheels seems to have a hard time supporting the indoor shows. Of course, the locals are notorious for not supporting any indoor car show--that's why decades pass between promoters attempting to produce one.
The other day I was thinking about our move-in at the GNRS when I was overwhelmed by humanity (give me a moment, and I'll explain). The staff of SRM managed to come up with 11 of our own cars and projects to fill our first booth ever at this or any other indoor car show. The focal point of our booth: Tom McMullen's original roadster, which graced the cover of Hot Rod back in 1963 and, I might add, last month's SRM. I should take this moment to thank Roy Brizio (for restoring this piece of hot rodding history) and Jorge Zaragoza (the car's current owner) for allowing us to have it as part of our display.
So here I am, working away in my office when all of a sudden the human onslaught begins. About 20 rodders from the Minnesota Street Rod Association are in sunny SoCal and appear en masse, wandering into my office to say hello. For those of you thinking that my office is of palatial proportions, please note the photo--it isn't! After regaining my composure from sensory overload, it was fun to see their enthusiasm to be out here for "The Granddaddy of Them All," the 55th Annual Grand National Roadster Show. And why not, it is 0 degrees on a good day where they just came from and it is a sunny and very comfortable 74 degrees Fahrenheit where we are standing. And excited they should be, not only for the warmth of the sun, but also for what they are here to see.
Having "intimate" knowledge of the various exhibit buildings at the Fairplex in Pomona, this state-of-the-art facility is a natural for any indoor car show. (Oh yes, it is also the outdoor home of the L.A. Roadsters' annual Father's Day Swap Meet and Roadster Exhibition.) The GNRS has taken over buildings four, five, and six, which house some 250 rods, customs, and motorcycles. Building four is the main hall and five and six are the smaller adjoining buildings, in which can be found numerous varieties of rods, customs, cycles, and manufacturer booths. The really kool part is the food court (you just knew I couldn't get through an entire editorial without mentioning sustenance) that lies between the three buildings. Not only is it a great place to get a bite to eat, but it's also a super place to sit down with others rodders to talk about all of the great cars under the lights inside each of the three buildings.
As with any indoor car show, the attraction's far more than just a "car" show. Much was to be seen and experienced: live entertainment, beauty queens signing autographs, famous cars from various television shows, football cheerleaders, 55 years of GNRS history via the camera lens of James Handy, and the list goes on. It was a virtual smorgasbord for the eyes.
This may be the first GNRS held at the Fairplex, but here's hoping it will have as long and storied history in SoCal as it did in NorCal. It's now our turn to see if "we" can get the job done. Oh yes, there will be another show next year and you should call (877) 236-0632 or check out www.hotrodshows.com for more info!