There are indoor shows in a variety of markets every winter across the country, but then there are shows everyone places on their travel calendar, doing everything in their power not to miss 'em. The granddaddies like Detroit, Pomona, and Blackie's in Fresno are consistently on the schedule of all the prime-time players. Another stop, better known as the Boise Roadster Show, has continued to climb in stature and significance for the past 36 years in western Idaho.

The cars are the stars of this four-day Gem State extravaganza, and the family atmosphere has also helped elevate this show to one of the must-attend happenings of spring. Boise is home to the Goldmark, a significant award bestowed upon the overall best entry of the weekend, and people come from miles around to see the contenders.

This year's show attracted the finest array of cars dating back to its inception in the early 1970s. A trio of Great 8 finishers took up residency at the Idaho event, including John Mai and his '33 Willys coupe from Friendswood, Texas; Rudy Necoechea and his '32 Ford roadster from Sherman Oaks, California; and Ron Valiquette and his '39 Merc 'vert from Las Vegas. Toss in frontrunners like Matt and Colleen Beckdolt with their '54 Chevy from Loomis, California, and Wes and Lori Cagle's Roseville, California-based '70 Camaro, and this certainly made for an all-out contest between five of the premiere cars in the nation, each of which went head-to-head in their quest for the Goldmark statue, cash, and embroidered jacket.

Presented by Les Schwab Tires, the Boise Roadster Show recognized one entry as Best of Show, and John Mai brought his seven-year build to conquer all challengers, garnering the highly sought-after title. The former GM Performance Series ISCA national champion was very humbled by the accomplishment, and, as he accepted the award, said, "This is one of the finest shows I've attended, and this award is one of the highlights of my career." This comes from a guy who previously toured the land with one of the all-time top winners in ISCA, a black '41 Willys coupe.

Necoechea, who won the America's Most Beautiful Roadster crown in January, went home with the Trendsetter Award along with the Outstanding Altered Rod plaque. Valiquette earned the Mighty Fine accolade, in addition to an Outstanding Custom Rod pick. The Best Custom prize was swept up by Beckdolt, and Best Comp-Street Machine was awarded to the Cagle Camaro, both of which were built by Ben York and company at Roseville Rod & Custom Shop in Northern California.

Several other special awards were handed out, including the FireRod plaque on behalf of Firebird Raceway, which went to the Dave Kindig-inspired '32 Ford roadster of Utah's Bill Williams. The talented Bill Ross from Yakima, Washington, was selected for the 27th Master-Builder Award. A longtime supporter of the Roadster Show, this year Ross had three different traditionally influenced hot rods present, including his own '40 Ford coupe.

Selected personally by show producer Bill New and supervisor Mickey Ellis, the 10th annual Essence of Cool Award was presented to John Cherry for the '32 Ford five-window that recently graced the cover of Street Rodder's April edition. Treasure Valley builder Dick Tompkins also picked one special award, too, selecting the '33 Packard Super 8 coupe of Xander and Regina Wildeisen from Star, Idaho.

The dates are already set for what is shaping up to be a big weekend of fun as the 37th annual Boise Roadster Show returns to Expo Idaho in March 2009. For more information, call (208) 938-8986, or e-mail race@firebirdonline.com.