As most everyone has already figured out, these are some unsettling times. So it is comforting to know there are still things you can depend on, such as the San Francisco Rod, Custom, & Motorcycle Show based in NorCal's Bay Area.
For nearly six decades there has been a customized car show in the Bay Area and, though the players have changed over the years, promoter Rick Perry has run his SFRC&M show for the last nine of those years, taking up residence in the historic Cow Palace--a venue that has hosted everyone from the Beatles to Chip Foose.
The future of the facility (and the show) was in doubt for 2009 because of some legal wrangling going on with the town where it's located, Daly City, but the site was eventually saved from being razed. At the show Perry announced he inked a three-year deal to continue having the SFRC&M Show in the huge structure (the main arena fits 60 or so show cars, many with 20 x 20 foot displays, and the two adjacent halls total about 100,000 square feet).
The layout for the event changed a bit this year with the cancelling of the outer buildings that used to hold the "rat rod" cars and crowd. Perry was among the first promoters to embrace the trend and offer space to the anti-gloss enthusiasts, but problems with rowdiness eventually became too much to handle so that part of the show was shelved.
Another change in layout came with how the motorcycles were displayed. The Bay Area has had a long and proud relationship with custom motorcycles and, in the past, they all were parked next to each other and in one adjacent hall, with few exceptions. Now the bikes are interspersed throughout the show, making for a more even-balanced display with their four-wheeled counterparts.
The show also has conducted and maintained its own Hall of Fame, and this year saw three people recognized plus another for his contributions to the hobby. John Mumford, whose quiet demeanor belies the fact he owns some of the most famous rods and customs in the country, was honored to receive an award of special recognition for his dedication to the hobby. The three inductees, Rodder's Journal publisher Steve Coonan, guitarist and car customizer Jimmie Vaughan, and publicist Michael Dobrin, were all brought into the exclusive group that makes up the core of the Bay Area's hot rod scene.
But the stars of the show were the cars, and with families now watching what they do with their money a little more closely than before, thousands decided a day at the car show would be a good thing to do. They showed up in droves over the three-day weekend to see what was new and exciting at the San Francisco Rod, Custom, & Motorcycle Show, and left knowing they'd seen the best of the best that hot rodding has to offer.
San Francisco's Hall Of Fame
The San Francisco RC&M Show also continues the tradition of honoring those individuals who have contributed more than their share to both the show and the hot rodding industry, and this year four people were singled out for their ongoing efforts. A brunch was organized Saturday morning at the host hotel for the induction ceremonies and, as of this year, the total number of members in the Hall of Fame rose to 62.
The winner of this year's Most Elegant Rod award is John Costamagna from Lodi, CA. His can
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