The Grand National Roadster show is unique in a variety of ways; take its name for instance. It started off in 1950 as the National Roadster Show but by 1963 the event program proclaimed it to be the Grand National Roadster Show, yet it may have been best known by a name it was never officially given: the Oakland Roadster Show.

Then there are the venues. The show opened in the Oakland Exhibition Hall, complete with pigeons in the rafters, then moved to the more modern Oakland Coliseum. From there it went across the bay to San Francisco first to the Concourse with its leaky roof then the Cow Palace and next it was down the road to the San Mateo Fairgrounds. It was getting so that where the big trophy was going to be awarded was as big a surprise as who would win it. But there was one more surprise coming; the next move was out of Northern California to a more southerly setting; under the leadership of the show’s current producer, John Buck, the show came to the Fairplex in Pomona, California.

While Buck has a great deal of respect for the rich history of the show’s America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award he has also been clever enough to add some interesting new elements to broaden the show’s appeal. There are a variety of special displays incorporated inside the various buildings, but our favorite addition is something no other show offers called the Grand Daddy Drive-In.

L.A. County’s Fairplex is a spacious facility and the show is held in multiple buildings on the grounds. Thanks to the show’s SoCal location, the weather is normally pleasant. So, taking the space available and the usual cooperation from Mother Nature into account, several years ago it was suggested by the SRM staff that the space between the buildings be used for specialty car parking--a rod run on the grounds, so to speak. Buck agreed and the show outside the show became a reality. This year close to 900 cars showed up over the weekend to pack the grounds and give show-goers even more to look at. Here’s a look at some of the cars in the show outside the show.