We can’t think of a better way to spend a Father’s Day weekend than looking at some of the
There are a few events that every hot rodder should attend and one of them is the L.A. Roadsters Show held each Father’s Day weekend at the L.A County Fairgrounds in Pomona, California.
Formed in 1957, the L.A. Roadsters Club came to prominence for a variety of reasons. They promoted traditional roadsters at a time when they had all but disappeared. A number of the member’s cars, like founder Dick Scritchfield’s roadster, showed up in teen movies of the day and began appearing in magazine features and how-to stories that revived interest in those types of cars. But it was the roadster exhibition and swap meet that really spread the club’s notoriety. As word spread, rodders from all over the country make it their Father’s Day destination. Where else could you see such a collection of top-notch hot rods and hunt for rare and unusual parts at the same time?
Walt Johnsen owns this cool ’29 Ford roadster pickup. Power comes from a beautifully detai
Over the years there have been other venues, but for the last 32, Pomona has been the place. This year the fairgrounds housed 760 roadsters, 2,000 specialty cars, 1,250 swap spaces, and 14,000 attendees. But while the location was the same, this year there were some differences as a result of changes to the facility. For those familiar with the grounds, the covered outside area was removed so most vendors were moved inside Building 4. Roadsters on display were now spread out over a much larger area and the specialty parking and swap meet were also increased in size.
Although most of the changes were seen as positive, the large parking lot next to the swap meet wasn’t available, which meant spectators had to park on the opposite side of the fairgrounds a considerable distance away. As a tram was available for transportation it wasn’t a problem for many, but for those hauling parts from the swap meet it seemed longer than most Southern Californian’s commute to work. We’ve been told that next year this issue will be resolved.
Jamie Johnson of Hot Rod Haven in Alburqurque, NM, had this ’35 Ford roadster for sale at
As in years past, roadsters and the driver were admitted for free (and get a pewter mug on Sunday), passengers pay $20 for the weekend, and there’s no charge for children under 12. Unfinished roadsters, those with any or all flat paint, coupes, sedans, and specialty cars through 1975 have a separate parking area.
Along with changes in the layout there were some other noteworthy additions this year. Saturday there was a Cackelfest that included “TV Tommy” Ivo’s first top fuel dragster, the “Barnstormer,” and Chris “the Greek” Karamesines famous “Chizler” (both now owned by Ron Johnson). Along with all the dragsters there was Burkholder Brothers Chrysler-powered AA/FA. All the cars were fired twice on Saturday to appreciative crowds; the hard-core fans were those with bloodshot eyes and nitro on their breath.
This year the Father’s Day bash had another interesting element; it was also the destination of our Road Tour leg that began at Vintage Air in San Antonio. Jerry Dixey led the group west in our ’55 Chevy.
While cars are the obvious focus of the event, this is also a great place to meet the icons of the hobby. We ran into a host of hot rod heroes and caught up with the many friends who make this a yearly pilgrimage from the far-flung corners of not only this country, but others as well.
If you’ve never been to the L.A. Roadsters Father’s Day event you owe it to yourself to go; if you have been you know why, if you haven’t see for yourself on June 16-17, 2012—see ya there.