Sometimes it takes time to fully appreciate the wisdom of a previous action. Across the country Father’s Day is a special day to be with and enjoy one’s family—as it should be. It too is an ideal day to exert a bit of your paternal birthright (albeit minimal when compared to the swath wielded by the family’s matriarchal member!) and proclaim, “It’s Father’s Day and I would like to go the L.A. Roadsters Show & Swap.” The real genius is that it isn’t just one day but officially two, unofficially three, and truthfully four days of deep emersion into all things hot rods. Because it’s “Father’s Day” you get all four for the use of one Father’s Day redemption coupon. Shear genius on behalf of those L.A. Roadsters club members who came up with this show many decades back.

The L.A. Roadsters club has been around longer than their 49th Annual L.A. Roadsters Show & Swap would lead you to believe. (Have you had your aha moment: Next year will be the 50th and all input we gather tells us the L.A. Roadsters have something special planned—so, plan on being there.) For several years the Father’s Day get-together has featured a different look. It has absorbed Building 4 of the Pomona Fairplex (identified as the main building during the Grand National Roadster Show) to house a manufacturers’ row, several specialty hot rod exhibits, and an indoor food court serving refreshments and a place to get out of the summertime SoCal sun. (OK, the weather isn’t brutal by any means, in fact, it’s ideal roadster driving temps.) Outside the fairground is divided up a bit differently from years past with roadsters and outdoor exhibits around Building 4. One of the really fun exhibits within Building 4 was the collection of past America’s Most Beautiful Roadster winners from the Grand National Roadster Show. These cars are perfectly at home within the weekend gathering of roadsters surrounding them; nearly a dozen of these past winners were present, including the first and most current winners. A great exhibit within an exhibit. It’s amazing to see how much these cars have and haven’t changed over the years. As part of the weekend entertainment there was a Cacklefest, having grown from five cars to this year with 14 front-engine diggers. As an added benefit you can also get into the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum for no additional charge by just presenting your show ticket. (For those who haven’t visited the museum it really is a great piece of hot rod history; all of us should have it on our bucket list of sites to see. And while you are there please say “hi” to museum curator Greg Sharp, an often used resource for those of us in the STREET RODDER office.)

Once again, 700-plus roadsters, several hundred exhibitors (indoors and out), and plenty of exhibits make for a great way to spend the weekend. It should be noted that while the show has an official move-in day of Friday, the swap meet area is hot and heavy with a brisk business of dead presidents exchanging hands beginning on Thursday evening and through the wee hours of Friday. In fact, truth be told, most of the really interesting parts and pieces have already exchanged hands come Saturday morning. And, as all of us have noticed on more than one occasion many of these exchanged pieces end up for sale in another swap space come Saturday. According to the club members there were hundreds upon hundreds of swap spaces, more than in years past. As for the Preferred Parking, which is a show within a show, for many this is the best place to be. It too set records, nearing 2,000 cars. This area is a great place to see both finished and in-progress hot rods. It is also a great place to wander from swap space to swap space and have a cold one with your buddy you haven’t seen in a while. The Preferred Parking area has grown to such “largeness” that many never make it into the roadster area but rather spend their weekend walking the swap meet and Specialty Vehicle parking areas.

With next year being the 50th anniversary of the roadster exhibition and swap meet it should prove to be one of the summer’s highlights. Anyone who enjoys the L.A. Roadsters Father’s Day show should plan on attending, and if you haven’t ever been 2014 would be a good time to start.