All the Greats Invade Pomona, California
It’s called the Grandaddy of Them All, and this year’s Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS) proved once again that it is truly the greatest hot rod show of the season. Held at the Fairplex in Pomona, California, on Jan. 28-30, 2011, the GNRS has seen its share of venues. From Oakland to San Francisco to the Fairplex, it has remained the premier event of the season, and one still shrouded by a distinct mystique.
For more than 60 years, the GNRS has been the competition that the major builders really want to win. To have their names placed on the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster trophy alongside the legends of the sport like Gejeian, Immerso, Buttera, Coddington, Foose is a universal dream. This year’s winner is a ’34 Ford roadster owned by Daryl Wolfwinkel of Mesa, Arizona, and built by Doug Jerger of Squeeg’s Kustoms in Chandler, Arizona. It was the first award winner after changes were made in judging criteria. The changes benefitted this car and the ‘23 Model T known as the Takeout T in particular because the overall look of the car plays into the new equation—winning is no longer based solely on points.
This year, the big story was the invasion of the muscle cars. Everywhere you turned there was another muscle car. Some were set-up for drag racing, some were full-blown G-machines, while others were numbers-matching restorations. To put it mildly, there was something for every muscle car enthusiast at Pomona this year. But with more than 500 show vehicles competing for awards inside the Fairplex buildings, and another 400-800 vehicles joining the event Saturday and Sunday for the GNRS Drive In parked in between the buildings and walkways, there were plenty of cars for everyone to admire. That’s not bad for a show that takes place in January, a time of year when much of the rest of the country is covered in snowed.
At 62 years and still going strong, the Grand National Roadster Show is the longest-running indoor car show, and with a strong turnout, both in vehicles and people, we can safely say that this show will be around for a long, long time.