The Portland Roadster Event Celebrates Its Diamond Anniversary

Car shows come and go, but some don’t ever fade away. The Portland Roadster Show started in 1956. The Multnomah Hot Rod Council [MHRC], a group of car clubs in northwest Oregon and southwest Washington, organized the event to signal the start of the hot rod season both locally and regionally. Now in its 60th year, it has become one of the premier hot rod events in the country, produced by the MHRC and the 14 car clubs from which it is comprised.

In 1968, Bill Peterson started the Portland Roadster Show Hall of Fame to recognize outstanding hot rods, owners, builders and individuals in the hot rod community. Among the awards presented are the Grand Sweepstakes Rose Cup for the vehicle with the highest overall points; the World Cup of Hot Rodding, honoring the builder and owner of a 1948 or earlier World Class roadster, convertible, cabriolet, sedan or custom rod; and the King of Customs, for 1941 to 1972 custom vehicles that emulate the style of the late George Barris and Joe Bailon, Gene Winfield and others.

A Ford

A Ford made in England, not much of Guy Murphy’s ’48 Thames ¼ ton Panel Delivery is original. Phil and Lorena Heindel of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada went a long way to get a rust free ’55 Chevy 210, built by Burton’s Classic Auto in Stanton, CA. Richard and Muriel Uhlenkett’s ’64 Mercury Marauder features Gear Vendors’ overdrive, narrowed 9” Ford rearend, AirRide suspension, and Budnik wheels.

The Portland Roadster Event The Portland Roadster Event

To a journalist new to the Pacific Northwest, this three-day indoor event appeared every bit as crowded as any held in SoCal, and the expanse of the Portland Expo Center’s multiple halls were filled with custom cars and trucks of every description, much like that of the Fairplex in Pomona, Chicago’s McCormick Place or the L.A. Convention Center. If you haven’t been to the Portland Roadster Show, it’s a “must see” much like the Grand National Roadster Show, the Detroit Autorama or Goodguys in Pleasanton. For more information on next year’s show, go to Portlandroadstershow.com or Mhrc.org.

Adam Orstad’s 1100 HP ’67 Sinister Camaro RS.

Adam Orstad’s 1100 HP ’67 Sinister Camaro RS.

’55 Chevy

Robert & Nancy Komlofski’s 550 HP, LS3-powered ’55 Chevy.

29 Ford Roadster with a 539 HP SB Ford.

Kathy & Wayne Johnson’s ’29 Ford Roadster with a 539 HP SB Ford.

’64 C-10 pickup for Chris Curry.

Carolina Kustoms in Portland created a ’64 C-10 pickup for Chris Curry.

’40 Willys Coupe with 502 cubic inch big block Chevy.

Bob Wilson’s ’40 Willys Coupe with 502 cubic inch big block Chevy.

58 Ford Pickup

Shoreline, Washington’s Bill & Dianna DuCette got this ’58 Ford Pickup from her parents who purchased it new.

’47 Ford

Early Ford V-8 Club members Jim & Janet Tyson’s ’47 Ford is Flathead motivated.

’59 Chevy Parkwood Wagon

Ted Isaacs’ ’59 Chevy Parkwood Wagon underwent an excellent body and frame-off restoration.

’50 Ford Club Coupe

Valley Custom ’50 Ford Club Coupe owned by Steve Frisbie of Steve’s Auto Restoration.

Combo of ’29 and ’31 Essex sheetmetal

Combo of ’29 and ’31 Essex sheetmetal received a 5” top chop and has a 350/350 crate motor/trans.

A lowered early Blazer

A lowered early Blazer with a convertible top and LS power.

’32 Ford Tudor

A PRS Hall of Fame standout, Bob Tindle’s ’32 Ford Tudor—current owner Steve Gilligan had it on display.

A ’34 Roadster

A ’34 Roadster with Westcott body and Rootlieb steel hood was a former winner.

Surf Seeker

Ron Berry’s Surf Seeker is a VW Transporter-inspired “cartoon” car, with a 72” wheelbase.

A ’07 Chevy single cab pickup

A ’07 Chevy single cab pickup, another Carolina Kustoms creation.

Rat’s ’32”

Gary Rasche had Cotati Speed Shop in Santa Rosa, CA put together “Rat’s ’32” using a Dearborn Deuce body and frame.

 Offy manifold

CJ and Sherry Carlile’s “Miss Taboo” has six Rochester carbs on an Offy manifold.

’55 Nomad

“Sunmad” is Debbie & Rod Pfisterer’s ’55 Nomad with a Paul Newman chassis and ’04 Corvette suspension.

Flippobuilt Motorsports’ Ram 2500

Justin Rainwater’s Flippobuilt Motorsports’ Ram 2500.

‘56” with a supercharged 4.6L Cobraengine.

From No Limit Engineering, Tim & Dawn Kerrigan’s “Low Down ‘56” with a supercharged 4.6L Cobraengine.

Chevy Sedan

Rat’s ‘34’ is Gary Rasche’s Chevy Sedan, which was last shown in ’98.

56 Chevy 3100 Pickup

Troutdale, Oregon’s Dan & Patti Leisy’s black ’56 Chevy 3100 Pickup features a 330 HP SBC.

’31 Model A pickup

Lew Snodgrass’ ’31 Model A pickup runs a Ford 5.0L small block.

57 Suburban

A 57 Suburban, with matching white interior trimmed in pink.

’41 Chevy Coupe

Portland’s Bill & Linda Minard, owners of “Pure Envy”, a ’41 Chevy Coupe from Kevin’s Restoration, Vancouver, Washington.

A ’36 Ford Pickup

A ’36 Ford Pickup with a 302 CI SBF. “Rare Air”, Gil & Janet Losi’s ’56 Plymouth Belvedere.

Fast Orange” has been wedged, chopped, channeled and sectioned, with a filled roof panel.

From Post Falls, Idaho, Dennis & Sherrie Akers’ “Fast Orange” has been wedged, chopped, channeled and sectioned, with a filled roof panel.

Fast Orange


Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the July 2016 print issue of the Drive Magazine.