2017 Grand National Roadster Show

Fairplex, Pomona, California
January 27, 28 & 29, 2017

by Conrad Monroe

On January 26, the Over The Hill Gang Phoenix made it’s yearly assault upon Los Angeles for the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona at the fairgrounds.  Making the trip this year was Dave & Anne Bennett, Dan & Carol Burdett,  Jim & Carol Dalton, Charley & Danise Cover, Paul & Judy Nolte, Larry & Theresa Way and Michelle & I. Also tagging along with us was Val & Sandy Muyres who may soon be joining the club!

We stopped at Chiriaco Summit on I10 for a bathroom break and found that they were in the process of rejuvenating the old gas station to display a number of older cars, mostly Model As that were in a new shop building located behind the gas station. Looks like they should have a number of good displays from what we saw in the shop. Well worth the stop if you find yourself on I10…

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Chiriaco Summit

When we were ready to leave, Jim Dalton found that the fuel pump had died in his new sedan delivery build. We checked it out and found it was moving fuel, but was not producing the 60 psi that the LS3 needs to run. Carol called AAA and got her first ride in a tow truck back to Phoenix.

After we were sure that Jim & Carol were in good hands we continued our journey to Pomona.  We made decent time and found that we had enough time to pay a visit to Kennedy Brothers Hot Rods in Pomona.  They have a decent size shop and a good selection of hard to find parts. If you are having a hard time finding early parts give Joe Kennedy a call at (714) 307-8095. If he doesn’t have it he may know where to find it… they have a lot of contacts…

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Kennedy Brothers Hot Rods

After we left the Kennedys, we went to the Kellogg West Hotel and Conference Center which is located on the Cal Poly campus. It is used to train students in the hospitality industry and I must say they do a great job. I don’t believe you can find a nice room with breakfast anywhere in the LA area for less money than what they charge.

On Friday we got up at a reasonable hour, had breakfast and then headed over to Santa Fe Springs to visit Lime Works Speed Shop. Lime Works is probably best known for their steering columns, column drops and steering wheels. I was quite surprised to see that they have a number of interesting project builds going on as well.  The most interesting one, for me anyway, was a 1936 Ford cabriolet that was being done pretty much old school, rack & pinion A arm front suspension aside. The workmanship and attention to detail was quite nice.

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Lime Works Speed Shop

We then headed up to North Hills, near Van Nuys/ Northridge area to visit Galpin Auto Sports which is one of the businesses in the Galpin Ford complex. Quite an impressive dealership. In addition to the usual new cars & trucks, they have a Diner – The Horseless Carriage where we had lunch. The place was swamped with customers, it was right around 1PM so I figured we would all be split up, but no, turns out they have a very nice sized private dining room that they seated us in. The food was great as was the service! and the prices were reasonable… nice find Charley! After lunch we walked a couple of blocks to Galpin Auto Sports – their customizing and performance shop. In addition to the shop, they also have a nicely done auto museum with a wide selection of hotrods, custom cars, sports cars and race cars which are on display and also available for sale. Michelle and I had a chance to talk with one of the techs who had just finished putting an LT4 VVT direct injection and supercharged crate motor into a 1967 Chevelle. He gave us a lot of detail on the build… the LT4 is one hell of a great engine! We later saw the Chevelle at GNRS in the Galpin tent. He also showed us a 2017 Acura NSX supercar that they have been customizing. It will be the centerpiece of  a charity auction that will be held later this year. The car has every option that Acura makes for it, plus a lot of neat aftermarket parts. To give you an idea of the costs involved, the base car starts at $157K and goes up from there. The optional carbon ceramic rotors and calipers are only $11K!

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Galpin Auto Sports (GAS)

On Saturday we arose early and drove over to the Fairplex for the car show.  We got in line around 6AM or so and waited until they let us onto the grounds at 7:00 where we parked in long lines until they let us park at 8:00. Michelle and I split a breakfast burrito which was excellent, if not somewhat pricy… Once we got inside we were able to park in exactly the same place as we did two years ago which was Michelle and mine’s first trip.  Instead of parking inside the building, where the judged cars are parked we park outside in the Grand Daddy Drive In area located around all of the fair ground buildings. The cars are all “drivers” and most are quite well done. With just about every thing you can think of in the way of rod & customs, muscle cars etc. I would say that this year the Drive In attendance was down somewhat from two years ago, due to a competing car show being held at the Coliseum in downtown LA. Two years ago our Dodge wagon was awarded a top ten Drive In pick and as luck would have it, we got another one this year! Needless to say it made me a very happy camper!

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GNRS Grand Daddy Drive In Cars

The indoor Show Cars were all great! So many innovative ideas and excellent craftsmanship on display.  If I was forced to judge this show I think I would have to toss in the towel… just too many truly excellent cars.  Some that really caught my eye were a 1936 Ford Cabriolet with a Lasalle grill done in mid 50s custom style, clean and low… The 1955 Chevy 2dr post with the tilt front end, suicide doors and V12 engine was another top pick of mine. The workmanship and thought that went into this build was phenomenal.  The 1957 Ford Ranch Wagon that was under construction will be killer when it is done.  The red & black 1963 Corvette Split Window coupe with LT4 Supercharged power could find a home in my garage at anytime… simply beautiful and built to drive and handle… and lastly, and perhaps my favorite a 1941 Willys Coupe built street rod style. It maybe the only 1941 Willys coupe that I have seen that was not done either vintage gasser style or pro mod…

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GNRS Indoor Show Cars Part A


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GNRS Indoor Show Cars Part B

Last but not least, we will tour the Suede Palace devoted to all things traditional Hot Rod! The heavily louvered black 1934 Ford 5 window with the wide fives was a big hit with me. As was the dark blue Deuce Roadster. The black Deuce 3 window coupe done 1950s custom style had a great look as well. The blue 1961 Chrysler was awesome to say the least…

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The Suede Palace

On Sunday we were able to get on the road around 8:00 AM and headed back down I10 to Phoenix. Michelle and I had a 8 1/2 hour drive ahead of us to get back home before it was too dark.  Up in the mountains the elk have been out in large numbers this year and I have no desire to meet up with one while driving! So when the group stopped for lunch we kept on truckin on down the road and made it to Show Low without major incident. We were able to gain enough time to where we could stop at Macky’s Grill in Payson for a bowl of chilli for me and a half sandwich and soup for Michelle…

Great trip, we had a lot of fun with some really great friends. Looking forward to Goodguys in March and Viva Las Vegas in April. Possibly a road trip up to Dearborn in late June/ early July to visit the Henry Ford Museum, Gilmore Museum and possibly the Auburn Cord Duesenberg in Indy before heading to Tennessee to visit a very good friend from my childhood then on to Arkansas to visit two of my cousins that I never knew I had! Should be an interesting year!

Till next time! Take care!