Over the weekend, the Pomona Fairplex was hot rod heaven. From the buildings to the midways, everywhere you looked were cars, cars and more cars. There were big dollar show rods and homebuilt creations, record-setting drag cars and one-off customs. Topless, pre-1937 machines without roll-up windows competed for the coveted America’s Most Beautiful Roadster title, while a host of traditional rods overran the Suede Palace. This year’s show didn’t hold back—and we were right there in the middle of it all.

For the 71st Grand National Roadster Show, 10 cars competed for the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster title. Dustin and Dawn Smith brought their “Twin Fan Special” down from Spokane, Washington. With its flathead Ford inline six and abundance of brightwork, the tidy T was a fan favorite. However, it did not take home the nine-foot trophy.

Throughout the weekend, we walked more than 12 miles in our effort to capture the sights and sounds of the 71st Grand National Roadster Show. We heard flatheads gargle, big blocks rumble, and hot rodders young and old obsess over details. Chrome glistened, Metalflake glimmered and spectators from far and wide floated around the Fairplex in an automotive-induced euphoria. We caught up with old friends, met new ones and shot photos—a whole lot of photos. Hundreds of them, to be exact.

Since we don’t have to worry about cramming too many photos into a small space, we decided to run an expanded gallery of GNRS coverage right here on our blog. You’ll find images of our favorite rods, customs and competition machines that we came across during our Southern California trip.

Before you jump into the pictorial, we would like to say a quick word about our next issue. TRJ #83 will be heading your way shortly, and now is the perfect time to give you a glimpse at the covers. On one, we have Lucky Burton’s Model A that he built for Bonneville. It’s been chopped, channeled and streamlined in every way possible, yet it’s as traditional as they come with flathead power.

The other cover features a vintage photo of Steve Scott’s “Uncertain-T.” We dig into its strange saga, share rare and unseen snapshots of the original, and showcase the tribute built by Martin Bennett of New Zealand (which was on display at this year’s GNRS).

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who followed along for our Instagram and Facebook coverage over the weekend. For those who missed it, you can check it out here and here. We’re already counting down the days until next year’s Grand National Roadster Show. —Joey Ukrop

The “Leg Show T” is back! Using the body and top from Danny Eichstedt’s radical early-’70s creation, Walter and Thenia Sigsby built this equally wild tribute to compete for this year’s AMBR award. From the fully detailed smallblock and oversized headlamps to the steamroller Indy tires and Jim Babb gas tank, it certainly captured the spirit of the original. 
One of the highlights of this year’s show was seeing Lee Pratt’s freshly finished Deuce five-window. The heavily channeled coupe has been a long term project, and we especially like the ’50s-style flames, four-carbed Olds and aftermarket Cadillac-style wheelcovers. We’ll have more on this car soon. 
Riley Morris and his team at Rocket’s Garage in Sunnyside, Washington, are responsible for turning Bob and Pam Cummings’ ’55 Ford Premier wagon into a longroof Crown Victoria. Highlights include a 2×4 Y-block beneath the hood, ’57 Lincoln wheelcovers, and a flawless black finish by Byers Custom Paint. 
Of all the Deuce three-windows in attendance, we were drawn to Stephen Harvey’s Costa Mesa, California-based coupe. The chopped highboy sports a four-carbed early Hemi with engine-turned valve covers and plenty of hot rod attitude. 
This year, Building Nine was abuzz thanks to the “Drag Racing Then & Now” display. The floor was filled with Gassers, Altereds, Stockers, Funny Cars and slingshots—like Ed Pink’s “Old Master” (left) owned and restored by Pete Eastwood, and the Baney Chrysler-Plymouth Fueler (right), which is the latest addition to the Baney family fleet.
Here’s a better look at the Hemi in the Baney car. Note the Chrysler Marine valve covers.
Custom fans rejoice! Jim Seaton’s Barris-built ’55 Chevy hardtop has been freshened up once again, this time by Tim McMann, who purchased it in 2017. Tim, a longtime Barris aficionado, operates McMann’s Restoration in Portland, Oregon.
There was no shortage of vintage tin on display during Saturday’s “drive-in” portion of the show. With its flippers, skirts and proper lowering, Tim Wallace’s ’39 Ford Standard Tudor is understated custom—and we love it.
Oregon’s Estranged Car Club put on a drag racing display of their own inside the Suede Palace. From the famed “Orange Crate” and the “Bonnie and Clyde” Deuce Tudor to Cedric Meeks’ Wayne-headed “Flat Trap Coupe,” they brought a wild bunch.
At this year’s show, the South City Rod & Custom team debuted a pair of Willys: Bob Panella’s ’41 pickup and Dave Weissbar’s “Half Moon Bay Bakery” ’40. Here’s the former in all its Candy Apple Red glory out on the show floor. Power comes from a blown and injected smallblock Chevy built by Panella Race Engines. Look for the truck in a future issue of TRJ.
John and Becky Oertel’s Deuce five-window blends early hot rod styling with show-level detailing. The Los Alamos, New Mexico-based coupe sports a 284cid flathead outfitted with Edelbrock heads and a trio of Strombergs. It was built at Hot Rod Haven in Albuquerque.
On Sunday evening, 2020’s America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award went to Monty Belsham and his ’32 Ford “Kugel Muroc 4.” Originally built years ago, Squeeg’s Kustoms completely revamped the car for AMBR competition. 
When the show winds down, the party moves across town to Walden Speed Shop. Tim Sutton’s recently completed A-V8 was one of the main talking points—and it’s for sale!
This chopped and skirted Merc nailed the early custom look, and was right at home under the lights outside Building Four. When the show ended, swarms of hot rods and customs cruised off into the night.

2020 Grand National Roadster Show Pictorial

Click on the images for a closer look