We just returned from a weekend in Pomona, California, for the 49th Annual L.A. Roadsters Show & Swap. There is a reason the event has become a hot rodding institution, drawing thousands of roadsters, coupes, and customs from around the country, and spectators from around the world. Hanging out in the Southern California sun—where the quality of the car show and swap meet is second to none—just epitomizes everything our hobby is about.
The show opened at Pomona’s Fairplex Saturday morning, exactly 56 years to the day that Dick Scritchfield organized the first L.A. Roadsters club meeting back in 1957 in the Weiand Equipment parking lot. The first club event, the L.A. Roadsters Exhibition, was held in July 1960, and the show has been held every year since with the exception of a brief hiatus between ’62 and ’67.
The 1967 L.A. Roadsters Show was the first to be held on Father’s Day weekend, and in the years since it has evolved into three different shows within a show. The first is the roadster exhibit, featuring over 800 pre-1937 roadsters, roadster pickups, Cabriolets and Phaetons, all in finely finished, painted, and detailed form. While there are a number of original and restored stock roadsters on hand, this is a hot rod show, and there is always a sea of roadsters running the gamut in style from traditional to contemporary.
The L.A. Roadsters Show is also known for its truly amazing swap meet. Vendors pack the open-air swap area with everything from the smallest hard-to-find components to pre-war bodies and chassis, and complete cars. If it’s vintage or rare speed parts or OEM equipment you’re looking for, the swap meet in Pomona is where you’ll find it.
Finally, the “Preferred Parking” area at the Fairplex has taken on a life of its own. With space for about 2,000 pre-’75 specialty cars, this area is packed with everything from customs and lowriders to early coupes and sedans, and even more roadsters that didn’t make it into the designated roadster parking area.
Leading up to this year’s show was quite a whirlwind for us at The Rodder’s Journal, as we were barely through putting the finishing touches on issue #60 before we headed south to set up the TRJ booth at the Fairplex. The long hours paid off when we were able to spend the weekend hanging out with friends, meeting and talking with many of you at our booth, and checking out the hot rods on display.
We wanted to share a few of the cars that caught our attention with you, and to thank the L.A. Roadsters for continuing to put on the “Greatest Roadster Show on Earth.” As one of the oldest continuously operating car clubs in the nation, and with members who have been active since the early-’60s, their dedication to our hobby is apparent and appreciated.
As much fun as we had this year, 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the show, and we can only imagine what they’ll have in store for us. There are groups forming in nearly every corner of the country that are planning to drive their roadsters to the show, and we’ve even heard about some roadsters from as far away as the East Coast that are being built specifically to make it to next year’s event. There’s no doubt the 50th Annual L.A. Roadsters Show will be one for the history books.