Though the show season peaks during the summer months, there are a few winter events that normally set the tone for the rest of the year. The Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS) not only starts it all off, it does it in grand fashion. However, due to Los Angeles County COVID restrictions, the 2021 show was postponed and ultimately canceled.
Though there were new protocols in place for showgoers to enter the 2022 event, people came in droves to celebrate the comeback of this major show. In fact, the GNRS is such a large deal that it has been around for since 1950, making it the world’s longest running indoor car show. Originally held in Oakland, CA, the show has since moved to the Pomona Fairplex, with this last event being held on January 28th-30th.
The most prestigious part of the show is the competition for the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) award. With previous winners like George Barris and Boyd Coddington, the battle for the title is always strong. Winning the award also comes with some prizes like getting your name engraved on the coveted 9-foot-tall trophy and a cash award of $12,500. Though only US-built vehicles ’37 and older are eligible for entry, it does include pickups of that era.
The best thing about this event is that it has something for everybody. It all kicked off on a Friday with over seven halls of custom vehicles, including one that featured special sections for motorcycles, lowriders and custom trucks. Another amazing hall was the Suede Palace, which featured the community of traditional customs. This is also where we found vendors with retro stylized memorabilia and a few rockabilly bands playing throughout the weekend.
On Saturday and Sunday, the outdoor Grand Daddy Drive-in took place and had several hundred vehicles show up in order to be a part of the action as well. This outdoor area featured vehicles from all generations including lowered C-10’s to the early style Task Force GM trucks. From rats to shiny showstoppers, they all rolled in, bringing the show a different feel each day as the event transformed itself.
The GNRS is always a great way to start the year off and we can’t wait until next year to do it all over again. With this year’s show season upon us, we look forward to what else 2022 has in store.