Grand and Great
The 55th Annual Grand National Roadster Show
From the April, 2009 issue of Custom Classic Trucks
By D. Brian Smith, Rich Boyd
Jurgen Broesel of Palmdale,...
Jurgen Broesel of Palmdale, California, won the award for Outstanding Engine - Truck, with good reason. A 427ci big-block Rat mill that's otherworldly in the performance and appearance department powers his '55 Chevy pickup.
Right after accepting his...
Right after accepting his trophy, Jurgen Broesel poses with his trophy prize.
Here's the powerplant that...
Here's the powerplant that procured the Outstanding Engine trophy. To reiterate, it's a 427ci Bow Tie that fits quite well in Jurgen Broesel's beautiful '55 Chevy pickup.
For winning in the category...
For winning in the category of Outstanding - Truck, Jeff Stern of Lomita, California, collected both a trophy and $200 for his sweet '56 Ford Effie. Congratulations, Jeff.
Running with a blown 540ci...
Running with a blown 540ci Merlin motor and wearing a '58 nose, Rudy Hindelang's iced lemon-yellow '57 Chevy won Outstanding Undercarriage - Truck. Rudy resides in Gardnerville, Nevada.
For the first time in its 55-year history, the Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS) was held in Southern California at the Los Angeles County Fairplex in Pomona, California. Certainly the oldest, and regarded by many as the most famous indoor rod and custom show, the GNRS started at the Oakland Coliseum as the Oakland Roadster Show 5-1/2 decades ago.
In recent years, a greater effort has been made to find a more suitable venue during January. The show's former producer, Donald Tognotti of Show Promotions, moved the GNRS to South San Francisco, and current owners Dan and Charlene Cyr, of Dan Cyr Enterprises, eventually relocated to the Fairplex in San Mateo, California.
Competition from the Sacramento show has reduced the number of attendees to the GNRS in recent years. Since Southern California is the mecca for all things automotive, moving the show to Southern California was a logical business decision. However, with more than a half-century tradition, moving the event around hasn't been without a fair amount of controversy. But, if you were one of the many fortunate participants, vendors, or attendees, you experienced the overwhelming fact that the 2004 show was a huge success on several points.
Walking the aisles in one of the three buildings was like visiting your favorite mall at Christmas. Being more accustomed to covering outdoor shows, we were struck by the crowds of lusting gearheads who flocked to see the shimmering hot-rod haulers, roadsters, dragsters, various vendors, motorcycles, street rods, hot rods, and the artful dioramas that housed the rolling and rumbling running works of industrial art. With so many attendees craning to view the latest hot-rod creations, we had to escape outdoors at times, where vendors such as Moon Eyes and American Racing Wheels had more throngs of potential paying customers.
The 55th Annual Grand National Roadster Show wrapped up on Sunday, January 25, 2004, setting a new attendance record for the first time the show was located in the Pomona Fairplex. Dan Cyr told CCT that the West Coast's Premiere hot rod and custom car show would return to Pomona in 2005 and perhaps extend its stay even longer. Dan Cyr stated, "Southern California is the birthplace of the hot rod and has the highest concentration of automotive and motorcycle enthusiasts, as well as professional builders in the country.
The 2004 Grand National Roadster Show drew the highest quality of vehicles ever on display, and only time will tell if the tradition for excellence will continue. We have confidence that the rolling works of art will do as the show has done -- they will evolve as necessary to continue to draw the crowds who come to see the finest hot rods and customs on the planet."
CCT was pleased to find a large number of the outstanding vehicles were trucks and commercial vehicles. Here are some of those we found most outstanding, as well as a list of the show's Special Awards recipients for 2004.
She Fox is the name young...
She Fox is the name young Ryan Bikakis gave his '56 Ford F-100. Ryan's parents, Kosta and Chris, of Escondido, California, finished the Effie in Ryan's honor after the 20-year-old's untimely demise from lung failure.
Famous '50s car designer,...
Famous '50s car designer, customizer, writer, and builder George Barris, crafted a custom '29 Ford pickup in 1957 named Ala Kart. This reproduction of George's original creation by Howdy Ledbetter was proudly displayed next to the America's Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) trophy. The original Ala Kart, now owned by John Mumford, won the AMBR award twice in the '50s and is waiting to be restored at Roy Brizio's Hot Rod shop.
For Bob Calvin and his '49...
For Bob Calvin and his '49 GMC panel delivery, home is Mokelumne Hill, California. Bob's panel is powered by the popular 350/350 Chevy engine and tranny combination.
In 2003, brothers Charlie...
In 2003, brothers Charlie and Pete Lambetecchio of Fresno, California, made it to the final eight in the Ridler competition. They tore apart their chassis, and refinished and detailed the Kugel Komponents front and rear independent suspension systems for more show points. For the interior, they commissioned Jesse Cortez, also of Fresno, to retrim, replace, and improve the cockpit. Thanks to their tireless efforts and the talent of the roadster's principal builder, Larry Ruth of Dead Wood, South Dakota, the lemon-sweet over smooth-silver '36 Ford roadster garnered the AMBR award for 2004. Did we mention that the 600hp 406ci motor was crafted by Dan Raible?
If this '55 Studebaker (or...
If this '55 Studebaker (or Vettabaker) looks familiar, you are a CCT subscriber. The '55 Studebaker and '53 Corvette, mixed with a C5 Corvette creation, graced the cover of the Mar. '04 issue of CCT. Residing in Ventura, California, Bill, wife Joan, and son Bobby Meixner own the creative pickup concoction.
The Vettabaker cockpit won...
The Vettabaker cockpit won the Outstanding Interior - Truck award. Well done, Meixners.
With his wife and Ms. California,...
With his wife and Ms. California, one of the Lambetecchio brothers is pleased to have won the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award for 2004.
L.A. Roadster club members...
L.A. Roadster club members Richard and Brenda Anderson of Arcadia, California, are the current caretakers for this quite cool black-with-flames '28 Ford Model A roadster pickup.
Kids of all ages could see...
Kids of all ages could see what kind of racing acumen they had on the Bridgestone Tires' race-driving simulator. Not so coincidentally, Firestone Tires, owned by Bridgestone, was one of the major show sponsors.