Of all the car shows held nation-wide, only the Grand National Roadster Show is constantly referred to as the Grand Daddy of them all. Maybe that’s because it’s the longest running show around, it is indeed the best, or possibly because not everyone is sure of its real name.

Some of the confusion about the show was the result of a name change early on. First held in 1950 at the Oakland Exhibition Hall, it was called the National Roadster Show. The event was moved to the larger Oakland Coliseum where, in 1963, it was advertised as the Grand National Roadster Show. However, by that time it was best known by the name it was never officially given, the Oakland Roadster Show, or Oakland for short. But there were more changes to come that would confuse the issue. The next home for the GNRS was San Francisco, first to the Concourse, then to the Cow Palace, and next it was held at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. The running joke was that the suspense wouldn’t be who would win the 9-foot tall America’s Most Beautiful Roaster trophy, but where it would be awarded.

While there had been a number of surprises concerning the location of the show, none were greater than the announcement that its new producer, John Buck, was moving the long running Northern California event to the L.A. County Fairplex in Pomona.

Along with the gutsy change of venue, Buck has introduced a number of unique features to the iconic event, and one of our favorites is the outside show called the Grand Daddy Drive-In. Thanks to plenty of open space surrounding the multiple buildings that house the show vehicles, and the usually nice SoCal weather, this outdoor addition has become an annual event. Registration is open to pre-’73 cars and trucks. Participants get to drive their vehicles onto the grounds for VIP parking and receive a dash plaque, goody bag (pre-registered only) and admission to the show. A number of magazines, including Custom Classic Trucks, give out awards to their favorites. There are no rules for our pick so the choice is usually based on a simple process, it comes down to the truck we’d like to drive home. This year we chose Mike Hoguin’s ’55 Chevy.

While the official name of this event is the Grand National Roadster Show, to some old-timers it will always be the Oakland Roadster Show no matter where it’s held, then again some refer to it as the GNRS and a few are starting to call it Pomona. Of course, you’ll never go wrong if you just call it the Grand Daddy of all car shows. CCT