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The L.A. Roadster Show – A Smith Men Tradition

By D. Brian Smith
Photography: D. Brian Smith
For almost as many years as we’ve enjoyed living in Southern California, Father’s Day has meant one thing – a drive to the Pomona Fairplex for the L.A. Roadster Show. Whether we converge upon the fairgrounds from Pasadena and Oceanside, as we did this year. Or, we cruise together as Father and son(s), something we’ve done in years past, the Pomona Fairplex is the place to be on Dad’s Day. For California living hot rodders and car enthusiasts the world over, the L.A. Roadsters Father’s Day Weekend is a can’t miss show.

The best way to do the show is to get there early on Saturday morning, when your legs are renewed from a night’s rest and the sun’s starting to get the day going. A small amount of June Gloom will typically loom long enough to keep the temps at bay, all while lighting for photography will be morning soft. This is precisely how our 2011 L.A. Roadsters Dad’s Day junket unfolded. Dad and his fiancee Angie zoomed down from Pasadena, whilst I wrestled middling traffic from Oceanside, What with Pasadena being an hour closer to Pomona than the Oc is to the site of the Fairplex, they beat me to the area by a good 45 minutes. Thankfully, a brand new drive-in exclusive Starbuck’s is right up the road from the fairgrounds, and Angie and Dad are big fans of the high-test caffeine Seattle-born brew.
Redline Review appeared on the scene to find two police cars parked in the Starbuck’s lot. Hopefully, Dad hadn’t relived his well-spent youth driving too fast to the Roadster Show. No, the black and white pilots were there updating their ticket books for other less-lucky recipients of speeding and traffic tickets. My Father and his better half were conversing and sipping java in the outdoor only seating. Have any of you ever seen a drive-in only Starbuck’s? Pretty wild.

We left Angie’s car parked in a free street parking spot, it being a Mercedes SLK two-seater, and headed to the show.

The entry for spectators of the Roadster Show is from across the street from the show. We all walk under the road via a pedestrian tunnel. Upon our amble up the tunnel, the ticket booths are apparent. Just inside the entrance, several of the nicest L.A. Roadsters Show vehicles are displayed with the intent of grabbing everyone’s attention. Thanks to the sun’s struggling to rise and overcome all the mid-June clouds, we enjoyed some-pseudo almost even light softness and snapped as many shots as we could compose. We knew the sun’s fight with the clouds would be aided by an increasing breeze, so the best photos would be coming right from the start.

L.A. Roadsters Club members certainly know that, too. One could tell that the show of autos were very well organized and placed. So many roadsters, cabriolets and phaetons captured our attention; we knew we wouldn’t be able to get and post them all. There simply is not enough hours in a day to cover this entire event effectively, what with the enormous swap meet beckoning the three of us to go and see. If you have an entire weekend to spare, the L.A. Roadster Show can be thoroughly seen in all its glory. We just had the Saturday. So, we enjoyed as many show street rods and hot rods as we could and walked numerous aisles of the swap meet. Two days would allow spectators to devote one day each to the swap meet and the rod show. In a perfect world, or perhaps next year, that’s the way we’ll do it. Until then, check out some of the vintage automotive finery and swap meet treasures that most struck us as cool. Be careful not to drool on your keyboard. You don’t want to short it out.


L.A. Roadster Club members Bill & JoAnn Krebs, of Newberry Park, CA own a wonderfully yellow 1936 Ford Cabriolet that sports a 350ci Chevy V-8 mill.

Brea, CA is home for one pristine 283ci Chevy V-8 powered 1929 Ford Model A Roadster and the street rod’s current caretakers – L.A. Roadsters Club members Roger & Janet Fulmer

There’s no doubt that Larry & Sharon Ready of Northridge, CA are always willing and ready to go for a drive in their 1932 Ford Highboy Roadster. Their street rod has a 351ci Ford V-8 motorvation.

Eagle One is the paint scheme on Bill & Sue Moeller’s 1932 Ford Highboy Roadster.

Automotive artist, automotive journalist, L.A. Roadsters Club member and past president, and all-around good guy, Rich Boyd has a California cool 1933 Ford Roadster. Rich and his lovely wife Linda reside in Long Beach, CA.

You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to figure out why so many hot rodders build a Ford Model A Highboy Roadster and then treat the goer to a flamed paint job. L.A. Roadsters Club members Hugh & Candy Mason, of Tehachapi, CA have an A Roadster with these attributes and a 327ci Chevy V-8 mill that’s backed by a TH350. Diggity!


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