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The L.A. Roadster Show – Every Father’s Day

By D. Brian Smith

Photography: D. Brian Smith

I can’t say I’ve been to the L.A. Roadster Show every year for the 46 years that the event has taken place. What I can say is that the Father’s Day L.A. Roadster Show has become a tradition for my pop and me, ever since we finally admitted that we’re so-called adults. Anyway, our family didn’t even reside in California 46 years ago. A suburb of Atlanta, GA – Sandy Springs was our home all those many years ago. But our Dad, Dan Brian Smith, planted and sowed the seeds for his sons becoming car guys and gearheads for both my brother Kevin and me from the time we were toddlers.

Despite the fact that we see many of the same street rods and hot rods at the event each year, it’s a cannot miss tradition. Typically, we call Kevin, who again lives in Georgia, the state where he was born and rub it in that he’s not with us admiring the hot rods and visiting with old friends. By calling Dad to wish him a Happy Father’s Day this year, Kevin made Dad feel special on his day. So, I didn’t tease Kevin about not being with us at the show.

Over 2,000 street rods and hot rods comprise the event. There’s also an immense swap meet section that houses used parts for just about any old car and project cars a-plenty for those of with spare time and an empty garage. On display in the covered vendors area are most of the great street rod companies and component manufacturers in the hobby. Steve’s Auto Restorations, Kugel Komponents, Bob Drake Ford Parts, Edelbrock, Moon Eyes, Gabe’s Upholstery – we could go on and on talking about all the cool and brand new components we saw, the brilliant street rods underway and the multitude of items we’d love to buy for our projects. But, we had to tear ourselves away from that area, before we bought some must-have item that we couldn’t afford.

This year, every paid ticket offered a chance at winning a 1932 Ford roadster project. Tickets were only $17 each, prompting many people to purchase numerous chances at the roadster project. Proceeds from the roadster raffle went to The City of Hope, a non-profit organization that’s researching to find cancer cures.

Regrettably, we didn’t win the ragtop roller roadster. Some lucky dude whose first name was Steve won the roadster. His wife bought two tickets for his Father’s Day gift. How great is that? The ’32 was a roller and included a Chevy small block engine, trans and a great opportunity for someone to win a hot rod that could be completed in time for next year’s show, which will take place on June 18 and June 19, 2011, Father’s Day Weekend.

In case you missed out on being there in person, we took a few photos. Check out some of the rides that captured our fancy. We hope to see you at the 2011 L.A. Roadster Show on Father’s Day Weekend at the L.A. Fairplex in Pomona. Why don’t you start a tradition with your father or kids? You’ll be glad you did.

Standing next to an immaculate 1939 Ford convertible are Angie O’Brien and Dan Brian Smith (father to Melinda, Brian and Kevin Smith). Dad and Angie were high school sweethearts. They’re sweethearts again. How cool is that? World renown hot rod builder, Roy Brizio and his crew created the ’39 for some surely satisfied customer.

Brizio’s also adept at building 1932 Ford roadsters, as is evident from the pristine, beautiful and mean ’32 Highboy trimmed with blood red leather interior and wearing black over white. Are those Halibrand kidney wheels? We believe so. Righteous!

Larry and Scott Fornby may have driven their 1927 Ford Track T Roadster all the way from their home in New Mexico. Would you have the fortitude to race along Route 66 in this sweet ride all the way from New Mexico? Redline Review would.

Hot rodded Ford flathead V-8 engines are automotive works of art to be sure. Can you say polished aluminum, stainless steel and chrome? We know you can.

Right next to the swap meet section of the show is a Specialty Parking Area, which displays pre-1975 enthusiast automobiles, like someone’s exceedingly rare 1967 Toyota 2000GT.

The supercharged engine in Ben Jimenez’s 1932 Ford roadster is beyond massive. It’s utterly ginormous!

One of the Smith Men’s car show going tradition’s is to select a favorite car from the show. Doug Foran’s 1936 Ford cabriolet received my vote. Wearing wide whites on steelies gave the street rod a clean, period correct appearance. Smooth!

At any street rod show, 1932 Ford roadsters will be in abundance. Based upon the stickers adorning the windshield of Bob Peterson’s 1932 Ford roadster, he resides somewhere in the Northwest. He has participated in several rod runs in Vancouver British Columbia.

If you recognize Rich and Linda Boyd’s 1933 Ford roadster, you’re either a fan of Rich’s work as an automotive journalist on several magazines, including Rod & Custom, Street Rodder, Custom Classic Trucks and the World of Rods. Or, you may have remembered the car from the recently published GoodGuys Del Mar Car Show article. Rich is also a former president of the L.A. Roadsters Club. The Boyds reside in Long Beach, CA.

The club that David Ramirez and his 1932 Ford Highboy roadster belong to has the initials S.R.F.

The interior of Mr. Ramirez’s roadster is very well done.

Just when you think you’ve seen every 1932 Ford on the planet, you’re treated to a 1932 Ford German Cologne Victoria convertible that’s restored to original. Owner Ken Tibbot was selling the rare Ford Cologne Victoria. We hope he doesn’t have seller’s remorse.

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