This past January, we once again visited the 63rd annual Grand National Roadster Show of Pomona, which is one of the longest running shows to date. In the Hot Rod world, it is also one of the most prestigious shows in the industry and this year’s 2012 GNRS attracted over 500 of the world’s most incredible roadsters, hot rods, rat rods, dragsters, trucks, motorcycles, and our favorite―the Lowriders. Record crowds and exhibitors crammed the Fairplex for all three days of the show and filled all eight Fairplex exhibit buildings and the surrounding grounds which played host to this year’s event. The show had the finest roadsters in the country, all vying for a shot at the coveted “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” award.
Over the years, the Lowrider classes have grown as this year’s show had even more clubs displayed throughout the fairgrounds. The move-in was scheduled to allow certain cars to come in at designated times, allowing the car owners a chance to alleviate the usual confusion and headaches that come with setting up for such a large show. The 2011 Lowrider of the Year, “El Rey” owned by Albert De Alba Sr., was on display, as was his 1963 Impala convertible along with his club, Elite. The Imperials made a great guest appearance as Jose and his ‘72 Monte Carlo featured a facelift on the car’s paint finish. Style car club featured a couple of custom rides. The Techniques broke out a freshly patterned Lincoln that dared to show it all while on display on the jackstands. Lifestyle car club was also invited and displayed ten rides; including Armando Flores’ candy red ‘65 Impala. Other clubs that made the show included Premier, Los Angeles, and locals Traffic car club.
This show is big on ideas as the Hot Rod builders are always willing to bring out cars that are still under construction. With nothing to hide, the creative designs are there for people to see; from custom interiors, to the elaborate engine compartments that they are known for. Another big part of the show is the custom rides, many of which could be called Lowriders by just changing the wheels. There were plenty of crossover cars this year as several first and second generation Rivieras were on hand at the show that very well could be considered Lowriders. There were also a few ‘50s Cadillacs that rolled in and displayed a level of luxury that got the thumbs up from both the Hot Rod and Lowrider crowds.
This is definitely one of my favorite shows, as it has something for everybody. The three-day show felt like three different shows, as each day brought a different element or vibe to the event. This year, the Lowriders were spread out, as they could be found in several halls and throughout the fairgrounds.