The L. A. Roadster Show, 2017
David G. Fox
As in the past, this year's coverage is presented with very little commentary. Good weather, good friends, good time.
Technically not roadsters, the two B400's get to come inside, anyway.
Following are two former AMBR contenders. The black '32 was in the 2015 competition, and the red Packard won the 2017 Grand National Roadster Show's big prize.
The dragster originally was a Salt Lake City racer, back in those front-engine days. X9000 is a "Union Pacific Type" 4-12-2 steam locomotive, with a 30-foot wheelbase and a modest 4,750hp from three (yes, three) cylinders. Built in 1926, this prototype for the class was also the last to be retired, in 1956. It, too, operated out of Utah for a time, moving freight from Ogden to Council Bluffs.
The black Model A pickup belongs to an old friend. Along with another fellow from Idaho Falls, Craig Lawson and I shared an apartment for a time when we were in college at the U. We lost track sometime in the '80s, and found each other again at a So-Cal open house a few years back.
David Lane's (FastLane Rod Shop) wonderful '63 Galaxie makes the transition from So-Cal to Walden Speed Shop.
Can the L.A. Roadster Show Be Saved?
I've written two longer versions of these ramblings, and decided to try again. Unfortunately, there is too much I don't really know. I don't have the hard facts. But I do know that my personal observations leave me concerned for the sustainability of the show.
It's my observation that general spectator participation (the people who park in Lot 9, walk through the tunnel, and pay for their admission to look at hot rods) has declined significantly over the last several years. This seems especially true for Sunday. The die-hard enthusiasts, who come from all over the country (and the world), are probably still there both days. But Sunday used to be the bigger day and to be more about families going out with dad on Father's Day. Maybe the culture is just changing; the enthusiasts (and the club) are aging.
The number of roadsters on display in the show area took a nosedive this year. Running the show was turned over to a "professional event management company." Rumor had it that it cost individuals more to display their cars. Can you attract more attendees with fewer cars to see?
The swap meet may have become a non-event for general spectators. The real action there takes place on the day before the show even opens. By Sunday the area looks like a ghost town.
Surely the business model for selling cars (and parts) has changed with the internet, so maybe it isn't reasonable any more to expect to have two show days with row upon row of interesting cars for sale.
Did moving the Grand National Roadster Show south affect this show?
I don't know; I'm just sayin'.
Skip within to:Roadsters
Can the LA Roadster Show Be Saved?
Or go to:LA Roadster Show Main Page
Fox-Kraft Home Page