The L. A. Roadster Show, 2019
David G. Fox
Significant changes were made to the show this year. The result, it seemed, was quite a few more roadsters to see and more spectators to see them. We start with a couple of former America's Most Beautiful Roadster winners.
Darryl Hollenbeck's '32 was the 2016 AMBR winner. Darryl is a painter of note, and he is the one who dubbed the color he applied "Rotten Avocado Green."
The L. A. Roadsters' decision to save some money and put all exhibiters outside this year worked just fine, given the cool, dry weather. A side benefit was more room for some exhibiters to show projects, customer cars, etc. Such was the case at the Kugel Komponents display.
Looking very much the resto-rod is Jerry Kugel's 1932 Ford. Several decades back, this car was the subject of an R&C article; I believe it was called How to Buy a Deuce Roadster. When Jerry originally constructed the car, he included Jaguar independent suspension, front and rear. Such installations were a big part of his business at the time. When the supply of Jag parts, especially short half-shaft XKE IRS pieces, began to be seriously depleted in Southern California junkyards, Kugel Komponents designed and began manufacturing their own independent systems for the hot rod market. Soon Blackie had the latest of Jerry's components underneath.
Joe Kugel's latest after-work project is 32MYWAY. Yes the suspension system came from the shop, and yes there is full travel available as it sits here. Custom touches are plentiful. Note how everything in the gas tank area is tightened up from stock. The driving position appears to be sports car-like, with the steering wheel more nearly vertical compared to thirties-era Fords. Under the hood is an aluminum 351 Ford Cleveland. Check out the fitment of the as yet un-welded header pieces. Street Rodder's Brian Brennan was nosing around, so you may see an in-the-metal feature on Joe's creation there at some point. Just remember you saw it here first.
In still more Kugel news, Jerry has been hard at work bringing the number 265 Holmes, Kugel, & McGinnis blown fuel roadster up to modern safety specs. Last seen within the tribute to the Model A at the 2019 Grand National Roadster Show, the orange car has owned the E/BFR record at 245.804 mph since Speed Week 1979. Here's hoping the Salt dries out, and this year we can again hear what Jerry can do with a de-stroked SBC.
There's a lot of nostalgia hidden in this '32 three-window. Unearthed by Troy Ladd of Hollywood Hot Rods, this true barn find was the subject, along with a couple of other cars, of a January 2019 Hot Rod Magazine cover and feature article.
Does $37,000 seem too high for a '34 Ford Victoria that looks this good? A small sign in the windshield indicates it runs a '37 V8 and '39 transmission.
Jim Travis' Ford pickup has artwork depicting the truck pushing the number 86 competition coupe. Blue paint and the number 86 was Jim's livery when he had stewardship of the So-Cal Speed Shop coupe and campaigned it some years back .
Can the L.A. Roadster Show Be Saved?
With the L. A. Roadsters retaking control of the event this year, significant changes were made to the show. Perhaps most notable was the smaller footprint. While the Fairplex has made changes to the area, visitors from the past may have recognized that the show and swap area this year sat on the same real estate they occupied for many years, back before the roadsters were distributed among the big Fairplex exhibition buildings. Downsizing undoubtedly made the event less expensive to produce. Roadster drivers were again rewarded with free admission, and spectators could purchase two tickets to cover both Saturday and Sunday for a discount. Occupying somewhat less space may have made the event seem more packed. Even so, word was that Saturday had significantly more cars to see and people to see them, compared to Saturdays the past couple of years.
Walden Speed Shop Open House, Friday
Phil Becker has owned this '32 Ford Victoria for over four decades. After a recent complete rebuild by the Fast Lane Rod Shop, the car placed in the Great Eight for the 2019 Ridler competition. As we've come to expect with David Lane's projects, the creative and finishing details were incredible.
Skip within to:Roadsters
Can the LA Roadster Show Be Saved?
Walden Speed Shop Open House
Or go to:Petersen Museum Visit – June 17, 2019
LA Roadster Show Main Page
Fox-Kraft Home Page