The L. A. Roadster Show, 2022
David G. Fox
After being absent for two summers, it was exciting to have the L.A. Roadsters Show and Swap back in 2022. The weather on Friday and Saturday before Father's Day really could not have been better. A few photographs taken early on Friday do suggest a bit of morning gloom at the L.A. County Fairplex. But for the most part the two days had plenty of sun with never too much heat.
Attesting to the morning gloom are these two pictures of an interesting Model A taken on the walk from parking to the roadster exhibition proper. There are plenty of vintage details to appreciate on this early A, which appears to be channeled (with a louvered skirt). But the four-bar front suspension suggests the car may not be so very old.
Some view this as a '32 Ford show, and clearly they dominate. But there's always a good number of tasty roadsters from other years. This red T roadster pickup fills the bill. A lot of subtle and not so subtle changes define its appearance. (Find a picture of a stocker.) Note the 1940 Ford suspension peeking out below the radiator and effectively lengthening the wheelbase.
If I cross paths with Dennis Varni's AMBR-winning Model A, I will take a picture of it. If I get a decent picture of it, I will probably run it on the site. Some folks might want to discount the smoothie look, but I still really like this car and am still fascinated with the clean and simple appearance of its torsion bar front suspension.
Three takes on the '36 Ford. But how about the Buick nailhead in the black Deuce captured in the background of the first view of the first red car?
This white early A smoothie proudly sports a license plate that reads "BILLET." Long live the memory of John Buttera.
The crew at Kugel Komponents brought out an array of completed "Muroc" roadsters, including Jerry's race car and the 2020 AMBR car of Monte Belsham. Chassis are, of course, from Kugel Komponents. Marcel's shop was commissioned for the bodies.
Convertibles, like the grey car fronting the line of '40s, technically aren't roadsters, so they display with the closed cars.
This 1950 Ford coupe was photographed Friday morning along with the Model A up top. Except for the chrome bullnose at the front of the hood plus the chromed wheels with spider caps, this appears to be a concours-level restoration. Even the color looks to me to be an original. But, oh that stance – just exactly low enough. Especially in the custom car heyday, we've all seen these cars with every conceivable kind and level of customization. Many of those cars look fantastic. But so does this.
Chevrolets are in short supply at this show (cars, not engines). Here are four I quite liked.
Of the early Impalas, the 1962 has become my favorite. They have pretty styling lines that are clean and subtle but never boring.
I've always been a Nomad fan and liked the '55s the best, probably because of the rear wheel opening. This red resto-mod appeared flawless on the outside, comfy on the inside.
Can the L.A. Roadster Show Be Saved?
Maybe I should quit posing this question. The pandemic notwithstanding, the show soldiers on. After two years off, I had hopes for a huge turnout this year. I don't have access to any data, but this time seemed much like 2019. That's not a bad thing. I'm very glad to have gone and to have seen what I saw. Plus, friends attending the swap meet were pleased with what they accomplished. So, here's to a good time again in 2023!
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