Cream Of The Crop at 2003 Grand National Roadster Show
2003 Grand National Roadster Show -- San Mateo
From the February, 2009 issue of Popular Hot Rodding
By David Fetherston
Oh, how time flies! It seems that we just had the 50th anniversary of the Grand National Roadster Show and suddenly it's the 54th. Over the past decade, the Grand National Roadster Show has had its blah years. It moved three-times, was once bannered under the National Roadster Show, and now it's the Grand National Roadster Show in the San Mateo Expo Center, about 30 miles south of its original location in the heart of Northern California's San Francisco bay area.
The main buildings were all at capacity this year. The rods, customs, street machines, and trucks filled the two center buildings, while the new import section took up a third building. From its roots as a rod and custom show, it has expanded into motorcycles, racecars, trucks, restorations, classic, boats, and now sport compact/import cars. This variety certainly attracts the maximum spectators, and so with every business, it's the bottom line that counts--rod and custom shows are no different.
However, the focus is still the America's Most Beautiful Roadster competition. This year about 16 rods vied for the title. The judging for the AMBR took place over the weekend and was announced on Monday night at the event-ending ceremony, as this is now a four-day show. This year's winner George Lange obviously invested lot of time and money with both Hot Rods by Boyd and Bobby Alloway to get his well-deserved win.
Once again, the Grand National Roadster Show offered everyone a bellyful of the best in hot rodding, street machines, and custom cars. They call this show, the Grand Daddy of all the hot rod and custom shows, and after 54 years, it still is the mind poppin' basketful of eye-candy that one does not easily forgo or forget.
The Rod Zombies display featured...
The Rod Zombies display featured this cool drag race starting line scene with Jason Pierotti's custom '54 Chevy, racing Bill Gonzales '32 DeSoto. PHR TV fans will remember that it was the Road Zombies whom got Cam and Dean motivated to form the Road Apples!
Brian Davis, from Discovery...
Brian Davis, from Discovery Bay, California, showed his black Wescott-bodied '32 roadster. Built by Leonard Lopez of Dominator Motorsports (Brentwood, CA), it features a Sid Chavers interior and Dave Robello-built 383 Chevy. Look for Tim Kerrigan's Dominator built Red Line Oil Roadster, a '33 Ford with a Ford Racing DOHC 4.6L Cobra drivetrain and outrageous suspension, at this same show next year.
Dave Tucci never builds simple...
Dave Tucci never builds simple hot rods. This year, his Copper Bronze '35 Cyprus roadster was yet another example of the great work coming out of his Marcy, New York, shop. Tucci's Cyprus was one of the AMBR award finalists.
You saw it last year at the...
You saw it last year at the Detroit Autorama, but it was mothballed to go for another big title. At San Mateo, it finally came back out. George Lange, from Webster Groves, Missouri, won the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Award grand prize with his brilliant red '32 Ford roadster. Built by both Hot Rods by Boyd and Alloway's Hot Rod Shop, the car features extreme detailing with 16 and 20-inch wheels, all-aluminum Chevy 454 power and a Paul Atkins interior.
Dr. Mark Van Buskirk, from...
Dr. Mark Van Buskirk, from Crown Point IN, arrived with in style with the old-school favorite, the Khougaz Roadster. Built by Jim Khougaz in 1946 as a dry lakes roadster, it was restored by East Coast Customs and won the Bruce Meyer Hot Rod Preservation Award.
Powered by a blown Ardun with...
Powered by a blown Ardun with "zoomie" headers poking out of the fat front fenders, Keith Tardel at Rex Rods & Chassis built Paul B's '36 Ford Coupe. This black 3-window is heart and soul hot rod stuff.
Without doubt, Randy Grubbs'...
Without doubt, Randy Grubbs' Blastoline Special, powered by a twelve-cylinder Continental aircraft engine, was the show's wildest offering. This huge, 22-foot-long roadster runs an Allison bus transmission and a Rockwell truck rear axle.
If you own a hot rod and it's...
If you own a hot rod and it's judged "Class Winner" at the Grand National Roadster Show, that's like winning Indy to a drag racer. Our former editor and current Super Chevy Senior Editor, Randy Fish, won this prestigious honor with his '32 Ford highboy roadster known as "32 ZOOM." Of all the tricks, we think the racing-inspired Moroso sheetmetal valve covers won over the judges.
Loliner was the appropriate...
Loliner was the appropriate name for Jim Rydeliys' 1960 Ford Starliner hardtop. With its reworked body, new stance, two-tone paint, and Colorado Custom wheels, it's a real street machine that maintains the custom rod movement that differentiates itself from street machines.
Sorry, but it's not the real...
Sorry, but it's not the real thing. However, Guido Brenner's replica of the old Red Baron custom show car is nearly complete, with its hand-formed German military helmet top, machine gun and '33 Chrysler "flatmotor."
Although they found it resprayed...
Although they found it resprayed green and stored since 1968, Jim and Stacy Breazeale brought Roy Abendros' Busonic back to its 1963 incarnation. They replicated the Watson-applied spray, but in modern candies, metallics, and flake. This car is a favorite among car magazines. It has even run twice within the pages of PHR.
Richard Zocchi faithfully...
Richard Zocchi faithfully reproduced the '62 Pontiac he showed in 1962, but with one major change: he chopped this one's top. The bigger-than-life cruiser sports one of the smoothest orange fade sprays, period-perfect open-lug chrome wheels with spiders, and crazy taillights.