Episode #160: LA Roadster Show

A Day Full of Walking and You Still Won't See it All


Episode # 160

Back at the Galaxie Studio in Long Beach, Calif. after a hot, full day at the 51st Annual LA Roadster Show. Great swap meet, specialty car area and of course many roadsters. A run in with the guys from Pickups Limited and Junkyard Jeff of Junkyardfind.com. Also, Bad Bob from the “Village Idiots” and Mitz Valenzuela of Mitzi & Co. We missed Holly Gollob and Aaron Stein promoters of Ventura Nationals, but we’ll be there Labor Day weekend.


Link to all photos of the LARS show here.




We took a change of pace this year for the 51st annual LA Roadster Show at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA. Instead of immediately shooting pictures and video at the Will Call entrance to the event, we walked all the way to the back fence of the swap meet area by 7 a.m. Our goal this year was to walk the entire swap meet before the 100° temperatures took over by noon. We successfully accomplished that task less a pair of cylinder heads that Davis needs for the Project Nickel and Dime Mustang.


This has got to be the best vintage tin and American auto memorabilia swap meet for Southern California. Vintage everything. Lots of sheetmetal than what I can remember from years past. Seems the Western barns and desert communities still have hidden gems that are unearthed for this event. Hard not to notice that a lot of these items were purchased the day before when the vendors set up their booths.

Everything from full size Mercurys to rusted coupe bodies and frames lined up the rows in the hot sun. Also worth noting was the increase in vintage engines. Lots of engine parts, mostly in original condition with vintage performance parts mixed in.


Call it the swap meet for the traditional hot rod market. Bring your cash and Radio Flyer wagon along with cold water, walking shoes and a hat. You want to be done with all the walking around by noon. It’s hot.


The specialty car corral is just as it’s named. Most everything here is also for sale; finished hot rods, muscle cars, customs, trucks and even a few motorcycles are polished and waxed and ready for a new home. Bring your cash or digital device for electronic transfer of funds and you’ll be a proud new owner of something very “cool”. The big word here is “finished” meaning a nice paint job. Expect top quality work and finish in this area.


Lastly, the roadster area. It looked like less roadsters showed up this year. We’re guessing it had something to do with the extreme heat for the weekend event. I can only wonder how “cool” you look in a ’32 Roadster on the freeway when it’s over a 100 degrees outside and the car has been sitting in a parking lot for 8 hours. I’ll worry about that later. The roadsters that did show up along the LA Roadster Club member cars were just plain outstanding. Beauty and speed wrapped up between two steel frame rails. One of particular mention was a roadster that sported some special modern day engineering. This roadster had a custom EFI system outfitted with fuel rails and electronic trigger system off the front flathead crankshaft. It sported new custom heads with fabricated aluminum runners and an airbox to handle the incoming air. Lots of engineering was done for this vintage flathead block which would still retain its flathead firing order that makes it so unique.


Some of the lucky vendors had a booth inside the single building which had the air conditioning working full speed. This building housed a few of the original roadsters of Robert Petersen and Ray Brown. They looked like they just rolled out of 1958.

Custom car builders like the 401K Club and accessory vendors like Mooneyes were amongst the many booths of neon, custom upholsterers and hot rod magazines. We weren’t much into those markets of products, but they were definitely busy with spectators.


Special thanks to the LA Roadster Club for their hospitality and organizing another epic event for Southern California.