Father’s Day weekend, California, Los Angeles area, Pomona, Fairplex: If you’re a hot rodder you’ve got this marked in your calendar long before: The LA Roadster Show. Happening since 1960, we wanted to see if the rumours were true that this is the greatest roadster show on the planet.
The Los Angeles Roadsters are well known around for their beautiful roadsters and their club uniform of red shirts and white pants. This uniform has been a tradition since the club started in 1957. Membership consists of 28 active members, 11 lifetime members, 19 associate members and 5 honorary members, all with pre-36 roadsters.
In 1960, the LA Roadsters started the now famous LA Roadster Show and Swap Meet. This year, they celebrated their 60th anniversary with their 52nd show happening. Beginning in 1960, primarily as a swap meet at the Hollywood Bowl, the show went into a five-year hiatus between 1962 and 1966. In 1967 the show was resurrected and scheduled for Father’s Day weekend, where it happened ever since.
In 1968, the show was moved to the Great Western Exhibit Center where it grew bigger every year. In 1979, urban redevelopment forced the club to move the show to another location. Since 1980, the LA Roadster Show is happening at the Fairplex in Pomona, in 1985 it was even expanded into a two-day event. In 2009 the show hit a new record with over 850 roadsters displayed.
That small show held at a parking lot of the Hollywood Bowl in 1957 has not only grown in size and importance, its swap meet may have beoame the breeding grounds for the hot rod revival in the mid 90ies that’s still going strong today. There’s pretty much anything there, and it’s huge. Just a stroll through the swap meet would probably take you the whole two days of the show to have seen it all.
The only requirements to have your car at the LA Roadster Show are that the car is 1936 or earlier, “finished” – which means painted glossy – and sure it has to be a roadster. There’s also everything else invited and has their own parking lot. Pretty much everything until 1977 can be seen there: More Hot Rods, Kustoms, muscle cars, Gassers, stockers, and everything in between.
As expected, there were some absolutely fabulous cars at this year’s LA Roadster show. But attendance was remarkably low this year we were told. Coming from Europe, the show still seemed huge, so we weren’t actually disappointed but rather thankful: With the weather being just above the 100 °F mark, we weren’t really into walking around all that much anyway. And there were a lot of other things happening for us as well, like this year’s Road Devils World Run that happened at the LA Roadster show, but this is another story we’re already looking forward telling you.