The Grand National Roadster Show

Also known as the Granddaddy of all hot rod shows! It just had its 65th birthday. The show occupies 9 Exhibit buildings on the LA County Fairgrounds. It is the most prestigious of all the auto shows and one of the largest.

Tom and his friend Jerry went to the show Pomona while I drove to Albuquerque. After five days of shooting, lots and lots of walking and 3,000 images taken . . . I got some of his current favorites.

Tom loves the show and has been to 8 of them. This year the show was extra special for Tom. His friend, Lee Pratt took, his restored '55 Chevy Nomad to the show. This is the car that Tom had custom painted for Lee in November, 1967. Over the years the car was sold to multiple owners and Lee lost track of it. Long story short, Lee found the car and set out to restoring it, including a new paint job just like the one Tom had painted on it 46 years earlier. Only this time, Lee did the painting as Tom photographed his progress! 

ISO 2200, f/5.6, 1/20 at 26mm with Nikon D7000 and 18-200mm Nikkor lens.

This is an antique Corvette with a drag racer treatment.

ISO 100, f/1.7, 1/60 at 50mm with Nikon D600 and 50mm f1.4 Nikkor prime lens.

This is what happens when a very rich rockstar (James Hetfield of Metallica) hires the best designers and craftsmen to build his dream car completely from scratch, including all body panels.

ISO 1000, f/2.8, 1/60 at 48mm with Nikon D600 and 24-70mm Nikkor lens.

This next image is a salt flats racer created from a WWII era aircraft fuel tank.

ISO 1600, f/4.8, 1/45 at 20mm with Nikon D7000 and 18-200mm Nikkor lens. Processed in Nik HDR Pro 2 and converted to B&W in Aperture.

On Saturday and Sunday, in addidion to the 600 cars in buildings, the show opens up to another 800 or so cars which drive in and park around the grounds. Some of the more interesting cars, to me, come from this group.

ISO 100, f/1.4, 1/500 at 50mm with Nikon D600 and 50mm f1.4 Nikkor prime lens.

The NHRA Museum occupies one of the fairground's buildings as a permanent display of Southern California's roots and influence of the hot rod sport.

ISO 100, f/13, at 15mm with Nikon D600 and 15mm Sigma fisheye. Processed in Nik HDR Effects Pro 2.

Each year the show features one genre of hot rodding.  This year the feature was of the Bonneville salt flat racers. The red car is an all-out race car built to achieve land speed records. It has the shell removed (upper side) to show the mechanical aspects of the car. The gray car in the middle is an amateur's 'on a budget' car.

ISO 100, f/5.6, 1 second at 24mm with Nikon D600 and 24-70mm Nikkor lens. Flash used.

The photo below is of a 1965 era show rod, the 'milk truck' was originally created by highschool student Dan Woods.  It won the top award at the Winternationals car show that year.

ISO 100, f/5.6, 4 seconds at 24mm with Nikon D600 and 24-70mm Nikkor lens.

ISO 400, f/9.5, 1/250 at 140mm with Nikon D600 and 70-300mm Nikkor lens.

ISO 100, f/6.7, 1/125 at 24mm with Nikon D600 and 24-70mm Nikkor lens.

This is a 1940 La Salle. The reflections show off the fairgrounds!

ISO 2000, f/8, 1/350 at 26mm with Nikon D600 and 24-70mm Nikkor lens.

ISO 1600, f/6.7, 1/15 at 24mm with Nikon D600 and 24-70 mm Nikkor lens.

ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/250 at 220mm with Nikon D600 and 70-300mm Nikkor lens.

ISO 200, f/6.7, 1/90 at 27mm with Nikon D600 and 24-70mm Nikkor lens.

Tom has more car shows planned this year.  Stay tuned!!