It was nothing but beauty and grace at the 51st L.A. Roadsters Show & Swap in Pomona, California. With several roadsters, customs, gassers, and street rods in attendance, the sunny Southern California weather made the automobiles glisten and highlighted their classic lines that much more.
Complete with a car show, arena, various vendors, and a sizable swap meet, there was something for everyone at this year’s show. Whether you came to praise the sight of nice cars or hunt for that bumper or accessory to complete your own build, the show was nothing short of spectacular.
With car clubs, hot rod, and old school enthusiasts at the show, there was plenty of cars to gawk and express awe over. From bright and loud customs to patina’d rust buckets, there were even lowriders and gassers in attendance as well.
Follow us as we tell you about our top seven picks from the show, in no particular order. Without further ado, let’s jump into our best choices out of the bunch.
Best In Class
#7: Simple, Clean, Low-Key, And Classy
Starting off the top of our list, we bring you a beautiful 1962 Buick Wagon Special. It may be the classic wagon on the outside but its internals are capable of handling the roads today.
The Wagon boasts a 231 cubic-inch 3.8 liter fuel injected turbocharged V6 engine, which is rated at 245 horsepower and 355 lb-ft of torque. Complete with dual intercoolers, the motor is mated with a rebuilt 200 4R Grand National four-speed automatic transmission.
Riding on air ride suspension and a 9-inch Ford rearend with a 4-bar setup, the Wagon is customizable to ensure great ride quality and reliable handling. Surprisingly, the chassis was changed out from a unibody to a fully custom chassis.
Complete with new flooring, firewall, chromed roof rack, and various re-chromed pieces around the Wagon, this car has been essentially reborn as a bonafide custom. With over $80,000 invested into this Buick Wagon, every dollar shows due to the meticulous attention to detail on every single part.
#6: A Tricked Out Caddy For The Ages
Staying close to his build, John Eggum takes a lot of pride in his 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Painted with a custom Tangelo color scheme, the Cadillac is loud and can’t be missed wherever it goes.
Exterior body modifications include custom front and rear grilles by Glory Grills in Lake Elsinore, California. Its emblems have been removed as well as the door handles, which were shaved to give a sense of smooth body continuity.
The Cadillac has a spaceship like feel to it with its winged taillights and bulbous body shape. Eggum’s Cadillac is bagged, riding on stock front suspension and four-bar with bags out back. With the ability to sit flush on the frame, it gives Eggum’s custom a nice aesthetic with its low center of gravity.
Powering the big Cadillac is a General Motors 6.2 liter LS3 V8 mill with custom Cadillac valve covers, which is rated at a furious 435 horsepower. The LS3 engine is mated with a six-speed automatic transmission and a Ford 9-inch rearend with 3.70 gears.
A four-wheel disc brake kit provides plenty of stopping power for the 18×8 inch Cadillac wheels wrapped with 235/55R18 Goodyear tires. All looks great on the outside but the interior also stands out.
The dash is actually from a 1959 Chevy, with telemetry provided by Haneline from Oldtown, Idaho. The Cadillac also has air conditioning and heat supplied by Vintage Air.
The steering column is custom fabricated by Ididit from Tecumsah, Michigan and a Kenwood sound system keeps the beats bumping in the fresh Cadillac. The center console is also custom and the front seats are out of a 1997 Chrysler La Baron convertible. The rear seats are out of a Toyota and the plush upholstery was handled by House of Trim in Paramount, California.
Eggum would like to give special thanks to Ernie Belcher Sr. and Ernie Belcher Jr. as they were the two who built this loud and proud Coupe de Ville.
#5: The Deluxe Package
Aiming for a vintage look that is true to its original form, we present to you Ted Hidinger’s 1940 Ford Deluxe Coupe. A local from Mission Viejo, California, Hidinger’s Ford Deluxe is a sweet black beauty.
The flawless PPG single stage Black paint brings out the body lines of this car, which are as straight as an arrow. The chrome bumpers and side trim show no signs of rust, making the car look fresh off the car lot.
The two tone chrome and red wheels add an old school aesthetic to the Deluxe that will be sure to please even the classic car enthusiast. However, its components inside are what truly rejuvenates this 75 year old Ford Deluxe.
With only 7,500 miles on the car, the Deluxe has a 350 cubic-inch ZZ4 small-block Crate engine that is rated at 355 horsepower and 405 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated with a 700R4 four-speed automatic transmission and a 9-inch Currie Enterprises rearend.
Moreover, the engine has chrome 7-fin Corvette valve covers and a 750 cfm carburetor with Jet Hot coated headers and a Griffin performance aluminum radiator with an electric fan to keep everything cool.
The front end is from a Ford Mustang II, coupled with power steering to provide easy maneuverability. The rear suspension was fabricated by Chassis Engineering from West Branch, Iowa.
The interior of the Ford Deluxe has a reworked dash that conceals the air conditioning and CD controls. The dash has a custom Classic Instruments 1940 Deluxe gauge cluster, a Nardi wood rimmed steering, an a polished SS Lime Works steering column with a column shifter attached.
The wood grain interior trim adds a touch of class to the Deluxe and complements the tan leather Glide seats inside. A clean build from head to toe, we like what Hidinger has done here and hope to see it at more shows in the future.
#4: One Seamlessly Fresh Roadster
Black and chrome spell out the freshness of this 1932 Ford Roadster. Named Mirage, this Roadster is dreamy and has beauty to drool over.
The body was designed by Jesse Greening, which includes a Marcel three piece extended aluminum hood and custom vented side panels. The low slung and extended frame sports a wide 112-inch wheelbase.
Up front is a Kugel Komponents stainless steel independent front suspension with low profile chrome billet aluminum spindle uprights with chrome moly spindles. The front takes bumps in the road with billet aluminum shocks with Eibach springs.
The staggered set of 17-inch front and 20-inch rear Boyd wheels are the icing on the cake for the Roadster. The polished, deep-dish lips add a nice touch of visual depth to the Roadster.
For stopping power, the Roadster has sizable 11-inch drilled and slotted-vented Wilwood rotors with Billet six-piston polished calipers all the way around the Roadster. The beefy 9-inch rear end with 3.25:1 gears is complemented with a stainless independent rear suspension from Kugel Komponents and torque sensitive posi-traction.
Opening the hood, there is a 454 cubic-inch big-block V8 with a one-piece rear main seal, modified Hedman headers, and a Mattsons aluminum triple flow radiator with a 16-inch electric fan that is controlled by the thermostat. The engine is mated with a custom-built 700R4 automatic transmission and a smooth shift converter.
Stainless steel Magnaflow mufflers produce a distinct growl for the Roadster. The interior of the Roadster is custom as well, fitted with a ultra plush vinyl fabric. The custom bench seat is actually from a Toyota pickup truck. Truly a beauty in the eye of the beholder, we simply couldn’t take our eyes off this sweet Ford Roadster.
#3: Oldie But Goodie Vintage Roadster
Keeping the trend of roadsters, let’s take a look at Marcus Duran’s 1927 Ford Model T Roadster. Looking like a vintage racer from back in its heyday, Duran’s Model T turned heads at the show.
An exceptional vehicle, Duran’s Roadster stands out with its 1960s Chevy II/Nova midget four cylinder race car engine, McGurk roller cam, Venolia pistons, and electronic fuel injection from Hilborn.
The front suspension is a 5-inch dropped super bell tube axle with Speedway Motors front spindles. Duran engineered and fabricated a Formula I style front suspension as the coilover shocks are mounted inboard on both the front and rear of the Roadster.
The rear end is custom built by Harley Klentz, who modified a Chevrolet housing using Halibrand Gears.
As for the body, it is a Fiberglass Trends 1927 Model T Ford that was hand formed to fit a 1952 aluminum “Kurtts Kraft 2000” Indy race car nose. The wheels are custom-built Kelsey Hayes style wheels by Gary McLean.
The sprint car steering is custom as well, built to the owner’s specification by Gary Schroeder Engineering. Fully functional and not a trailer queen, this vintage racer was a treat to see at the show.
Black really brought out the elegance of this 1957 Ford Fairlane Skyliner. With only 125,000 original miles, this Fairlane has stood the test of time in its 58 years of existence.
With recent work completed in 2010, the Fairlane has only been driven 12,000 miles since. Going through multiple owners and stored from 1981 to 1992, this Fairlane has been treated like a queen.
The Fairlane has new 351 cubic-inch Windsor-Ford Racing crate engine that is rated at 385 horsepower. The engine is linked to a rebuilt Ford AOD four-speed automatic transmission, which has been subsequently upgraded with electronic controls.
To slow all this power down, the Fairlane has a full disc brake system with 12-inch fronts and 11-inch rears. A 2-inch drop front spindle and 16-inch American Racing wheels give the Fairlane a classic, yet aggressive stance.
The inside has been updated as well, including power seats, a tilt steering column with a Grant steering wheel, and new air conditioning system. This Fairlane has been thoroughly treated and respected over all these years and it has gained ours as well. It may not be original anymore, but we like the direction it is going in.
#1: Taking Two For The Road
Stopping everyone in their tracks upon walking in, we saw Leonard Knight’s 1929 Ford Model A Roadster. It is an all-steel body that has a 2-inch chopped windshield and a Z’d frame from behind the firewall and seat.
The frame was custom fabricated, using 2×4 inch tubing in conjunction with part of the stock frame. The front axle is off of a 1934 Ford as the rear has a Ford 8-inch rear end with 3:1 gear ratio.
The Roadster is powered by a 1967 Chrysler 440 cubic-inch engine, coupled with 905 Magnum heads, two 500 cfm Edelbrock carburetors, and 1960 Chrysler 300G long ram intake polished aluminum manifolds. It also has O’Brien polished aluminum finned scoops, a Torqueflite transmission with manual shift, and a 10-gallon spun aluminum gas tank.
A cool part of this custom Roadster is that its chassis and axles are powder coated with burnt orange metallic pearl paint, giving a subtle contrast to the black body. The pinstriping on the trunk and rear bumper give the back of the Roadster some artistic qualities.
The Roadster is fitted with 15-inch American Racing Torque Thrust five-spoke wheels wrapped with 560×15 Firestones in the front and 8.20×15 slicks in the rear.
Moving to the interior of the Roadster, the folding back seats came off a 1967 Dodge charger and the dash is courtesy of a 1932 Studebaker Rockne with Stewart-Warner telemetry mounted in. The wood steering wheel came from a 1957 Jaguar, which is linked to a 1964 Dodge steering column.
With so much to look at and so many pieces coming from other cars, this Roadster is one of a kind and hope to see it around more often.
There were several roadsters, gassers, street rods, and hot rods that came and went throughout our day at the L.A. Roadsters Show, but we were nothing more than pleased with what we saw. With the young and old generation of enthusiasts in attendance, it was nice to see their appreciation for vintage rod styling.
What was a hot day in Pomona, California, we hope to see you out there next year as you never know what may be brought to the show. We were surprised at some of the customs we saw, but there is something for everyone, regardless of the custom’s year, make, or model.