The Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS), held annually at the Fairplex in Pomona, California, has hosted the largest indoor car show for the past 71 years. On the grounds of the Fairplex is the famed Auto Club Raceway at Pomona. This historic facility has hosted National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) national events since 1961 and is one of only three tracks to hold to two nationals events each season. Also upon the fairgrounds lies the NHRA Motorsports Museum, which opened to the public in 1998. The Museum is over 28,000 square feet of hot rodding eye-candy, and a must-do for any drag racing enthusiast!
This year, the Grand National Roadster Show featured a special exhibit called “Drag Racing Then and Now” which was presented by Lucas Oil and sponsored by Cragar Wheel. The exhibit hosted a curated gathering of the most important, unique, and stylish dragsters from throughout history. Dragsters on display included a 1967 Buick Gran Sport Funny Car by Lipori/Fiberglass LTD., which is the only Buick-powered Buick Funny Car ever created. Also on hand was Shirley Muldowney’s 1977 NHRA championship-winning Top Fuel dragster, the first car piloted by a woman to capture an NHRA professional series crown.
When we first stepped into exhibit hall, we were pleasantly surprised with the diversity and rarity of the cars on display. The exhibit encompassed cars from the early 1950’s all the way through your modern day pro and sportsman car. While many of the older race cars were curated by new owners, some were left untouched. Nearly every display had storyboards explaining all the fine details of the car and the classes they run. To our delight, many owners displayed photos, time-slips, gear, and memorabilia — some dating over 60 years old. We spent hours in the exhibit hall, looking at each car and hearing the stories they continue to create. We loved every hot rod on display, but here are some of our favorites!
The “Then and Now” drag racing exhibit at the 71st annual Grand National Roadster Show was truly remarkable. On display were dozens of drag cars seen over many generations. The exhibit attracted many enthusiasts, some young, and some reliving their past!