Rod Authority has the pleasure of collaborating with good friend and fellow contributor, Dennis Pittsenbarger. As of late, he had all but tossed in his typing skills for time behind either a microphone or video camera, leaving automotive journalism on hold. With the 65th annual Grand National Roadster Show, Dennis came through with some great coverage, combining video and the written word to provide Rod Authority with some exclusive coverage of “The Grand Daddy of Them All”. If you’re fans of beautiful customs, bikes, hot rods, gassers, and those daring enough to contend for the coveted title of Americas Most Beautiful Roadster take a trip through the halls of the Pomona Fairplex.
A Century Of Speed–Celebrating 100 Years Of Bonneville Salt Flats Racing
Visitors wandering into building nine were greeted by the sounds of speed, Bonneville speed to be more specific. If you wanted to immerce yourself in the heritage of Bonneville’s prestigious history you were in the right place. Ron Main, a self-described wild man of the salt gave a personal tour of the amazing history that filled the building’s walls. From the Blitzen Benz and it’s hundred year old run of 141.73mph to several members of the 400mph club you could not stop being amazed by the velocity packed stories that roamed the collection. The “A Century of Speed” display, celebrating the 100th Anniversary of Bonneville past, present, and future of of the slat flats was a site all its own. Proceeds from the book sales are completely dedicated to help make sure that Bonneville is here for another 100 years.
Builder Of The Year–Steve Cook Of Steve Cook Creations
One of the most flattering awards of the Grand National Roadster Show is being crowned “Builder of the Year”. This year’s recipient was Steve Cook from Steve Cook creations. For Steve and his team the process and passion of building cars is far greater than the award at the end of the show-car display.
Rod Authority sat with Steve and though warned by friends and Steve himself of his inherent shyness and quite nature, he opened up and shared a wealth of information. No ego, no boastful comments–just a real guy that has a passion, a vision, and the patience to build world class show cars that are fully functional. There was no doubt that Steve and his team were fully deserving of the honor.
2014 AMBR–America’s Most Beautiful Roadster Contender Breakdown
Next up was a tour through building four to check out the contenders for this year’s America’s Most Beautiful Roadsters. Helping Rod Authority with that task was Hollywood Hot Rods own Troy Ladd. Not only is Troy a gifted builder, he is also a judge, and if you check out the coverage from last years Grand National Roadster Show it is by no means an easy task to determine who the honor should go to. Nevertheless, Troy lead the tour of each AMBR contender and with the help of several other friends, insights, and notes, Rod Authority came up with its personal picks for 2014. You can check that out in a followup feature article. For now, here’s a peek at each of the contenders accompanied by video footage below.
Paul Gommi’s 1932 Ford Phaeton
Roseville High School’s 1931 Ford Pickup
Bill Enderson’s 1923 Ford Model T Roadster
Ronnie & Debra Goodwin’s 1932 Ford Speedster
Dan Van Auken’s 1932 Ford Deuce Low Boy Roadster
Richard Chiarenza’s 1934 Chevrolet Phaeton
Gerber Special 459 Syclone Motorsports Roadster
Larry Maddox’s 1932 Ford
Charlie & Karen Matus’s 1927 Ford
Bill Grant’s 1932 Ford Deluxe Roadster
Wes Rydells’ 1935 Chevrolet Phaeton
America’s Most Beautiful Motocycle Contenders
The Grand National Roadster Show is not about to forget about how important and visually stunning two-wheeled creations are. Here is your personal peek at the contenders for the 2014 America’s Most Beautiful Motorcycle. The video below provides a look into what makes this part of the annual Grand National Roadster Show so special for enthusiasts of the two-wheel creations that gifted builders bring each year.
The Fun House–2014 GNRS Suede Palace
The Suede Palace was established to provide a place for traditional low-buck, homebuilt hot rods and customs that preserve the heritage of heyday traditional hot rodding of the 40s, 50s and 60s. Axle Idzardi helps continue the trend of traditional hot rods by building with old school hardware and maintaining purist looks through genuine parts and early speed equipment. The Suede Palace is not only about the traditional and era correct rides, but also the lifestyle that goes along with the feel of Axle’s vision. Nostalgic clothing, neon signs, pinstriping, classic art, and of course beautiful pinup girls filled the building and rounded out this must-see portal into a time gone by but hardly forgotten.
AMBR–Most Beautiful Motorcycle And Roadster For 2014
Last and by no means least are the winners of both the AMBM–America’s Most Beautiful Motorcycle and AMBR–America’s Most Beautiful Roadster. It is and will always be one of the most coveted and prestigious awards the automotive community places each year. The history and richness of these awards brings out builders of past and present to accumulate their love of custom work that is hardly rivaled in the custom coach work arena.
Lupo of Lupo Racing and his custom creation that is as much hot rod as it is motorcycle was the recipient of this year’s AMBM. His language barriers were no match for his drive to create and build a special bike that had a constant audience throughout the show weekend.
Wes Rydell’s 1935 Chevy Phaeton built by Troy Trepanier of Rad Rides by Troy won the 2014 America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award. This outstanding effort of both design and function was a sight to see. From the smallest details to the largest of modifications this was the overwhelming “whispering winner” of the show. It was no surprise to us that in the end it took home the nine foot trophy and the title of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster.
Make sure to check out Rod Authority’s gallery of images below and for infomation on how to attend, vend, or exhibit that special vehicle in your garage at next years show, make sure to contact John Buck and the GNRS staff at www.rodshows.com.