Winter is the time of the year for indoor car and bike shows around the country. For years and years, the cold part of the country pulled in hot rods and custom bikes when the weather turned crappy-not cold, just crappy. For some of us, that time of the year usually came right after Halloween and lasted through to the middle of February when the first show of the season came to our humble city. A week or so later, the same promoter was a couple of cities away and we were there looking to take home some more trophies and party with some new people.
When it comes to "The" show, it has always been the Grand National Roadster Show. The GNRS originated in Northern California, Oakland in the "East Bay" to be exact, or as close as we can remember. Back then it was simply known to us as "Oakland". A few years ago, the show promoters changed and the new promoters thought that a custom car show should be held in a warmer climate like Los Angeles. So the show moved south for the winter and in doing so, lost the moniker of Oakland to be known from now until the next move as the Grand National Roadster Show. OK, the show is now in LA, or Pomona, California, if you want to be specific. The Los Angeles County Fairgrounds hosts the show in six of the exhibit buildings on their vast property. One feature that has been added since the show came south was the addition of a trophy dubbed "America's Most Beautiful Bike". The GNRS has always had the distinction of awarding the trophy for America's most beautiful roadster, so why not the most beautiful bike. To enter the "Show", your car or bike had to run, well not just run, but also move under its own power. Move-in and especially move-out night was thrilling to say the least. Race cars with open headers rumbling for the door and a quick blast across the parking lot to their waiting carriers gave a great show. But the bikes, they were a little trickier; the polished floor of the arena from thousands and thousands of feet shuffling would wear away any traction from its surface, making even a simple burnout turn into a handful of sideways motorcycles if the riders weren't careful.
Every show held in every city has their own twists and turns that make them special to those people who attend and participate. For those people lucky or skilled enough to bring home a trophy, congratulations.