Grand National Roadster Show 2024 Packs Fans into Pomona Fairplex
Images: Dave Kommel
The yearly event, once known as the Oakland Roadster Show, the Grand National is the longest running indoor car show in the world! Produced at the Fairplex in Pomona for the 19th consecutive year, over 500 show vehicles were on hand. Between the show in Oakland and Pomona, the event has been going for 74 years.
Another 400-800 vehicles joined the event each day for the 18th Annual Grand Daddy Drive-In.
This year’s show included the presentation of two of the custom car world’s most coveted awards the America s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) award and the Al Slonaker Memorial Award.
The America s Most Beautiful Roadster award, considered the ultimate recognition in the world of hot rodding, was awarded to a 1932 Ford two‑door Phaeton owned by Beth Myers and built by Roy Brizio Street Rods. The flamed Phaeton bested eight other roadsters, taking home the title s $12,500 prize sponsored by ARP Fasteners. Myers will also be immortalized on the award s 9.5‑foot‑tall perpetual trophy alongside a who’s who of hot rodding, including legendary builders like George Barris, Andy Brizio and Boyd Coddington.
The AMBR‑winning Phaeton started with one of 32 Brookville two‑door tubs. From there, Brizio Street Rods reworked every panel to give the car its signature hot‑rod profile, including a rear body section reshaped to resemble a 1932 Ford Tudor sedan. The Brizio team built the custom 1932 Ford frame, complete with a Super Bell axle and Moal torsion bar suspension. The 500+‑horsepower Roush 427 is backed by a Tremec five‑speed and a Winters V8 quick‑change rearend.
With its deep black paint by Vintage Color Studio, full‑length flames by Art Himsl and custom pinstriping by Eric Reyes, the car pays homage to old school hot rods with modern‑day performance. Like all of Brizio s signature builds, this one‑of‑kind tub is low, fast and built to drive.
Rush s 1959 Bespoke Chevrolet Impala hardtop was awarded the 2024 Al Slonaker Memorial Award. Dedicated to the memory of Al and Mary Slonaker, who founded the Grand National Roadster Show in 1950, the award has been presented to the best non‑roadster vehicle at the show since 1974. Rush also received a $12,500 prize courtesy of ARP Fasteners and a custom billet trophy.
Built by Steve Cook Creations, the Impala features a 518 cubic‑inch LS3 motor built by Don Hardy mounted on a Roadster Shop chassis. Despite its classic appeal, there is nothing stock about this incredible Impala. The green pearl beauty has been modified with raised front wheel openings, a lengthened body line to add length to the front, custom aluminum recessed hood panels, custom‑built front and rear valences, custom side‑ and quarter‑panel trim and flush headlight and taillight bezels. The interior by Gabe s Custom Interiors boasts 1965 Chevelle seats, a custom steering wheel and gauge lenses by EVOD and Dakota Digital gauges. Finished with Adventurine Green Pearl paint by BASF and chrome by Ogden, this classic beat out 10 other contenders to take home the 2024 Slonaker Award.
Each year, we are blown away by the incredible hot rods and customs that compete for the America s Most Beautiful Roadster and Al Slonaker awards, said John Buck, owner of Rod Shows and producer of the Grand National Roadster Show. These two cars exemplify everything these awards are designed to recognize and were competing against full fields of tough competition. We are so grateful to the car owners, sponsors and attendees who make this event possible each year.
Overall, more than 500 individual awards were presented during the closing ceremonies of the Grand National Roadster Show, which has earned its reputation as The Grand Daddy of Them All by showcasing hundreds of world‑class roadsters, hot rods, muscle cars and customs while attracting tens of thousands of fans throughout the weekend.
Highlights of this year’s show included a collection of trendsetting, historic and unique street machines in the Street Machines: Then & Now, presented by All Chevy Performance, The Roadster Shop and Maita Chevrolet display in the feature building. The curated collection included popular Pro Street, Pro Touring, street freaks and muscle machines ranging from Mustangs and Camaros to Cudas and Novas. The event also recognized Orange, California s Cambra Speed Shop as the 2024 GNRS Builder of the Year with a special display.
Attendees enjoyed an up‑close look at industry‑leading builds, including Kevin Hart s 1969 GTO built by Detroit Speed and his 1959 Corvette, as well as historic hot rods like the 1934 Ford Cop Shop Coupe built by Tom Prufer, Bob Reed’s 1909 Ford C‑Cab Country Butcher Shop truck, the first‑ever Al Slonaker award winner, and the recently discovered Uncertain T hot rod, displayed by Galpin Motors.
To the delight of onlookers, a talented crew from Orange County Hot Rods transformed a low‑mileage, family‑owned 1969 Camaro into a Pro Touring street machine designed by Sean Smith in just three days.
The 18th annual Grand Daddy Drive‑In featured hundreds of vehicles ranging from classic hot rods to modern customs in the outdoor portion of the show, while the new Hemmings.com Car Corral Drive‑In hosted vehicles from Hemmings Make Offer platform, providing owners a unique opportunity to display and sell their collector cars to a passionate audience.
The popular pinstriper auctions on Saturday and Sunday raised $56,000 for Teen Challenge of Southern California, which is dedicated to bringing restoration and healing to people trapped in drug and alcohol addiction while providing hope to their family members.
For more information about the Grand National Roadster Show and the full list of 2024 award winners, please visit rodshows.com/gnrs.
For More of Dave Kommel’s beautiful images from the show, please go to