Friday started out with another dose of pure insanity – the LA Roadster Show Swap Meet has no assigned swap meet spots – the entire deal is first come first serve. The guy who was 4th in line was there at noon on Wednesday. That’s right 48 hours before the gates open. The gates opened at 10am, so I wandered out there around 9:30 – parked my roadster to the side and walked throught the rows to find Max and Bob – They got in line at 3am, and rolled in the gate at 10:30. Since my roadster is for sale, I planned to park it in the swap area over the weekend, and figured that I should park it inside the show Friday.
The LA Roadsters club has some basic rules – the car must be finished, with nice paint and upholstery. When the LA Roadsters club started the show, the idea was to make hot rodders appear more friendly to the public, and not a bunch of trouble making kids – so they only wanted nice respectable cars in the show. This is basically the only rules they enforce.
The most interesting part of the show – It is free – if you have a roadster, you and your car get in free.
I ran around the swap meet taking some pics and buying some stuff – I tried to buy only small things given the limited space in Max’s trailer, and the fact that I am 2500 miles from home. This is the best early Ford swap meet I have ever attended – by far. So many stocker ’32’s for sale – a slick fresh roadster right out of a garage – coupes – sedans…Kinmont brakes…awesome.
We took off from the swap meet and headed over to SoCal around 4pm. This “little get together” has been growing exponentially every year – and this year was out of control. The entire 6 blocks of Grand Ave in front of the shop was packed with cars, 4 wide, all the neighboring buildings parking lots, curb parking – cars were everywhere. I had to park in some random lot 3-4 blocks down. There were people tailgating along Grand, with pop-up tents, grilling food…it was like a pre-party for the Super Bowl. Unreal. Inside tons of cool stuff as usual – the ’29 on ’32 rails that Jimmy and the crew are building for the owner of SCAT cranks is unbelievble. They have spent so much time fabricating so many small details on this car – the hood props bolted to the firewall probably took more time that the average guy spends building his entire perimeter frame.
SoCal has become a full on car show – with locals coming just for a car show, free burger, etc. You could tell just from what you overheard people talking about, that at least half of the attendees owned a car older than 1985. Walden’s shop was a much different story. A parking lot only loaded with dialed pre-’40 cars, less people, real hot rod guys. When we rolled up there was the regular assortment of tri-5 Chevrolets, post war Fords and such parked on the street, which made us think it was going to be a full house inside – but not too bad. As we pulled in, Matt & Megan were just parking thier red roadster, and I squeezed in next to them. When I stepped out, Chuck Vranas was right next to me with the rootbeer colored ’27 T pheaton that contended for the AMBR last year. The car had been at the Peterson since January, and Chuck told me he put the first 3 miles on the car just that day…The car is so well detailed…you know you are at a special place when you can a parked next to an AMBR winner and a contender on the same day.