For the next part of my Grand National Roadster Show coverage, I want to take a look at one of coolest sections of the show – the Suede Palace. This is where the super shiny, accessory-laden show cars are dropped in favor of the slightly more gritty traditional rods and customs.
A lot of the cars that sit in the "Palace" might not match up to the high dollar show cars in terms of detail, but they more than make up for it with character and style. I don't think too many of the cars in this building came in on trailers.
As you look through these photos, try to imagine Rockabilly music in the background and you'll get a decent idea of what the atmosphere is like. It's like stepping into another world after seeing the other parts of the show.
Even within this realm of the traditional rod and custom, there's a big variety in the machinery. You'll find lowdown '60s customs, period correct rods, and even gassers like this beautiful WIllys pickup.
The people you find inside the Suede Palace are also as varied as the cars. It's an interesting mix of both the original guys that pioneered these styles and the younger generation that carry them on today.
This '56 Plymouth is a perfect example of a late '50s-early '60s style custom. Lake pipes, fender skirts, overt flame job, and even cop car spotlights.
The Pasadena Roadster Club took over one corner of the building with a stunning display of traditional hot rods.
I'm not sure if it's just me, but it seems that old Pontiacs are getting more popular among customizers. Love this '56 Star Chief! By the way, why don't cars have cool names like "Star Chief" any more?
Check out the rake on this coupe! Awesome.
Another one for the gasser crowd. The satin gold finish on the "Grocery Getter" looks amazing.
When talking gassers, it's impossible to leave out the '55 Chevy – few cars are more associated with this style.
My dream car fantasy garage is constantly changing, but there will always be a spot in there for a straight axle '55.
This chopped '55 Mercury was pretty cool, representing the Turks Car Club out of San Diego.
Don't think there's anything I'd change on this coupe. Perfection!
This gold and black Chevy Coupe was also representing the San Diego area. I need to get down there sometime to check out the local scene.
This Thunderbird looks to have been inspired by the great Larry Watson.
The same goes for this one.
Here's something slightly out of the ordinary, a '55 Studebaker.
Can't finish without posting a cool station wagon. In this case a '58 Chevy.
All sorts of people come through the gates of the GNRS every year, and the Suede Palace is the perfect way to share this part of the scene with the public. I don't think too many people could walk through this building and not come out with a big appreciation for the traditional side of things.
Back soon with more from the GNRS!