Event>>suede & Grease At The Gnrs

For the second part of my coverage of the 61st Grand National Roadster Show, I'll be showing some of the cars found in and around the "Suede Palace". This where you'll find most of the traditional hot rods, "rat" rods, and period style customs. By now I'm starting to become rather familiar with this scene, so it was interesting to compare the cars at the GNRS to other events I've been to.

As I walked in the gate, the first car that greeted me was this '55 Chevy two-door wagon with a proper nose-high gasser stance. This was certainly a good way to kick things off.

All around the Suede Palace, there were outside displays of traditional rods and customs. It was interesting to compare the people hanging out on this side of the showgrounds to the other parts.

A couple of satin black cruisers from the Twisters Car Club in La Habra. Love the sign!

It doesn't get any more gangster than this '56 Chrysler Imperial. A little drop is all you need to make a car like this stunning.

A lack of paint or glass didn't keep this Chevy from joining the festivities.

Some people might not like the term "rat rod", but I'm really not sure what else you would call a car like this one.

Here's some "roadsters" for the GNRS. I think I saw most of these cars at the Mooneyes X-Mas Party in December. Seeing one of these is cool enough, but seeing several lined up is that much better.

Another of the sleds kicking about. Check the rear metal work, which has essentially removed the rear fenders from the car.

Moving inside the Palace itself, we find some ultra-traditional cars like this red five-window coupe. If I had the means to build a hot rod, it'd likely be very close to this one.

This '55 Buick was sporting some Larry Watson-esque paint work. Like a lot of customs of the era, it's been equipped with police car style spotlights.

The most popular display in the suede palace seemed to be this group of very early style roadsters.

Dig the hood straps!

A lot of the original cars were also sporting these cockpit covers. I wonder how a Mazda Miata would look with one of these?

This '32 Ford is a genuine hot rod built in the late 1940's. That's original paint, applied back in 1949!

Rusted out rat rods are one thing, but this is something completely different. The car was presented with a detailed description of its history, including its time as a race car on the dry lake beds.

Another El Camino blurring the lines between custom and lowrider.

This incredible '48 Mercury Coupe was built in Sacramento for the owner who resides in Sweden of all places. How cool is that?

One of my favorite cars in this area was this '29 Model A Roadster representing the Shifters Car Club.

The front end and the exhaust setup are just incredible. This is one of the most unique rods I've seen in a while.

OK, time to get work on formatting more of your guest blogs! Next time we'll look at some other parts of the GNRS.

-Mike Garrett



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loving these posts. Traditional, is the term i like to use when they aren't toally rusted out piles of garbage. got it out of hot rod mag.


Track T nose ftw! Love the coverage! Dig those super low roadsters!


"the owner who resides in Sweden of all places". Yeah I've been to Sweden a few times and especially the last time I went I saw quite a few cars from the US. Mostly cars from the 40's and 50's and a few later muscle cars. They seem to be popular there. It was really great to see them!


Good stuff! I would definitely rock that Imperial. I look forward to more hotrod/classic/muscle car articles from you guys.


Such a huge fan of these Sleds... showing true color ie. sheetmetal as oppossed to the Tuning / JDM scene with all the grp bumperkits, spoilers.

Those 'police' lights are Appleton 112 spotlights actually.


Excellent post!


a cockpit cover is called a tinua altho thats not spent right lol i thing you can get one for a miata i know some one who has one on a fiat barcetta


Here's a smart idea: Keep these gas-guzzling v8's on the road for as long as they can last, then see how much pollution we can have in our atmosphere.

Enough with this domestic garbage please. You started out focusing on imports, continue on import coverage. Leave this garbage to Hot Rod magazine.


Here's a smart idea: Keep these gas-guzzling v8's on the road for as long as they can last, then see how much pollution we can have in our atmosphere.

Enough with this domestic garbage please. You started out focusing on imports, continue on import coverage. Leave this garbage to Hot Rod magazine.


great post... the comment about the cockpit cover on the miata... mazda actually offered those as an option for the first gen miata. my dad has a '93 LE which was a pretty rare model that was fully optioned ... blah blah... it came with one but as he is not the orig owner it has long since been lost. you can still buy them tho. it'd be great for some place like socal where you want the top down all the time. http://www.duettomotors.com/miata/images/tops/tonneau.jpg


Excellent coverage. Thank you. That gasser Chevy wagon is so menacing, I love it !!


Here's a smart idea: Keep these gas-guzzling v8's on the road for as long as they can last, then see how much pollution we can have in our atmosphere.

Enough with this domestic garbage please. You started out focusing on imports, continue on import coverage. Leave this garbage to Hot Rod magazine.

Your a complete moron.


@ Oliver - it's called a "Tonneau" cover, they were very popular on 50's-70's european roadsters. One came with my old MG Midget. '29 Model A from Shifters is phenomenal.

Oh, the '32 roadster from 1940? My vote for Car of the Show.....all the money in the world will not allow you to buy any mod for your roadster that's cooler than real history. This old dog still looks proud as hell and unlike so many there, this was once someone's garage racer...I sure hope the owner of that car has let his children drive it, that's a memory that will stay with them for their entire lives. My father let me drive his hand-built & restored '29 3-window coupe about 5 blocks before we turned around and drove home...the looks people gave us on the street and the pride in what my father's hands created still to this day makes me feel 5 years old. And I was 30 when I drove it. THAT, to me, is what this whole scene is about....making memories and passing them along, with our vehicles. However you go about it.



Obvious Troll is Obvious but I will entertain. Real car aficionados have learned not to exclude any particular style (Even Donks, sigh). If you don’t see the beauty of all these styles presented to you on this site you will never learn how big the cult of automobiles really is. Nor the impact and history of automotive fandom. Its attitudes like yours that keeps the Import crowd from garnering much respect on the drag and club racing communities. All the achievements that drivers like myself who work to compete in SCCA SOLO and the occasional weekend drag race is wiped away by Domestic and Import drivers alike of which have no professional restraint. If you want to continue to drive down the path that your arrogant tone has set before you, go ahead. Sooner or later the realization will wash over you and you will understand you may have been chastising the very thing that you could have been potentially enjoying the majority of your life. Hell I used to HatE mustangs and their drivers. After serving four years in Germany it really opens your eyes to how broad the relationship between humans and their cars really car. Chr!st! Germans get taxed depending on the displacement of their engines! Yet this does not sully the spirit and compassion for their automobiles. Now I get to see that here in the good Ol’ USA we have the freedom to enjoy such thinks we HAVE taken for granted. When we heard that California was crushing Imports for excessive speeding there wasn’t a single person here that didn’t think that piece of state legislature wasn’t extreme. In conclusion we don’t get the years back we spent admonishing other people and their styles. Nobody is truly right or truly wrong. If we didn’t have drivers and builders that tried new and sometimes horrible things we would never have had innovations. If we didn’t have Legendary racers putting wheelie bars on hatchback Hondas we would not have progress. If we didn’t have legendary 1970’s builders stripping parts of their cars and perfecting the art of boring out a 335 Cleveland we would not have progress. If we didn’t have crazy fggn’ Engineers like Felix Wankle driving himself d@mn near insane designing a new combustion engine we would not have progress. Do not hold the rest of us up on account of your narrow views. If you want to continue this one sided conversation feel free to visit our laid back site by licking and we will be happy to bestow some of your sage-like knowledge upon thou. Now if you don’t mind I have some spirited driving to do.


The 7 Never Loses and my V8 doesn't either.


Absolutely love the 35 Buick, I want to rebuild one but they are too rare in Australia :( Not to mention i have no space to work on it.


More great coverage. Keep the diversity coming to SH.com.


@ Ken - I'm certainly glad Speedhunters isn't as ignorant as you! Speedhunters is about car culture, which is what I LOVE ABOUT THIS SITE! Be diverse! Plus you don't see me bashing Prius drivers about how slow they drive because they are concerned with keeping their MPG's up so why the V8 bash?


@josh - Sweden is probably the greatest country if you like old american cars. We actually got the biggest car meet i the world. The rules are cars made before 1975 and the record is over 10 000 cars and mostly american cars and i think its about 200 000 visitors. Bernt Karlsson and Thomas Loddby are just some of great carbuilders that comes from Sweden. I hope the merc is coming in a magazine soon. // Sweden


Ken would rather see some fixed up Camrys and Accords with ugly body kits, shopping cart wings and HP adding stickers than well done up cars besides the ones he sees in Option mag...SH is stepping it up. Great JDM and Euro coverage with some old school muscle nostalgia sprinkled in.