Grand National Roadster Show 2011

I’ve been struggling to get something posted since coming home from the 62nd Grand National Roadster Show – but the flu has been keeping me down! I’m finally on the road to being better and I can’t wait to share with you all the excitement from GNRS 2011! I would also like to proudly announce that GNRS marked my GreaseGirl 2-year anniversary! It was a mere two years ago that I went a-scoutin’ for my first article… Why We Love Cars. It’s been a joy of a ride and I look forward to many more adventures to share with you all.

Back to the Roadster show… the first building I walked into (of course) was the Suede Palace. Some of us have a love for some of the more, how should I say it, lack-luster cars? Lacking they were NOT… there were some amazing pieces of work inside!

A favorite of many was this 1950 Shoebox Ford custom by Yaril’s Customs in Florida. It was recognized with seven trophies in the Suede Palace Award Ceremony! Even better, is this fella did the work in a mere six months – finishing it hours before departing cross country to drive it out to LA for GNRS! More to come on this work of love and other Suede Palace beauties.

The next building I dropped into was the customs building. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize all the work that goes into a custom because it can look so subtle… other times it’s not so subtle like this Jetson-esque Ross Losing Special from the sixties!

Not only was there a Customs building – there was also a Customs: Then and Now building featuring notable customs of the past. One jewel I discovered there – actually wasn’t so much from the past (it was recently finished after 25 years in the works!) Bearing the Studebaker name, it of course caught my attention. I’ve never seen anything quite like this 1949 Studebaker Pickup before – look for a write up on it coming soon. The owner/builder of the pickup also shared pictures of a long-hidden 1953 Studebaker Coupe he’d customized back in the seventies… look forward to a story about that too, it’s not to be missed!

Of course the main hall at Grand National Roadster Show holds the AMBR contenders. These are the twelve roadsters chosen to be in the running for the “America’s Most Beautiful Roadster” title. While everyone has their personal favorites, it was Daryl Wolfwinkle’s 1934 Ford that took the cake.

I couldn’t quite decide which one was my favorite, but this traditionally styled ’32 was a beauty… my first criteria is “Would I want to drive that?” I’m not sure that’s what the judges were asking – but as it turns out, judging criteria for the AMBR award did change this year!  Craig and I got a chance to talk with the judging coordinator – read all about that in Craig’s article on

The main hall wasn’t only holding the AMBR contenders. There were some other show-worthy cars there too. My Dad’s favorite was this roadster straight outta car-toon-ville, “The Defibrillator.”

My favorite of the show wasn’t quite as showy, this classy 1940 Mercury “Nachfalter” built by Rudy Rodriquez is something I’d gladly drive down the road ANY day!

Beyond the featured buildings there were all the drive-in’s during Saturday and Sunday’s show too. On Saturday, Stude and I drove-in along with the Gasoline Girls and their cars too. Saturday’s show was completely full with cars lining every square inch of the Pomona Fairgrounds! I’ll be sharing more of the drive-in fun as well… there were certainly many show-worthy cars that showed up.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I continue gaining more energy – because I sure have my work cut out for me! Not only do I have all these articles to write, but I’ve got work to do on Stude (and Falcon too!) I’m ready to upgrade my master-cylinder and brake system… finally! If you don’t want to miss a beat, subscribe via email or reader by clicking in the upper right-hand column.

Until Next Time,

Happy Trails!

5 Responses

  1. JP Kalishek

    sorry to hear about the flu bug.
    Been lucky this winter myself. One bout with a sore throat and that so far is all.

    I too like that 40 Merc. Clean and simple yet oh so complicated.(~_^)

    A guy way back when I was in High school had a Stude truck.

  2. Jos

    Hey Kristin.

    Hope you will quickly recover completely from the flu. I thought that it would be only us here in cold Europe having the flu, and you in the “hot” state only suffered from sunburn. Wrong assumption probably ….Get wel soon !!
    Great coverage of the GNRS !! Hope to see more on short term.
    I also saw some GNRS pics on Speedhunters, I already sent a link to your Gmail adress; showing a Stude lookalike which was displayed there. Maybe you even saw it live there.

    Greetz, Jos.

  3. Morra

    Hello !

    I discovered your work through the frenchie mag “Kustom Magazine” and started to read your blog, which I find really interesting. I’m pretty new to the world of classic and kustom cars and I’m glad to find some precious informations on your blog.

    And cheers for your 2 years anniversary !


    • greasegirl


      So glad to hear that from you! Welcome… and I hope to continue giving you and other newcomers interesting glances into our fantastic car world.

      Happy Trails,

  4. jameswaterwolf

    Sorry to hear about your flu fun Grease Girl. Don’t ever try the Norwalk Virus like I did last winter…ugh!

    My favorite cars you photographed are “The Defibillator” and that way cool ’40 Merc coupe. Great stuff, keep it coming! Thanks.


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