Speed, and lots of it, was the theme of this year’s Grand National Roadster Show. 100 years of salt, fuel and passion for the pursuit of mph filled the main building at the Pomona Fairplex. From the beginning of the automobile, speed was a determining factor in what sold cars, and a driving force behind both the manufacturers and owners who pushed their vehicles to the brink in pursuit of faster times.
The Blitzen Benz was the earliest land speed record holder at the show – a massive 125 MPH was its top speed. While it may be considered slow by today’s standards, it was incredibly impressive for its time.
The shapes for these cars were simply amazing. From the more standard looking car (well, somewhat standard), to this curvy beauty above …
and finally to this streamliner – speed was what they all had in common.
This green machine is powered by a diesel …
… and across the aisle, Cummings was showing off one of their motors and sharing their history in land speed racing.
This raw metal rolling speed demon, named the “Bombshell Betty” was a work of art, and a cross of function and form.
The sign for this one is what caught our eye “In 1954 they set a Bonneville record … and then just put it away.” Forgotten for years, I’m sure this sleek beauty was happy to be in the limelight again.
Roadsters were all throughout the building, but we stopped in our tracks when we saw this one. It felt like we are checking out a Flash Gordon movie vehicle, not an actual race car.
Not just cars attempt to break the speed records, there are two-wheeled racers too.
As we were perusing the aisle of vehicles, we spotted our friend Harry the producer of “Where They Raced” in the middle of filming an interview. Where They Raced has some fascinating information about El Mirage the Southern California version of Bonneville and the people that raced there. It was nice to see Harry capturing more accounts of racing history on film.
The Grand National Roadster Show is one mammoth event, and the perfect start to the season each year. While there was so much to see of the Century of Speed, the show had a great deal more to offer in the variety of hot rods and specialty vehicles. Stay tuned as we bring you more automotive goodness from the show!