Grand National Roadster Show 2019


January, 2019 -- The Grand National Roadster Show is now in its 70th year, and has the distinction of being the longest running indoor car show in the world. Each year it attracts the best builders, hot rods, customs, and motorcycles, with the selection of America’s Most Beautiful Roadster (AMBR) being the highlight of the show. Almost 40,000 spectators over this 3-day event had the opportunity to get an up close and personal look at more than 1,000 of some of the best vehicles the hobby has to offer. The indoor display boasted approximately 600 vehicles, with the remaining classics on display on the grounds of the Pomona Fairplex. Another significant highlight of this year's show was its tribute to Chip Foose as Builder of the Decade. He brought along 12 of his iconic builds, which included multiple past AMBR and Ridler winners. So, whether you were taking a walk down memory lane, looking for an infusion of Southern California car culture, or were just gauging where the custom car industry is headed, no doubt the Grand Nationals was the place to be.

America's Most Beautiful Roaster (AMBR)

The Holy Grail of hot rods - the AMBR award - is one of the most sought after awards in the industry. Overall stance, sound, how the owner fits in his own car, fit and finish, engineering and a multitude of other considerations such as body, paintwork, upholstery, and craftsmanship are considered when selecting the winner. Besides a check for $10,000, the winner will have their name added to the 9 1/2 foot tall trophy, with some of the best builders in the world.

The AMBR Winner Is: George Poteet and his 1936 Ford, "3-Penny Roadster"

The AMBR award "goes to the fastest guy we've ever had up here." Those were the words used to describe the owner of America's Most Beautiful Roadster for 2019 because George is not only an avid custom car collector, but he has set numerous speed records on the Salt Flats - well over 400 MPH. For more, see George Poteet: The Ultimate Hot Rodder.

Owner: George Poteet of Holly Springs, Mississippi, with his 1936 Ford Roadster, Wins America's Most Beautiful Roadster America's Most Beautiful Roadster, Owned by George Poteet: 1936 Ford, 3-Penney Roadster Owner: George Poteet and Builder: Eric Peratt, Pinkee's Hot Rod Shop of Windsor, CO  />
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Find out why George named his AMBR award-winning roadster "3 Penny."


Other AMBR Contenders

To be selected as finalist for the AMBR award is in itself quite an accomplishment. This year 14 expertly built roadsters were in contention for this coveted award. Here are the other 13 cars that were in competition for America's Most Beautiful and the special awards that some of the contenders received.

1933 Ford, Owned by Tim Kerrigan (Won Outstanding Paint, Outstanding Engine, and Outstanding Detail Awards) 1932 Ford, Owned by Gary Corkell (Won Outstanding Display and Outstanding Interior Awards) 1932 Ford, Owned by Clifford Mattis (Won Outstanding Undercarriage Award) 1932 Ford, Owned by Bill Grimsely (Steve Moal Received Outstanding Engineer Award) 1932 Ford, Owned by Andrew Bowen 1932 Ford, Owned by Chad Adams 1932 Ford, Owned by Cory Talbert 1929 Ford, Owned by Jim Grant 1924 Buick, Owned by Ryan Rivers 1932 Ford, Owned by Jim Gorvo 1927 Ford T-Touring, Owned by John Evans 1930 Ford, Owned by Roy Enos 1933 Ford, Owned by Tom Sargis


The body of this 1932 Ford Phaeton, named "All In," was designed by Chip Foose and built by One Off Rod & Custom. It was one of the great contenders for America's Most Beautiful Roadster at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, CA. Here's Gary Corkell talking about his car.


Designed by Eric Brockmeyer and built by Dominator Street Rods, this 1933 Ford Phaeton, named "Timeless," was one of the great contenders for America's Most Beautiful Roadster at the Grand National Roadster Show in Pomona, CA. Here Tim Kerrigan talks about his special entry.


Al Slonaker Award

Al Slonaker, the founder of the GNRS, is remembered by honoring the car or truck with, overall, the best engineering, craftsmanship and originality. This award is open to any car or truck entry not competing in the America's Most Beautiful Roadster Class and is the most coveted for non-roadsters. Winner of this year's award was Johnny Martin and his 1957 Chevy 'Imagine.'

Other awards presented to Martin were:

  • Radical Hard Top
  • Outstanding Individual Display
  • Best Custom
  • Stitch of Excellence award – Presented by Sid Chavers
Here Martin talks about his show-stopping 'Imagine' at the Detroit Autorama, where he won the Ridler Award in 2018.



Chip Foose Cars

When Chip Foose brings a new custom build to a major competition, he is usually the one to beat, as demonstrated by the number of awards he's received, including multiple AMBR and Ridler awards. Therefore, it certainly wasn't a surprise when the 2019 Grand National Roadster Show named him the Builder of the Decade. To help celebrate this achievement, 12 examples of his designs, some owned by Chip, and others owned by former clients, were on display at the Roadster Show - significantly, the largest gathering of his builds ever assembled. Each one has a story, from the car called "Impression," which won both Ridler and AMBR awards (a monumental achievement), to the too cool "P32 Street Fighter," that he says was the most fun project, to his personal 1956 Pickup " FD-100," which he bought at age 13 and was his original daily driver.

 Chip Foose with P-32 Street Fighter 12 Foose Cars Impression 0032 Roadster Elrod Coolair FD-100 Grand Master Hemisfear Keystone Coupe Madame X Magnitude P-32 Street Fighter Traditional


More Eye-Catching Vehicles
Outdoor Display Snow on Distant Mountain 1955 Thunderbird 1972 Plymouth Barracuda 1928 Ford Roadster 1979 Ford LTD 1961 Ford Econoline Pickup Handcrafted by Rick Dore, 'Illusion' 1962 Pontiac Grand Prix 1960 Oldsmobile 98 Hard Top 1941 Willys 1949 Mercury 2-Door Coupe 1951 Ford Crestline 1959 Volkswagen 23 Window Deluxe 1957 Ford Ranchero 1949 Studebaker Pickup 1930 Model A Coupe Custom 'What-is-it 1955 Ford F100 Pickup 1950 Ford F-1 1940 Buick Super 1946 Chevrolet Fleetline 1940 Ford Deluxe Station Wagon 1931 Ford A Coupe 1961 Corvette 1968 Ford Mustang with Ferrari Twin Turbo Engine