Kicking Off the Year of the Deuce at the 72nd Grand National Roadster Show

The return of the Grand National Roadster Show is one sure sign that 2022 is destined be a better year for hot rodders than the past couple of trips around the sun. Canceled in 2021 due to California Covid restrictions, the show made a much-heralded comeback for its 72nd installment, reaffirming its place as the first big hot rod happening of the season, with national attention given to the many vehicle debuts and high-caliber award competitions. It was good to have this granddaddy event back!

The timing couldn’t have been better, because 2022 marks the 90th anniversary of the ’32 Ford – the quintessential American hot rod for generations of enthusiasts. This milestone was not lost on the Grand National Roadster Show organizers, who celebrated the Deuce with an exclusive parking area in the outdoor Grand Daddy Drive-In portion of the event. It was the first of what are certain to be many ’32 Ford celebrations happening across the country this year.

Goodguys is excited to be kicking off the Year of the Deuce and we will be celebrating this icon of American hot rodding in a variety of ways during the coming months, both at events and in the pages of the Gazette. We thought it was fitting to kick off the festivities by focusing on the GNRS Deuce Drive-In – plus some choice ’32s found in the inside portion of the show. Of course, as long as we were on the ground in Pomona, we soaked in all the other cool rod and custom sights, as well. The “general” show coverage is also included here, but let’s start with a closer look at some of the choice ’32s that came out to celebrate their birthday. Enjoy!

GNRS Deuce Drive-In Photo Extra!

On With the Show!

The Grand National Roadster Show is about much more than Deuces – or even roadsters. The show’s triumphant return brought with it a much-loved and longstanding annual tradition: competition for the prestigious America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award. Couple that with even more incredible rides competing for the more recently established Al Slonaker Award, and the show was well on its way to drawing a crowd.

Beyond the two top awards, though, were hundreds of other great cars and trucks competing in dozens of classes. And true to tradition, the show had one building devoted to a specific theme – this year it was custom Volkswagens – plus the Suede Palace for traditional rods and customs, and multiple other buildings filled with a wide range of street rods, muscle cars, street machines, trucks, lowriders, and more. It was a veritable smorgasbord of classic car and hot rod culture!

Needless to say, there was a lot of four-wheel eye candy no matter which way you turned. We captured as much of it as we could and are showcasing some highlights. Be sure to CLICK HERE for even more great GNRS coverage and photos.

And the Winners Are…

2022 America’s Most Beautiful Roadster presented by ARP

The towering 9.5-foot America’s Most Beautiful Roadster trophy was awarded to Jeff Breault and his ’34 Chevrolet roadster built by Devlin Rod and Customs. The distinctive fenderless street rod was designed by Eric Black and features a custom Roadster Shop frame, Greening-whittled wheels, a Dorton-built LS engine backed by a Bowler-built Tremec transmission, a custom-machined grille leading the way on a much-modified body, and beautiful blue leather upholstery in the full-custom cabin. It’s a stunner.

2022 Al Slonaker Memorial Award presented by ARP

The Al Slonaker Memorial Award is presented to the best non-roadster debuting at the show, and this year went to Pat Gauntt and his incredible ’32 Ford coupe built at Hollywood Hot Rods. More than 15 years in the making, the coupe draws inspiration from European sports cars, vintage airplanes, and competition vehicles with thousands of rivets, knockoff wire wheels, leather straps, and more. It has a 331c.i. Cadillac V8, a Winters quick-change rearend, and gorgeous candy brown paint by Mick’s Paint.

Photos by Marc Gewertz & Steven Bunker

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.