Shortly after the buzz from the historic race car display at the 2010 Grand National Roadster Show had worn off, rumors began floating around about some sort of custom exhibit to take place the following year. Well, it didn’t take long before the hearsay turned to fact, and before we knew it, Customs Then and Now: A Historical Gathering was officially one of the premier attractions to be seen at the 62nd GNRS at the Fairplex in Pomona, California.

As the days leading up to the show drew shorter, the list of custom car attendees grew longer, ultimately reaching nearly 75 in all. With the historic creations ranging from early era Westergard to modern-era Dick Dean, Ayala Brothers to Gary Howard, never before had so many significant customsspanning so many decadesbeen on public display together. But together they were, and by the time all was said and done as the show ended, Customs Then and Now did indeed live up to being one of the GNRS’s premier attractions. It was pretty awe-inspiring to be among so many iconic cars that, up until now, had only been seen in magazines for many of those in attendance.

But of course there was moreplenty moreto be seen at this year’s GNRS. Whether in the main hall, where two R&C cover alumni were proudly on display (this month’s Takeout T of Russ Freund and last issue’s ’40 Merc) along with the contenders for America’s Most Beautiful Roadster award, which ultimately was bestowed upon Daryl Wolfwinkel’s ’34 Ford (courtesy of Squeeg’s Kustoms), or in any of the adjacent buildings, the show had plenty to offer above and beyond the customs. That said, it should go without saying where we spent most of our time over the course of the weekendand it wasn’t at a beer stand or clamored around one of the over-the-hill ’70s TV stars signing autographs, either.

Whatever they have in store for next year’s GNRS, it’s going to be hard to top this one. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Till next time