Believe it or not there never was an "Oakland Roadster Show". The show held originally at the Oakland Exhibition Hall, Tenth & Fallon St and in the later years at the Oakland Coliseum until 1997 was the "Grand National Roadster Show" but every body including the magazines always called it the "Oakland Roadster Show".  Since 1998 the show has been held across the Bay in various places. I've been very lucky to have been involved with the show as an exhibitor or vendor since1958. My '40 Ford Pickup has the distinction of having been in the show the most times (a total of seven). I was also inducted into the Hall of Fame. In 1997 was the last year the show was held in Oakland.


In 1998 (the first show held across the bay) the Grand National Roadster Show was held at the Concourse a converted warehouse. A neat old building with exposed wood beams and carpeted through out. But the roof leaked, lousy parking and it wasn’t in the best part of San Francisco. 1998 was a fun year. Herbie Martinez was inducted into the Hall of Fame and I was asked to introduce him. When I first met Herbie thirty some years ago he had a tall wife (or girlfriend) who was about a foot and a half taller than Herbie. It used to crack me up every time I would see them together. Anyhow before the ceremony I had spent some time at a little bar across the street. So I was in rare form. 1999 it moved to the Cow Palace. After the 50th show held in 1999. Don Tognotti sold Show Promotions (producer of the Grand National Roadster Show and the Sacramento Autorama) to Dan Cyr. Where it stayed for another year. Then it moved again to the San Mateo Fairgrounds in 2001 til 2003. Meanwhile Rick Perry former manager of Show Promotions decided it was time to return to Oakland. So in 2001 Rick returned to the Oakland Coliseum with a new show called The Oakland Rod & Custom Show----Yeah. But unfortunately it was very short lived. Not enough room, expenses too high and etc, etc. The last show was held there in February of 2003. Bummer no more Oakland.



2004 Moving Time Again

In 2004 the show moved to the Cow Palace with a new name the San Francisco Rod & Custom Show. The Grand National Roadster Show moves from San Mateo to the Los Angeles Fairplex with the same name.

So Oakland goes to San Francisco, San Mateo goes to LA. Hopefully both shows will do well we will have a booth at S.F plus my ’40 again (at Rick’s request) will be at the Cow Palace—



More Changes In 2006

 2006- The Grand National Roadster has a new promoter John Buck who was formally with the Fair Plex in Pomona. 2007 I made my way down south again ( for the 8th time) to show my "40". What a great show. My Hats off to John, his family & his staff. While there we decided to take a trip over to Beverly Hills to see if my Grandparents house was still there & to check out the elementary school I attended ( Beverly Vista). Well the neighborhood hadn't changed too much, but the school had been replaced with a new one. While in BV i decided to get a bite at the Polo Lounge in the Beverly Hills Hotel, Had a great Hamburger for only $24.00 What a bargain.


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© copyright Pete Paulsen 2009