Modern Rodding STARTING OVER

What’s in Store for the New Year

By Brian Brennan

his time every year I like to look at what I think will be happening in the months ahead. Now, I am not clairvoyant, and I don’t have any kind of powers to see beyond my next meal. What I do have are rodders, such as yourself, who keep telling me what’s happening in their parts of the country.

So, what’s up for 2023 in the world of rodding events? 

Especially for rodders on the West Coast and neighboring states, a great way to kick the year off is with the Barrett-Jackson Auction coupled with its prestigious Barrett-Jackson Cup and the Grand National Roadster Show (GNRS) with its combination of the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster and Slonaker awards. No longer suffering from overlapping dates, rodders can now take advantage of seeing the best of both events.

The Barrett-Jackson Cup, part of the massive auction and weeklong festivities that runs from January 21-29, 2023, will once again feature the top prize. The winner of the Ultimate Best of Show receives a handsome check for $20,000 along with a custom trophy and a custom-wrapped tool chest, plus gift cards from Summit Racing. It should be noted that of the 50 selected competitors (based on applications) the Triple Crown of Rodding winners are invited to compete. Last year Bob Johnson’s ’36 Ford roadster (originally built for George Poteet) took home the top honors. There are plenty more awards for the four runner-up positions as well as a People’s Choice. 

The GNRS (February 3-5, 2023) is, well, where it all began. This year will be the 73rd annual event (let’s not rehash the COVID year). There will be lots to see, as usual, with the presentation of the America’s Most Beautiful Roadster 10-foot trophy being paramount along with the Slonaker award, all made even more desirable through the presentation of the $12,500 check to each winner, made possible by the sponsorship of ARP.

The GNRS will also have a specialty building, number 9, that will feature 50 years of classic trucks. Modern Rodding’s sister publication Classic Truck Performance will be involved. The building is titled “Keep on Truckin’, 50 Years of Classic Haulers” presented by LMC Truck and Classic Truck Performance magazine. Every year the GNRS puts on a special display, and this one is shaping up to be one of great interest, with many notable truck builds from the past 50 years.

Come this summer, a tradition that has been around for 57 years. This year, like last, the L.A. Roadsters Show & Swap is a two-day affair, no news there, but did you realize it is now Friday and Saturday? Held on Father’s Day weekend (June 16-17, 2023) the decision was made to save Sunday for rodders to be with their families. (Editor’s note: I think that was a good move.)

Something else to keep in mind about the show in its present form. While there will be plenty of roadsters (300-plus), the real fun begins with the preferred parking, which has really grown into something mind-boggling. You can now find a parking lot filled with 900-plus post street rod–era cars and trucks. To say it is a car show within a car show is an understatement.

This has also led to a widening of the scope of the swap meet and vendors area. The old expression about “This isn’t your father’s …” may not be exactly on target but it is sure getting close. The show is evolving, and that’s a good thing. It’s been a SoCal standard for 57 years. 

Under the category of first, some “bad news” followed by some “good news.” The end of an era with the Shades of the Past Car Club ending with 39 events over the past 40 years. While we are all sorry to see it go there is a “silver lining.” 

Bobby Alloway and Gary Case have teamed up to bring us the Triple Crown of Rodding event. It’s an event that now caters to both hot rods and classic trucks. It will be held on the same weekend as the old Shades event, the weekend after Labor Day, September 8-9, 2023, at the Nashville Superspeedway. It’s also a two-day event on Friday and Saturday. 

This event is geared toward promoting the Triple Crown of Rodding but with an additional twist. The classic truck crowd is welcomed in bigtime with three awards added this year for Best Truck Up To 1972, Best Truck 1973-87, and Best Truck 1988-98. This is coupled with the already-proven formula for cars where there is the Best Street Rod, Best Street Cruiser, and Best Street Machine categories. There will be lots more to hear on this event as Modern Rodding and Classic Truck Performance are taking an active part with the show promoters. Remember you win a Triple Crown of Rodding award and you receive an automatic invitation to the Barrett-Jackson Cup held at the monstrous January event in Scottsdale, Arizona.

One more “bad” with some “good.” The NSRA, after 35 years, is canceling the Tampa event for 2023. Although nothing is finalized at the time of this writing, the NSRA is looking for a new location for the event to be held in 2024. 

Some additional NSRA cool news involves for only the second time in 40-plus years they are giving away a post-’48 vehicle … this time a ’77 Chevy C10. Dates for the NSRA Nats are August 3-6, 2023. (The other occurred in 2019 at the 50th Nats when two giveaway vehicles were handed out. One was the Johnson-built ’32 while the post ’48 was a ’71 Nova SS.)  

Seems like there is a lot of change going on and I, for one, think much of it was needed to keep our hobby and industry moving forward in a positive light.

Modern Rodding

VOLUME 4 • ISSUE 29 • 2023