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Event Coverage 2018 LA Roadsters Show

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by typo41, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. PRE48V-8
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 914

    from H.G., CA

    Not to rehash the 'back & forth' made by all who participated on the thread regarding the 2017 LARS (your truly included), I'd just like to say I pre-registered/paid back in Sept.2017 for 6 spots in the swap meet (@ $80 ea., $100 for "end row" spaces) for the 2018 edition of this event. My family and friends have supported this event for over 40 years as a participant, vendor & today as swappers. We have no intention of making anyone out to be the "bad guy", nor do I believe past enthusiasts & supporters of this event want too, either. But as the saying goes, "support the military at all times and your elected govt. officials when they deserve it". In this case, that means that when we pay for our ticket to enter, there should be adequate facilities as in year's past (see, "port-a-poties"). It also means there should be adequate personnel to control entrance/egress into the swap meet area (see, "pay entry fee"). People who do pay for their entry have a minimal expectation of the management to provide the "3 S's"; Safety, Security & Sanitation. When Kevin Doyle of Rodshows called me (as he did with others who pre-registered for the 2018 swap meet by the Sept. 2017 deadline to offer to relocate their 2017 swap spaces to a new area closer to the roadster exhibition), I mentioned this issue and he assured me this and other issues would be addressed to improve the 2018 LARS. So, let's be clear that there is a sharp difference between "bitching & moaning" and constructive criticism, particularly in this instance. If nobody speaks and, more importantly, if nobody chooses to listen to those voices in order to discern between legitimate complaints and petty dissatisfaction, nothing can change for the good & stagnation will set in followed by inevitable decline. The facts & realities associated with any particular situation always bear out in the end.

    Only a small number of people know what it costs for an organization to lease any event venue (whether it's the Fairplex or Del Mar horse track). Vendors, spectators or participants at an event have no control over this; They only control what they're willing/can afford to pay to enter the event, so the venue "rent" is of no consequence to them. Nor do they know whether or not an enthusiast based group of 'good guys' suffered financial disaster for sacrifices they made for 'the cause'. Fellow enthusiasts/supporters of this 50-plus year tradition are aware of the 'rumor and innuendo' about the pre-production/management/promotional costs & revenue of the event but only John Buck/Rodshows and the L.A. Roadster club show committee know the fiscal truths and realities of this annual event, period. So, let's stick to the facts that fellow enthusiasts know to be true with regards to their direct involvement in the event as a participant/spectator/swapper/vendor (like, "Isn't it great you can now pre-register for your swap space or vehicle entry fee!? What took so long for this to change?).

    What is true and factual and known is past history that shows the L.A. Roadster club once held an event at one venue (Great Western), then moved it to another venue (L.A. County fairgrounds, AKA, "The Fairplex"). Goodguys namesake, the late Gary Meadors (who arguably was nobody's fool) used to host two separate events at the aforementioned Fairplex; one was the Spring Nationals and the other was a "drag race" event in support of Goodguys VRA program. Both are gone, & though nobody can say for sure except the promoter, we can reason it was due to an unsuccessful business model (show production costs weren't recovered at the show box office). However, like the U.S. Marines, Goodguys improvised at the moment of truth and moved the Spring Nationals to another venue (Del Mar horse track) where it's been held since appx. 2000. If the bottom line doesn't fall in the black at Del Mar, I'm sure they'll either remove the Spring event from their schedule permanently or until they find another location. They also are pro-active by being more inclusive in their event programs, allowing late model vehicles into the shows they promote, which helps increase participants and the bottom line. And for a $45.00 member entry fee their 3 day event provides an inclusive layout with all of the "3 S's" adequately covered. Though as much as it's true enthusiasts have a role to play in supporting this & similar events for them to exist, the promoters have a role to play in providing the "3 S's" at the venue, along with some "IT" factor. The common thread shared here is that we're all "hot rodder's" (show promoter, vendor, participants, spectators alike) who want to have a good time and promote the hobby for future generations (the underlying theme for any enthusiast based event). Only through open, clear communication between all enthusiast sub-groups sharing & listening to both praise and criticism can things change for the good of all; Lack of it can create negative, unintended consequences.

    A great example is the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion; they treated some of the Cacklefest participants poorly in 2016, finally recognized it later in 2017, and humbly recanted by asking some of those they shunned to reconsider coming back to participate last year. Some did, but some didn't and instead attended the 1st annual "Nitro Revival" hosted by Steve Gibbs (who started the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion in 1992 and the "Cacklefest" appx. a decade later). The net result was a 2017 NHRA Hot Rod Reunion Sat. night Cacklefest with about less than 1/2 the cars they had in 2015, appx. 15%-20% less racers in the pits & a new "Cackle" event that will be held again in 2018 that Goodguys appears to be supporting. Is the Nitro Revival the new Cacklefest? Arguably past actions by the NHRA Motorsports personnel who manage and promote the Hot Rod Reunion are the unwilling parents that gave birth to the Nitro Revival. The facts of recent and past history don't lie, and if we don't all collectively take a step back and check ourselves to really understand the roles we all play here, then history will repeat itself and the LARS may suffer the consequences similar the NHRA Hot Rod Reunion Cacklefest program or regress to the status of the legendary Long Beach Model T swap meet that is a hollow shell of its former Hamilton Bowl glory (swapping under the lights, cars lined up down the length of PCH) . Maybe some enthusiast will get the crazy idea that they have a better plan and begin promoting a new tradition on the same weekend that has more appeal for LARS participants who have commented that they feel left out or disenfranchised (Is it possible? Gary Meadors left NSRA & the GNRS isn't in Oakland anymore; Who's to say.).

    Maybe the recent decline of the show also has something to do with the re-structuring of the event layout (before John Buck or Rodshows came along) where the Roadster exhibition and swap meet were segregated, making it a less inclusive event (unlike "national" events produced/promoted by Goodguys, NSRA or MNSRA). 10 years ago, the swap spaces were about $55-$60 each, now they are $80-$100 each. I still enjoy the event and look forward to it, just like the GNRS since it move to So. Cal. which John Buck & Rodshows deserves credit for reviving and making successful whilst maintaining, promoting and preserving the "IT" factor that still attracts participants, vendors and spectators alike. However, if it wasn't well produced and inclusive (there isn't a big space separating the "Suede Palace" from the rest of the show, like the LARS swap area is segregated from the roadster exhibition), I wouldn't pay a ticket to attend. Likewise, if the price of entry keeps increasing and the production/management quality of the LARS doesn't improve, I may be inclined to buy less spaces in the swap meet or just purchase an "early bird" swap meet buyer pass for "move-in" day (though recent changes by Rodshows have provided some optimism). Less swappers, less vendors, less specialty vehicles and roadsters in attendance is a pretty clear indicator how this can all "snowball" into the slow-demise of a legendary event due to lack of spectator interest caused by "lack of event content".

    To that point, a comment was made by a former vendor who quit vending and instead attended last year as a spectator. They enjoyed the event much more as it cost them less investment in time, effort and dollars, content to hang around outdoors in the shade enjoying an ice cream cone watching the cars & people. Wouldn't being at an indoor vendor space with a/c comfort in a half-empty, hollow exhibition hall be a better plan? Apparently not for them. But why? In retrospect, there was a reason for that change, and I'm sure that "new spectator" would rather have been a "returning vendor", but just paying for a vendor space through blind faith isn't going to change the landscape of the event. Something has to exist to make it worth their time & effort; This is arguably brought forth through quality event production that only the promoters control which attracts spectators that the vendors need to see (or why bother showing up as a vendor?). Time will tell, but it may be a business model issue instead of a lack of will to "pay what it costs" that is the main reason this event declines. Again, if a narrow market doesn't have the enthusiasm and/or financial means to buy a product as currently produced due to an increase in production costs, sales will decline unless a new market and/or new means of cost effective production are identified. Sometimes change is inevitable and some change can be good. But lack of cooperation and understanding can prevent, impede or mutate necessary change that could otherwise move us forward. In the spirit of making improvements through forward momentum, let's keep it positive, constructive and inclusive here with our input so the LARS can get back on track to being an event of not just quantity, but quality that an enthusiast spectator/participant/vendor can wholeheartedly support. PRE48V-8\:^]
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
  2. nwbhotrod
    Joined: Oct 13, 2009
    Posts: 1,243

    from wash state

    Tell me how Good Guys ran the LA Roadster Show in the ground
    Dean Lowe likes this.
  3. You are using capital letters for an organisation where as the person you are quoting did not. He said 'good guys' as in 'nice people.' He means that being good people ultimately did not help. They were too good. The rest should be self explanatory.
  4. roundvalley
    Joined: Apr 10, 2005
    Posts: 1,773


    $50 for a roadster entry, driver and passenger for Thurs set up, Fri, Sat admission, 2 dinners , mug, goody bag, sounds like one hell of a deal to me and I seperate 2ply toilet paper!
  5. PRE48V-8
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 914

    from H.G., CA

    ...what X38 said. I wrote "good guys" not "Good Guys" or "Goodguys". The "good guys" name was taken from Dean Lowes post quote, "..but being good guys just about ran the show into the ground financially for the L.A Roadster club." in reference to the L.A. Roadster club members responsible for the L.A. Roadster Exhibition & swap meet held annually at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA over Father's Day weekend every June up until this year. Hope that clarifies things for you. PRE48V-8\:^]
    Dean Lowe likes this.
  6. Just to add a little perspective, we just had the Lonestar Roundup this weekend, a show that nobody much bitches about. $50 gets the driver and his car in for the two days, any spouse/passenger/relative/whatever is an additional $15 a head. Nobody thinks the Roundup is dying because of it.............and this is affordable Tejas, not inflated California.........sheeesh!
  7. Lil32
    Joined: Apr 4, 2012
    Posts: 1,768


    shit it costs my wife and I more than $50 to fly over each year and we do not get a MUG or lunch thrown in
    People over here pay up to $800 for a concert ticket and U guys are upset about paying $50
    we are booked again to visit
  8. Please make sure you understand a post before giving the poster grief over it.
  9. Going this year looking forward to it.
    Could some of you regulars tell me how to get in fair grounds (what gate) where to park. I'm going both days.
    Terry aka dirt
  10. We have flown out to California from Connecticut to attend the LARS, several times in the past. The cost of air fare, rental car, motel, and meals is not cheap. However, it is just part of the cost. We paid all that money to get there, so we won't quibble about what it costs to go to the LARS. As someone said many years ago, " Step up, or step back " If you think it is worthwhile, support it, or don't complain if it goes away. Most people don't know, or care, what it costs to put on an event, they just complain about what it costs them to attend. As someone said previously, how much does it cost the promoter to put on the event. The promoter has a lot of money out up front, with no guarantee he will even break even, let alone make a profit. Be thankful someone is willing to go ahead and try.
    seadog, The37Kid, 32Dan and 3 others like this.
  11. Was there last year and Sunday is dead. Most people are gone. We ended up sitting in the bar at the hotel until our flight. So I think that is the right call.
  12. 40ragtopdown
    Joined: Jan 13, 2015
    Posts: 7,556


    We have have been going to the show for the last 20 years has always enjoyed it the numbers were down last year but it was stil a great show and it's part of our hot rod history. The way I look at it support or don't bitch when it's gone.
  13. Yep - LARS is Cheaper than the Roundup, but because it was once Free for roadsters, then free but passenger's had to pay and now costs fifty bucks, the grumpy sourpuss cheap asses just want something to complain about!
  14. Why no more Sunday? My take (maybe somewhat tongue in cheek). After conversations with everyone from John Buck and his staff to many of my friends that have been going for 20+ years (or more) is one of a societal change as much as anything ~ In the olden days Father's Day meant a celebration of dad and that meant the family had the respect to do what DAD wanted to do. Nowday's, Mom and the spoiled kids decide what THEY want dad to do on Father's Day, and it sure isn't heading out to some dumb ole car show! Sorry "DAD" you're not in charge anymore!

    (It didn't help any that last year, the first one with the changes also happened to fall during a massive heat wave we were experiencing)
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
    Blues4U, Special Ed, seadog and 2 others like this.
  15. verde742
    Joined: Aug 11, 2010
    Posts: 5,543

    1. a veteran died today

    when did the 'family jewels " become "his Junk ?"
  16. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,426



    Hey HRD,
    The reasons you have given are what seems to be the idea on Father's Day. The thread from February, said pretty much the same thing. The LA Roadster show was such a powerful draw, that other smaller venues could not compete with the "Biggie." Now, the show can't compete with mothers/wives and the general consensus that Fathers Day, Mothers Day, etc. should be left alone for families to do their thing. It was/is the politically correct thing to do these days.


    Friday/Saturday is a work day for a lot of people. Casual Fridays will be empty for many businesses. But, that changeover can be described in one word: WOW. What comes around, goes around. From the earliest times way back in the late 60's, early 70's there were communities and event people that wanted hot rods and dads to coincide with each other.

    The big, So Cal draw was the LA Roadster Show held on Sunday, Father's Day. That was a given. Boy, did it ever draw dads, families, cousins, etc. It got very big in the community and attendance grew each year.

    Other small So Cal cities tried to have hot rod shows on Father's Day to tie in the same community idea. Something for the dads to do with their families, locally. As if fathers weren't busy enough and wanted a day a total rest and relaxation. Some of those community shows worked for a couple of years and then had to fold.

    Why? The LA Roadster show, of course. That gathering drew so many hot rods and people in general that it got moved around So Cal to accommodate the masses. So, many communities just gave up and moved their events to sometime in the late or earlier June to "seem" like it was a draw for the dads.


    But, now, the local, community councils have new things to worry about. So long standing traditions like Thanksgiving weekend, Father's Day and Mother's Days are now left open for the families to plan things together. Not for big time community events on a Sunday.

    That and religion play big parts all over the USA. (lets leave out Superbowl Sunday as that is its own giant) This family thing, seems like the main reason the LA Roadster show got moved. IMHO

    Feb 2018
  17. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,829


    You really can't put a price on meeting old friends you may only see once a year, there are cars as well as a swap meet. Bob
  18. Mike
    Joined: Mar 5, 2001
    Posts: 3,528


    I've been going to LARS for about 20 years. One of the things that I've always liked the most about LARS has been the "looseness" of the whole deal. I enter through the specialty parking area and I have always been able to drive my car into some of the other areas of the show (especially the swap meet) without any hassles. It's been nice to have my car parked at a friend's swap space, be in the middle of it all, have close access to my cooler and food, and be able to drive to someone's swap space and pick up that heavy lump of iron that I just bought. With all the changes that have occurred and detracted from the show over the years, (layout changes, moving of the spectator parking, decline in swap meet vendors etc.) that "looseness" has been a big part of what has kept this a "must attend" show for me, and has kept me coming back.

    Rodshows is a business, they rightfully should earn a profit. I don't mind the added costs, they seem reasonable and justified. I understand that with this change, the "looseness" that I like will end, and there is nothing wrong with that. However, for me, the loss of that "looseness" relegates LARS form "must attend" to "maybe", "maybe not".
    The37Kid likes this.
  19. oldpl8s
    Joined: Apr 11, 2007
    Posts: 1,399


    I bought my end space again for 2018 near a tram stop. It was easy to get and MUCH better than waiting days in line then HOURS to get in. I know the promoters know the issues to correct and hope they address them. I'm looking forward to seeing fellow gear heads and maybe making a few bucks.
    The37Kid and Special Ed like this.
  20. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,299

    from So Cal

    Follow the signs. It's pretty easy, you won't get lost. Just take the Fairplex Dr exit off I10 and head north, you'll probably enter right there where it hits McKinley, but if not there will be signs directing you where to go. For GNRS this year they had us enter at Gate 7 off White Ave, and then we had to walk through the underpass to get to the show. Wear comfortable walking shoes!

    Or are you going to bring a car and do the Drive-In?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  21. Crankhole
    Joined: Apr 7, 2005
    Posts: 2,622


    Take Fairplex exit, not Fairview.
    Blues4U likes this.
  22. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 5,299

    from So Cal

    thanks, I fixed it.
  23. justabeater37
    Joined: Jan 1, 2009
    Posts: 1,342


    This is a show that I have been wanting to do for some time. Unfortunately, its a 1781 mile drive. But 50 bucks is a smoking deal really. I hate when people bitch at the show I help with that it costs 25 bucks for the weekend. I always ask them how much it costs them to go to the bar at night.
    The37Kid and Dean Lowe like this.
  24. Last year was my first and it was a hot fantastic experience. I hope this year there is more access control. I was a honest person who paid his $20 for an entry ticket. Throughout Sat I saw folks just sneaking in on foot (which was easy to do given no staff at the gate). Looking forward to the So Cal open house, has anyone confirmed it will be happening?
    28rp likes this.
  25. Pappawheely
    Joined: Sep 20, 2010
    Posts: 9


    Well, what's the verdict? I went on Saturday and had a good time. I ran into an acquaintance who said the crowd was huge on Friday.
  26. uncle buck
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 1,629

    uncle buck

    I have driven my roadster 2500 miles round trip several times in the past to attend. The enjoyable part of doing so was the attitude of the LA Roadster Club members. The one thing I would continue to hear when driving it was “thank you for attending, you are the show “. With the change in charging to attend in a Roadster I have chosen to drive my daily pickup and go the swap meet direction instead. Also , it doesn’t cost me a dime to go to the bars at night- I don’t drink which is also my choice

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  27. Pappawheely
    Joined: Sep 20, 2010
    Posts: 9


    I liked the cacklefest but it was only one car that I saw fire up. You gotta love a blown Hemi! MRP10167 webres.jpg
  28. At the cost of Nitro that may be the reason only one fired.

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