Dilettante 38: Grand National car show

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There are millions of ways Californians spend time to alter vehicles. Home of the desert biker movie, this place has suburbs and suburbs filled with gearheads.

As long as the world continues to run on internal combustion engines, hot-rod hounds and houndettes may forever populate events like the Grand National Road Show, the longest-running indoor car show in the world.

And I come from a family of gearheads. My grandfather designed the automatic transmission and put it in a drawer about a decade before automatic transmissions were a thing. He worked on airplanes and helicopters for the Navy, and could build and fix whatever you put in front of him.

I inherited none of this except a musically-oriented appreciation of a good engine rumble.

This article in 1999 was my first gearhead-adjacent piece. I’ve since covered modified vehicles several times on this site:

The Bonneville Salt Flats races, part one and two

The Stinkin Linkin crew at Bonneville, part one and two

DPW and Gate (Burning Man staff) car porn

Cyclecide shows at Bill the Junkman‘s Ace Auto junkyard

where we also had the Power Tool Drag Races

and of course Cyclecide‘s short film The Loaded Warrior

Enjoy the road candy pictures.


Click through to read “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!,” originally published in the SF Bay Guardian on February 16, 1999.

This is the 38th entry in my “twenty years ago this week” project from when I was a nightlife columnist at the Bay Guardian, once the country’s largest family-owned weekly newspaper. These “Dilettante” clips, compiled on my portfolio page, create a serial portrait of San Francisco culture at the turn of the century (1997-2001).

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