By on April 28, 2013

With the rising cost and generally limited choice available to those motoring enthusiasts out there—and we know that the spirit is alive and well, in spite of (and because of) recent economic developments—events featuring alternative ways of expressing such enthusiasm are certainly newsworthy.

Not to be confused with any other event featuring so-called “custom”, “experimental”, “historic”,  “restored” or “vintage” vehicles, the A.H.A. Show often features all of these elements—as they fit into the “handcrafted” framework. You might see anything from one-off ground-up custom fabricated units with inspiration from any particular era past, present, or future, to assembled kits based on similar inspiration. The kit vehicles may range from cleverly devised “rebody” component kits (applied to commonly available, mass produced autos) to virtually spec-built replicas of classic rides—now considered to be very rare, expensive “museum pieces”.

What was once, in truth, a “hobby”, has been transformed to something well beyond that; now that computerized imaging and related manufacturing technologies are the order of the day.

Very good news for auto enthusiasts, indeed!

At one point, before the U.S. “economic meltdown”, the A.H.A. Show was held in connection with some related automotive events in a rather large parking lot opposite the famed Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park, Buena Park, CA. Most of the major players in the business would be in attendance, toting large trailers used to display their wares.

While these vendors are still operational, the change in venues has severely limited their space to operate at the show—held in a much smaller parking lot in front of the N.H.R.A. Museum—so many of them passed on attendance at this year’s show. That is somewhat of a shame, considering the aforementioned level of automobile enthusiasm extant—and the potential marketing opportunities this sort of an event can generate.

Still, this year’s show had some noteworthy standouts—including many non-commercial examples entered by private individuals. The accompanying photos—with purposely sparse textual commentary—will give our readers some idea of what the show is all about, and why they should attend next year, if they didn’t make it this past April 13th.

Readers should feel free to post questions or comments; and I will do my best to address them with mine.

Phil has written features and columns for a number of automotive periodicals (See “BODACIOUS BEATERS and road-going derelicts” on this ttac site) and web-based information companies. He has run a successful Auto Repair Business in the past for many years (See “Memoirs of an Independent Repair Shop Owner” on this ttac site). He can be contacted through this very site, or

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11 Comments on “34th Annual Association Of Handcrafted Automobiles Show @ The Pomona Fairplex...”

  • avatar

    Jeeze, Louise! (or at least Phil). Don’t forget Allard Motor Car Company.
    Some of the nicest hand-made cars around.
    Check this link, and drool:


  • avatar

    What is that yellow thing? Polish Hussars GP?

    • 0 avatar

      I suspect that is a modified American LaFrance “Chief’s Car” Speedster

      More info at:

  • avatar

    On that yellow monster, what are those 2 spigot-like things mounted on each cylinder?

    Especially impressed by the red trike. I always felt that Can-Am missed the opportunity to add one of the main benefits of a car (something to keep the rain off you) when they designed the Spyder, which would have balanced out the disadvantages.

    • 0 avatar

      Fuel priming cups. Used for cold weather starting. My Indian 101 Scout had them, and they do work.

      Can-Am would have never considered a full enclosure for the Spyder. It’s designed as a motorcycle for those who want to be “in the wind” while being afraid to ride a real motorcycle, for fear that it will fall over.

  • avatar

    Of course, the one you really want to see is Kaneda’s bike from “Akira”.

  • avatar
    Phil Coconis

    If I’m not mistaken, I believe those spigot devices are for cold-start fuel-priming of the cylinders!

    The “Trike” is a street-legal prototype by a company called CXV, in SoCal. It was driven to the show.
    It uses early Honda Gold Wing power (actually, much of the bike–minus the components used for riding purposes). I can get you some more info on it, but there isn’t much of a web presence at the moment. Hope it makes it to production!

    • 0 avatar

      The big drawback is that they’re using a 1200cc Gold Wing engine, which has been out of production since 1987. And what parts are still available are fast disappearing from Honda’s warehouse, with not a lot of aftermarket out there. This has always been one of the biggest problems for us at the shop, as there’s lots of Old Wing owners still trying to keep their bikes on the road. After riding a customer’s GL1200 restoration, however, I can under why they bother.

  • avatar

    Thanks for tipping us into this great show, I’ll look for it next year. The valves on the heads of the vintage(?) car are for compression release to make the engine easier to start.

  • avatar

    Those photos were very nice, Phil.

  • avatar
    Phil Coconis

    Regarding the choice of motivation for the CXV:

    They are working on a modest redesign that will accept late-model Gold Wing componentry. Two more cylinders, a reverse gear (a big deal on motorcycle-powered kits), and improved parts availability will be the benefits.

    Who could ask for more?

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