34th Annual Association Of Handcrafted Automobiles Show @ The Pomona Fairplex

Phil Coconis
by Phil Coconis
34th annual association of handcrafted automobiles show the pomona fairplex

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 http://www.linkedin.com/

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2 of 11 comments
  • Cargogh Cargogh on Apr 29, 2013

    Those photos were very nice, Phil.

  • Phil Coconis Phil Coconis on May 01, 2013

    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?

  • Theflyersfan One positive: doesn't appear to have a sunroof. So you won't need to keep paper towels in the car.But there's a serious question to ask this seller - he has less than 40,000 miles on some major engine work, and the transmission and clutch work and mods are less than 2 months old...why are you selling? That's some serious money in upgrades and repairs, knowing that the odds of getting it back at the time of sale is going to be close to nil. This applies to most cars and it needs to be broadcasted - these kinds of upgrades and mods are really just for the current owner. At the time of sale, a lot of buyers will hit pause or just won't pay for the work you've done. Something just doesn't sit well with me and this car. It could be a snowbelt beast and help save the manuals and all that, but a six year old VW with over 100,000 miles normally equals gremlins and electrical issues too numerous to list. Plus rust in New England. I like it, but I'd have to look for a crack pipe somewhere if the seller thinks he's selling at that price.
  • 2ACL I can't help feeling that baby is a gross misnomer for a vehicle which the owner's use necessitated a (manual!) transmission rebuild at 80,000 miles. An expensive lesson in diminishing returns I wouldn't recommend to anyone I know.
  • El scotto Rumbling through my pantry and looking for the box of sheets of aluminum foil. More alt right comments than actual comments on international trade policy. Also a great deal of ignorance about the global oil industry. I'm a geophysicist and I pay attention such things. Best of all we got to watch Tassos go FULL BOT on us.
  • El scotto No one and I mean no one on here is a UAW member or a salaried employee of the Big 3. Then again if someone identified themselves on here they would pilloried every time they posted.The comments on here are like listening to the overgrown children who call into sports radio shows.
  • Statikboy Those tires are the Wrong Size.