Mmm, a car show! An opportunity to ogle a bunch of badass cars with crowd of like-minded enthusiasts. A place to talk about shafts and slurp down a $10 12oz. of that sweet, sweet German nectar-of-the-gods, Büd Weis’r. But the Ventura Nationals is not like your hometown’s cars-n-coffee. Formerly called the Primer Nationals, it’s exclusive to rat rods, lead sleds, bobbers, and any other ssssick custom rides older than 1967. There are also more greasy rockabilly hipsters than you’ve ever seen in your life. To put that into perspective, there was a fucking mustache-curling station as well as a mobile barbershop popup.
While the crowd in itself was a spectacle—we almost got caught in the middle of a drunk dad fight—the real show was of course the cars. Every car show has that one car that’s kind of out-of-place, right? Well this show was kind of like a freak gathering of all of those funky, ratty cars, all clumped together. Take, for example, this:
Ever wanted to see the result of a three-way between an MG, a Model-T and a Chevy? Yeah, well we found it, built by the guy who brought you the Dream Ryder!
And it had wings, too. And a shit ton of custom fiberglass work.
This was another one of our favorites:
While it resembles a Keaton-era Gotham City hot rod, this car is actually a 1955 Plymouth Savoy! From a distance it didn’t look like much was done to it, but the amount of subtle modification really impressed us.
And speaking of BADASS:
This massive, yellow, Cummins-powered (heh), child-transporting hot rod was simply called the Special Bus. The gentleman who built the special bus, despite being hungover from responsible drinking the night before, was kind enough to tell us about his big yellow rig. This massive metal beast was not pretty. Riddled with rust, dents and bullet holes, perhaps the worst part was the Trump 2016 sticker on the window. But behind the rugged exterior was a daily-driver quality workhorse. It cruised on the Hot Rod Power Tour for 5700 miles! Holy shit!
Eclectic as the show may have been, our favorite part about the Nats was that between every pristine show car and ratty garage-build, nothing looked out of place. And that’s why the Ventura Nationals is one of our favorite shows. That and we got free beer coozies. Aside from a few drunk dads here and there, nothing could rain down on such a beautiful California day.