12th Annual Goodguys PPG Nationals Columbus – Hot Rod & Custom Car Show
This weekend capped off the 12th Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. The event took place July 10 to July 12 on the grounds of the Ohio Expo Center with thousands of 72′ and earlier hot rods, far-out customs, classics, muscle cars, street machines and trucks on display. For folks into hot rodding and modified classic cars, this is a must attend event that is one of the largest in the country. There was something for everyone with a Street Challenge Autocross, indoor and outdoor vendor displays, games, a large swap meet, a ‘for sale’ area, and, of course, loads of fantastic vehicles.
Goodguys Nationals Columbus is also well known for crowning the coveted Street Rod of the Year and Street Machine of the Year awards. Both of these are the only accolades of their kind in the world. This year the 2009 Street Machine of the Year award went to the ‘C1RS’ 1962 Corvette (above) created by Roadster Shop. Built from aluminum and carbon fiber, the car is lightweigt and features a Turnkey Engines LS7 good for 618 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque. The suspension was provided by Detroit Speed and Engineering and the brakes sport huge Brembo 14 1/2″ rotors with 6-pistons all around. The car is not only beautiful for show but can hold its own in the real world, as it dominated the mandatory 3 lap Autocross course with the best lap time.
The vibe at Goodguys Columbus 2009 was friendly and welcoming, with owners interacting with one another along with the many hardcore enthusiasts. Builders such as Fesler-Moss, GlowShift, Greening Auto Company, R&H Collectibles and Hudson Rod & Customs all had great project cars on display. The modifications ran the gamut from restorations with a little refreshing to cars completely built from scratch or even melded together in the case of the Lamborghini Gallardo Mustang Tractorri from R&H (below).
With all the negative focus on the American auto industry, it was definitely refreshing to see that there is still tremendous interest in building, maintaining and modifying classic American automobiles with a plethora of businesses, from small machine shops to large multi-nationals, still keeping things humming along. You only have to look at the revitalization and huge interest in the the 2010 model Chevy Camaro, Ford Mustang (didn’t really leave, but definitely seemed like it) and the Dodge Challenger, with their design cues from the classic pony car days, to see that there may be light at the end of the tunnel after all…
For those unfamiliar, Goodguys Rod & Custom Association puts on over 20 events a year across the country from coast to coast. Their formula involves live entertainment, vendor and manufacturer exhibits, loads of amazing hot rod and custom cars, all packaged together in a very dynamic and vibrant atmosphere.
I used to go to the Goodguy’s Show in Pleasanton, CA every year with my best friend Eric and whichever parent we begged to take us. I have hundreds of 35mm pictures in shoeboxes of ’41 Willy’s, ’56 Chevy’s, ’32, ’33, ’34 Chevy’s and Fords, etc. I love hot rods. My love for cars was born from hot rods. I converted to an interest in import cars when I was 20, but my car-life began with big V8s, 4500 pound cars, flames and 5-spoke Mags. I’m so happy to see the Goodguy’s still alive and kicking strong. They are progressing as well it seems. For Best in Show they have a mandatory 3 lap autocross, how friggin cool is that? I don’t love that ’62 Vette’s front end, but the specs it has would win me over. And the fact is won on an AutoX just signs it’s letter of legitimacy. Muscle cars have learned to take corners. Maybe it’s time I re-visit my roots. Import cars are still the answer for reliable, overall performance. But nothing has soul like a classic muscle car, that only shakes at idle because you put the cam in.