With the 2008 presidential race having just been decided, you can bet the folks in the Midwest had a large say in who will occupy the White House this January. An integral part of the country since the mid-1800s, the Midwest has always been where you can get a no-nonsense approach to the American way of life.

The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has known this for some time, which is why they've held their annual Heartland Nationals in Des Moines, Iowa, for the last 17 years. Open to pre-'73 rods, trucks, and customs, the event was something of a question mark as torrential rains flooded the downtown section of the city and threatened levees only a few weeks prior.

But neither rain nor record gasoline prices could keep the thousands of car owners and spectators from flowing into the 160-acre Iowa State Fairgrounds facility for the three-day event. A "full service" type of hot rod show, you could spend time in any number of areas and sections, from the Car Corral (cars for sale) to the swap meet or the vendors' exhibits (set up in the air conditioned buildings).

Specialty parking was available throughout the weekend for some of the more unique groups of rodders and their cars in the Trick Truck Corral, Deuce Doin's, Pro's Pick, or Mighty Muscle categories, and finalists for Goodguys' Custom Rod of the Year, Truck of the Year (early and late model), and Muscle Car of the Year were picked, as well. What's more, 10 more cars were added to the 2008 STREET RODDER Top 100 group of vehicles at this show.

Goodguys prides itself on providing an event atmosphere that is conducive to getting people out driving and enjoying their hot rods, and to that end, a poker run was organized for the day before the show. By Friday, if you were in the facility, you could either hang out with friends around your favorite parking spot or join the hundreds of other car owners who didn't mind idling around the grounds at $4-plus a gallon checking out other cars while spectators lined the roads to watch them cruise by.

On Friday night there were stock and sprint car races at the on-site dirt track, Saturday night a party with live music, and fireworks filled the sky each evening.

But even with the high gas prices and the questionable weather predictions, the 17th Heartland Nationals went off without a hitch, and all that attended came away from the event knowing they've seen the best Midwest America has to offer.

Turtle Wax Tech Tips
Waxing And Polishing
Waxes and polishes serve three primary purposes: cleaning a car's finish, improving the shine, and protecting the surface against Mother Nature. Most waxes/polishes contain very mild abrasives, along with chemical cleaning agents, lubricants, and waxes. These abrasive services remove surface oxidation while leaving behind a high gloss shine.

Recommendations:
1) Never apply wax onto surfaces that cannot be easily buffed.
2) Ideal waxing temperature is between 55F - 85F.
3) Always apply paste wax in thin coats.
4) Soft terry cotton makes perfect polishing cloths.
5) Only wax a recently washed surface.
6) Do not apply wax in direct sun (unless you are using ICE Synthetic Liquid or Paste Polish) on dark finishes. This makes polish and wax removal difficult.