Traditionally held the second weekend in September, the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association decided, for the first time in 17 years to move the East Coast Nationals back a few months. Looking for warmer temperatures, a fairer forecast, and longer daylight hours for one of the New York region's largest hot rod and custom car show prompted the move.
Held at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds in Rhinebeck, New York, approximately 100 miles to the North as the crow flies from NYC, the East Coast Nationals featured a spectacular array of pre-'72 hot rods and customs, and, oh yeah, muscle cars. Situated in arguably some of the most picturesque countryside in America, "Rhinebeck" as it's known to the locals, is one of the most laid back shows on the Goodguys' calendar. But don't let the low-key atmosphere fool you, for with over 2,000 cars and attendance levels near 50,000, the East Coast Nats definitely don't disappoint.
Hosted by the Hudson Valley Street Rods club, the event gets kicked off early on Thursday with a cruise that takes participants throughout the historic Hudson River Valley. Friday starts off mellow with a poker run put on by the Hudson River crew, then it's off to the fairgrounds to kick the weekend off with a little show and shine. Saturday, numerous areas of the grounds are sectioned off for various Goodguys special feature areas such as Homebuilt Heaven, Builder's Choice, and Trick Truck Corral. In the exhibition buildings were numerous vendors selling parts and swag as well as an indoor swap meet. Out in the back 40 near the special features area was a car corral where we saw a couple of projects that tempted us into bringing home. Fortunately, we were on hand to pick another 10 cars as finalists for the STREET RODDER/Turtle Wax Top 100 program, keeping us busy enough throughout the weekend to forget about any harebrained ideas of dragging anything back to California. Of course like all Goodguys events, djs and live doo-wop music kept the crowds entertained throughout the weekend.
Among the hundreds of awards given out by the Goodguys at this years event, Tony Feil deserves a special nod for being selected as a Goodguys Kustom of the Year Finalist. Tony was also selected by us as a Top 100 finalist, so congrats Tony!
With the number and quality of cars that meet every year in Rhinebeck from all corners of the North East and New England it's easy to see why the East Coast Nats have become the preeminent East Coast hot rodding event. And with the move from September to June looking like a permanent change, it's arguably the best time of year to fire up that jalopy and visit the Empire State.
Turtle Wax Tech Tips
Apply car wax as needed. Waxing helps restore color and shine and it leaves behind a protective barrier to help prevent scratches, swirl marks and other imperfections that can permanently damage the vehicle's paint and finish. Water will bead on a properly waxed surface. When beads do not form, it is time to apply another coat of wax. For best results, select a wax or polish that offers long lasting protection and durability.
Clean all exterior surfaces. In addition to the vehicle's finish, protecting and cleaning wheels, exterior plastics and molding will help keep your car looking like new. Use a wheel product to remove and help prevent buildup of brake dust and road grime, which can permanently adhere to wheels and rims. For plastic and rubber surfaces, use a product that will restore and protect the materials' finishes.
Ron Lawson had this cool green...
Ron Lawson had this cool green '51 Chevy out looking good with the custom grille treatment, lakes pipes, wide whites and spider caps.
Joe Garrity's long-roof Deuce...
Joe Garrity's long-roof Deuce had a lot going for it, from the full fender treatment to the Tri-power-equipped Chevy. At the show sans interior, we can't wait to see it finished!
We're not sure of the history...
We're not sure of the history behind Andy Krauss' Model A , but the 331ci Caddy-powered roadster looked like it could have been a '50s-era survivor!
Bench racing went on all weekend...
Bench racing went on all weekend up on "Hot Rod Hill." Dig that Model A belonging to Bill Towers of Millford, DE, in the foreground and behind it is Mike Cunnien's period Duece three-window from Manchester, New Hampshire.
The '60s build style was well...
The '60s build style was well represented in Tommy Coughlin's 292ci Y-block-powered '58 Ford sedan delivery. Radir Tri-Rib wheels shod in wide whites, a scalloped and flaked paint scheme, and a button grille treatment round out the '60s flair.
Bill Albright's '31 Ford coupe...
Bill Albright's '31 Ford coupe is what an A/V-8 is all about. Hopped-up Flathead, split wishbones, and wide-five wheels shod in bias ply rubber completes the look.