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 '51 Chevy out looking good with the custom grille treatment
Joe Garrity's long-roof Deuce had a lot going for it, from the full fender treatment to th
We're not sure of the history behind Andy Krauss' Model A , but the 331ci Caddy-powered ro
Bench racing went on all weekend up on "Hot Rod Hill." Dig that Model A belonging to Bill
The '60s build style was well represented in Tommy Coughlin's 292ci Y-block-powered '58 Fo
Bill Albright's '31 Ford coupe is what an A/V-8 is all about. Hopped-up Flathead, split wi
Turtle Wax presents
Street Rodder Top 100
Lon & Stephanie Lewis, Ossining, NY / '50 Chevy sedan
Nosed, decked, and with a one-piece hood, Lon Lewis' '50 Chevy also features a Mustang II frontend and four-wheel disc brakes.
Derrick Pesko, Meriden, CT / '29 Ford sedan
Following a pretty serious accident in a 'T' roadster, Derrick built himself this '29 Ford sedan powered by a 283ci Chevy mill. The sedan sits on a Deuce chassis and features a removable roof insert, '32 dash with a '40 Ford insert, and a pair of vintage theatre seats.
Jim Fleming, Washingtonville, NY / '26 Ford Track T
Jim Fleming's homebuilt Track T had us drooling all weekend, but no, all the water in the photo isn't from us! Jim's four-cylinder-powered modified puts the power to the pavement through a five-speed gearbox and a Halibrand quick-change rearend.
Barry Mac Cheyne, Webster, NY / '32 Ford roadster
Another Top 100 pick went to Barry Mac Cheyne's Hemi-powered Deuce roadster. Dirt track Firestones on burgundy wires, lakes headers, tuck 'n' roll upholstery, and black suede make for one cool hot rod.
Tony Feil, Whitehouse Station, NJ / '40 Pontiac Model 25 coupe
We especially liked Tony Feil's '40 Pontiac due to the fact that he adhered to the Poncho namesake by dropping a '74 455ci engine between the framerails and used the eight-lug wheels from its 1962 brethren. Numerous body mods lie under burgundy coupe-turned-roadster, further endearing it in our hearts as well as being chosen as a Goodguys Kustom of the Year Finalist.
Steve Macchione, Washington Township, NJ / '29 Ford sedan
Featuring a 4-inch chop and channel, Steve's Model A sedan is powered by a trio of Rochesters atop a small-block Chevy mill backed by a five-speed trans.
Ed Bedard, Uxbridge, MA / '34 Ford Tudor sedan
Ed Bedard's Washington Blue '34 Ford sedan was a barn fresh, 21,000 original mile car from Rhode Island when Ed got his hands on it. He proceeded to upgrade the stuck drivetrain with an Olds J2 tri-power-equipped engine backed by a 700-R4.
Charles Simpson, Jr., Mt. Laurel, NJ / '31 Ford pickup
Charles Simpson Jr. built this wild '31 Ford pickup using a number of unconventional components such as the Rio headlights and big-rig air tank cum fuel tank. Charles chopped the Model A 5 inches and channeled it another 4 before setting the cab on a custom chassis setup for the 235i six-cylinder. The low slung hauler is from Mt. Laurel, New Jersey, where Charles resides.
Albert Torelli, Springfield, PA / '49 Oldsmobile 88
One look at Albert Torelli's '49 Olds Rocket 88 and it's obvious to anyone who knows their Oldsmobiles that this particular fastback has seen its number of modifications from the front bumper back. We walked the perimeter of the car and you couldn't count the obvious mods on two hands let alone the ones we couldn't think of.
Ed Flanagan, Mendham, NJ / '39 Ford convertible
Ed Flanagan's dark blue '39 Ford Carson-topped convertible features power everything, Chassis Engineering front suspension and a 350 Chevy combo.
Bill Carlson's '31 Ford jalopy looks straight out of the earliest days of hot rodding.
Cars like Tony Martino's Kingston, New York-based Model A makes you wonder where all these
On the other end of the hot rod spectrum is Eric Hill's tastefully executed '34 Ford picku
Radical chop, too many carbs, and those giant valve covers speak volumes in the hot rod ja
Row after row of vendor swap space yielded great respite from the sun.
Bill Towers added a few interesting touches to his '29 Ford when it came time to deciding