The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has had a long (nearly 30-year) relationship with hot rodders across the county and, when they come to town, you can be assured of the chance to see all types of customs and rods (makes and models from before 1973 are allowed in) parading through the local fairgrounds.
For the past 4 years, Goodguys has also included the city of Nashville, Tennessee, in their yearly round-up of 22 events, and thousands of vehicles crowded in for the three-day show at LP Field-otherwise known to NFL fans as the Tennessee Titan Stadium.
Oppressive heat-98 degrees with an afternoon heat index (feels like) reading of well over 105 degrees in the shade-may have dampened more than one set of clothing on the backs of spectators but it did not dampen their spirit, as they came out in droves along with some of the most creative car builders in the country who used the show as a spot to debut new vehicles.
LP Field is a large stadium (it seats about 69,000 people) surrounded by ample parking areas, trees, and grass, which hot rodders took advantage of by claiming some of the real estate for their own. The event actually begins on Thursday with a Poker Run that starts at the host hotel, but most folks start pouring into the facility on Friday. The Goodguys' Street Challenge Autocross course was open on Friday, too, and many people decided to test their vehicle's performance against the clock. Some just lumbered around the track, which was located just beyond the event's swap meet area, in the 55-plus second range, but the serious drivers (who tweaked their rides to compete in this highly-entertaining activity) were able to get around the course in the 45-second range. We suspect the autocross, both from a participant level as well as a spectator level, will only grown in popularity as more people find out about it.
On Saturday sections of the grounds were roped off to house specialty car parking-everything from Trick Trucks to Homebuilt Heaven-as car owners vied for recognition. The event also features Builder's Choice awards, which is where a well-known professional car builder picks a handful of well-done cars to honor and, at this event, Tennessee's own Bobby Alloway was chosen to hand out 10 Builder's Choice awards.
The continuation of the Turtle Wax/STREET RODDER Top 100 program, where 10 cars from 10 shows are picked by the magazine for a run-off at the end of the year to determine who would be the magazine's online Street Rod Of The Year, was also in full swing.
Goodguys also picked finalists for their Custom Rod, Truck, Muscle Machine, and Muscle Car of the Year awards, so you could probably guess there were a lot of high-quality cars to see at the this year's show. And though it didn't rain on the awards presentation (it looked like it wanted to), it was announced the 5th Nashville Nationals will be held in May in 2010 instead of July in an effort to tap into a little bit cooler weather pattern. Check www.good-guys.com for more info on the next year's show.
Rodders from Michigan to Florida...
Rodders from Michigan to Florida attended the three-day show in Nashville. Many builders also use this event to debut the latest cars from their customers.
You don't have to go over...
You don't have to go over the top to have a clean driver, as Eric Hoyt from Holly Springs, MS, was able to show with his '54 Chevy.
Larry Harper's 331 Hemi-powered...
Larry Harper's 331 Hemi-powered Model A pickup was one of many well-done pickups we've been noticing lately, and the judges must have agreed, as it won the Hot Hauler award, sponsored by Herculiner.
Calvin Moore's '56 Lincoln...
Calvin Moore's '56 Lincoln Continental sure had them waggin' their tongues! Brian Hatton oversaw the building of the Mark II at Moore Brothers Classics in Hendersonville, TN, where they stuffed a Robert Pond aluminum 427 FE engine in and topped it with a Dynatek Racing Weber EFI system. Moore also won a Builder's Choice award with his car.
Len Beal, from Harrogate,...
Len Beal, from Harrogate, TN, drove into the event with the top down in his stylish '46 Ford but, because of the excessive afternoon heat, we saw him with the top up later on. Either way this super-clean convertible looked great.
Jerry Noone's '32 Ford looks...
Jerry Noone's '32 Ford looks like your normal well-built roadster, but under the hood is a surprise: an Ecotec inline four. The car weighs less than 2,100 pounds, but is extremely quick. The 2.4-liter engine, with the turbo kit Jerry added, produces 300 horsepower at the rear wheels. He offers crate engines packages, too, on his www.noonecustoms.com website.
We didn't get a chance to...
We didn't get a chance to talk with Jeff Birke from Red Bud, IL, about his '33 SpeedStar coupe to find out if he's getting it ready for paint or if he's going for a more subdued, bad-ass hot rod look. We hadn't seen someone take a smoothy car like this and give it the rat rod treatment, so we were curious as to how he'll finish it.
For hours on both Friday and...
For hours on both Friday and Saturday you could find rodders over at the Street Challenge Autocross course trying to better their times as they raced against the clock on a closed-loop track. Populated mostly by Pro Touring Camaros and Chevelles, you could also find C10 trucks and a few '32 and '27 Ford roadsters pitching it into the corners. Looks like a lot of fun.
Jeff Davis' '31 Ford Tudor...
Jeff Davis' '31 Ford Tudor had a great feel to it. From the metallic green paint to the Limefire headers and the Norm Grabowski carved skull on the shifter, this is one we'd like in our own garage!
Swap meets are always dangerous...
Swap meets are always dangerous if you have even a little money in your pocket. For those with a little more cash, say $6,500, you could have picked up this 'glass '41 Willys project or, for $6,000, this '58 Biscayne four-door with 59,000 actual miles.
Not too many rodders can say...
Not too many rodders can say they have a '48 Riley Saloon in their garage, but Ray and Linda Sanders, from Paducah, KY, can. Theirs is powered by a 350/4L60E engine and trans combo. Riley had a long history-they began motorized four-wheeled vehicle operations in Britain in 1898 and stopped work in the mid-'60s.
Turtle Wax Tech Tips
Two Myths About Car Care
(and the truths behind them)
1) Dishwashing detergent is safe to use as a car wash. True, but not recommended: Any dishwashing detergent is meant to remove contaminants from the surface, which includes stripping the polymers of the paint surface. It is recommended that you use a safe car wash detergent that is diluted with water in order to avoid rubbing paint off the car.
2) Using a protectant too frequently on the interior can cause leather and interior plastics to dry out and crack. False: Plastic and leather materials are soft and pliable due to chemicals used to manufacture the interior. Over time, the materials lose these key softening ingredients. Plastic shrinks, leather becomes stiff, and wear becomes evident. Interior conditioners, like Turtle Wax(r) ICE(r) Total Interior Care, help prevent "plasticizer" loss to these ingredients, inhibiting the aging process.
Turtle wax presents
Street Rodder Top 100
Johnny Freund, Nashville, TN / '61 Chevy
Painted Victory Red, this bubble-top features a Chevy 383 drivetrain (built by Boris at Street Machinery in Euclid, OH), an Air Ride suspension system, and a 20- and 22-inch Billet Specialties wheel combo.
Jason Graham, Portland, TN / '30 Ford coupe
Chopped 6 inches, this steel Model A Ford has not been channeled. All of the fabrication was done by the owner (including the interior) and the body was painted with a charcoal base before the satin clear went on top. A 371 Olds Rocket V-8, topped with four Strombergs, bolts to a four-speed trans.
Tom Johnson, Cascilla, MS / '41 Willys coupe
The Gasser Wars are alive and well in Casilla, MS, as Tom Johnson tied the '60s era into a tribute for his father (his dad's Gulf gas station logo has been added to the decklid along with the names of his grandkids). A 496 Chevy with Hilborn EFI injection gives the rod its power, and the BeBop's 'glass body was built by Street Rods by Michael in Shelbyville, TN.
Bob McCary, Hoover, AL / '41 Ford convertible
Larry Griffey did the build on Bob's 'vert, and fit a 429 Ford motor and a C6 trans under the hood. Using an Air Ride suspension system to get the car low, Griffey also added Billet Specialties wheels, a leather interior, and power seats to make the traveling that much easier.
Greg Davis, Harrison, TN / '48 Ford Anglia
Big things do come in small packages! Though the handbuilt and stretched fenders on this little Ford are 'glass, the body is steel. Chopped 2 inches and set up with a 91-inch wheelbase, the Anglia features a Bill Mitchell-prepped aluminum 427 shoehorned under the hood.
Dave Haas, Millstadt, IL / '32 Ford coupe
Dave must have a good eye for building hot rods-he won a Top 10 award with another '32 four years ago. This time 'round his new three-window features a '50 Mercury Flathead (with dual Demon 98s on an Offy manifold) backed to a C4 trans and a leather interior.
Dick Stevens, Isola, MS / '46 Plymouth coupe
Lots of time and imagineering went into the construction of Dick Stevens' Plymouth Business coupe, mostly due to the fact the owner wasn't pleased with what Plymouth had done with its rear fenders in 1946. After spotting a set of rear fenders from a '55 Buick from a distance one day, he knew the shape would work on his car. Shaved, nosed, and decked, the electric gold paint and pearl white interior really stands out in a crowd.
Baker Kirkpatrick, Gallatin, TN / '34 Ford coupe
Confessing a love for the Cop Shop Coupe that first appeared in STREET RODDER more than 20 years ago, Baker set out to copy many of the car's iconic looks with his own three-window. The motor is a 454 backed to a Muncie trans, and the slant chop (3 1/2-to-3 inches) is perfect. Stretched 4 inches, pinched 3 inches, and channeled 6 inches, we'd say Baker has done his homework!
Tom Schuman, Athens, AL / '54 Ford Ranch wagon
Painted Porsche red and finished with a tan leather interior, the wagon gets its go from a 5.0-liter Ford equipped with an EFI system.
Ricky Tedesco, Thornwood, NY / '31 Ford pickup
Built at Alloway's Hot Rod Shop in nearby Louisville, TN, Tedesco's British Racing Green pick 'em up features a filled roof, flush-fit doors, Dayton wire wheels, a Steve Holcomb interior, and a 350/350 engine-and-trans combo.