As most folks have known for the past couple of decades, when the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association comes to town, it's party time. And no one gets it done bigger or better than the folks in and around the Dallas/Ft. Worth region of Texas.
For the past 17 years rodders were given a place (the event was originally at the Southfork Ranch location, but moved to the spacious Texas Motor Speedway after its completion in 1996) to display their hot rod, thanks to the Goodguys, who really do know how to treat their customers.
Far from being just a big parking lot show, the Goodguys events always have a lot more to do and see than your average hot rod get-together. Plus, the added advantage of seeing cars and trucks from nearly every era allows folks to experience rodding on a much wider scale.
Byron Crump was a cool rodder to meet. Though a young guy, he obviously knows how to build
The swap meet was full of deals (if you knew where to look) and, if rusty old parts wasn't your thing, then a trip through the rows of new vendor displays was probably what you needed. Plus, with the event being located on the infield of a 1.5-mile quad-oval speedway, you had the chance to either drive in a real NASCAR training car (at racing speeds) around the track or in your own car (at much slower speeds).
You could also drive your own car around a different kind of track-one marked with cones-in the Street Challenge Autocross. Having a cool-looking car is one thing, but getting it to go around a corner without carving up the road or your tires is something else. The rodders who rolled through the timed course laid out at one end of the speedway's asphalt parking lot looked like they were doing a little of both, but had a great time doing so. We also wonder why we don't see more area car clubs challenge other car clubs to see who has the better handling rods (or at least who has the better drivers) at the Autocross.
The weather is always a factor at outdoor car shows in the South, and a rainstorm did come by for a visit Saturday afternoon and into the evening, but the thousands of attendees who go to the Goodguys shows are mostly locals (or they at least live somewhere in the Okla-Tex area) and they're used to seeing a cow or a house fly by in a serious Texas-style rainstorm. Fortunately the storm wasn't that bad, and folks returned to cruising their rides as soon as the rain had stopped and they had a chance to wipe down their cars.
But the best thing about the Lone Star Nationals has always been the cars-they're some of the best in the country and, more often than not, something you just won't see if you're sequestered in the East or West. And, with any luck, the Goodguys will continue to bring its brand of hot rodding to the South for many years to come.
'51 Studebaker convertible
When Rowray pulled into the event with his black Stude convertible towing his custom Stude trailer (hauling a '49 Harley-Davidson), people were dumbstruck. Besides the LT1 install and the custom leather interior (with Dakota Digital gauges and LCD DVDs mounted behind the bucket seats), Rowray's trailer was also made of '51 Stude parts.
'30 Ford highboy coupe
Model A coupes sure are popular nowadays and, when they look this good, who can you blame? A '53 Merc Flathead powers the Ford, and it's topped with an Edmunds manifold and twin Strombergs. The body is chopped 2 1/2 inches-the same amount for the channel. A quick-change out back and a rolled 'n' pleated interior rounds things out.
Dusty Cox Jr.
Fort Smith, AR
'60 Chevy Impala
Cox found this low-mileage car and cleaned it up before adding the 13-inch disc brakes and Budnik wheels. The 348 engine looks like it rolled off the assembly line yesterday.
'57 Buick Special
That's a lot of bumper on Ed's hardtop! They made 'em big and heavy back in 1957, but Bice updated his Special with a 6.0L Cadillac Escalade engine backed to a 4L60E trans. An IFS from Fatman Fabrications, 'bags from RideTech, and 17- and 18-inch billet wheels help the Buick roll down the road in style.
'40 Ford convertible
Driveshaft specialist Mickey Smith tells us his convertible uses '40 Ford standard front sheetmetal-something the factory didn't do on the convertibles for that year. Under the hood is a 383 V-8, and the ride rolls on Wheel Smith wires. Krist Kustoms did the leather interior.
'61 Chevy Bel Air
Dooley & Sons Rods and Customs in Magnolia, TX, a full-service, whatever-you-want kind of shop built this '61 Chevy Bel Air for Meg Cameron. The black beauty features a 409 engine, RideTech airbags, and 20- and 22-inch Intro wheels.
'39 Ford Tudor
Larry's '39 got a complete body-off restoration before being outfitted with a 350/350 engine and trans combination and a Mustang II IFS. The stance and the Halibrand wheels lets you know it's a hot rod from the outside while the interior is subtly done in a cream pleat
'39 Buick coupe
Duke and Mary Hogan love their Buick, which is powered by an LS1 and features a Corvette C4 suspension. The unique Jarama beige color (from the Porsche line of colors) just glows in the sun, and it gives the coupe an elegant look.
China Spring, TX
'32 Ford channeled coupe
If you pulled everything from a list that you would ever want on a '32 three-window, you'd probably come up with Jason Smith's incredible coupe. Equipped with a fuel-injected, Ardun-topped Flathead backed to a five-speed trans, the copper coupe also boasts a Winters quick-change, a '34 Ford cowl top section, and a 3-to-2-inch slant chop.
'37 Ford coupe
The award-winning Roger Burman, from Lakeside Rods and Customs, built this super-slick '37 coupe for Sheri Murray. Lots of body massaging (typical on cars from Lakeside) went into this low-slung ride (check out the Mini Cooper headlights) that also features an LS1 engine, 18- and 20-inch Budnik wheels, and subtle two-tone paintjob.
In from Carrollton, TX, Richard Gary and his '62 'Bird took in the show. The Ice Blue pain
This Model T roadster pickup looked pretty vintage, but the polished shark (made from F-86
A blown 383 stroker was stuffed into the front of Mark Britt's '38 Chevy truck. With there
Looking for some kind of cruiser to build? Gary Locklin had a '51 Chrysler for sale for on
In from Little Elm, TX, Bob and Susan Busby's '61 bubbletop Chevy has the right low-and-le
There's something about '54 Chevy wagons that are cool, even in their stock state. Kevin S
Otis Schmidt has had his '29 Ford Tudor at Goodguys shows before, but without an interior.
Anyone else out there love the little Rambler Americans? Keith Stephens' '64 still had its
Bill Dwyer's '39 LaSalle from Richmond, IN
Ken Smith's '46 Pontiac from Mansfield, TX
J. T. Moore's '35 Buick from Arlington, TX
We saw Dave Pearce's '60 Impala convertible with the top both up and down, and it looks gr
There were several ol' rusty early Ford pickups in attendance, including Bruce Capen's '32
T.J. Akins' '36 Ford has a definite old-school look from the outside, but an LS1/4L60 engi
You can still find some great buys in the swap meet sections of the Goodguys Southern-base
John Ligon's '39 Chevy was one of the nicest cars at the show. Perfect stance, contemporar
Wonder what to do with that military Jeep laying around in your backyard? Dallas' Clifton
There are two classes of racing over at the Street Challenge Autocross: one for venders an
Though you can usually find a good number of Camaros and Mustangs running in both classes,
They didn't make too many '62 Olds F85 Club Coupes (less than 8,000 by one count), but Cli
So you bought a Roadster Shop chassis and now you've got to get it home-now what? Just pus
Looking like a carved bar of gold, Larry Ornduff's '47 Chevy had a good amount of custom t
Not all of those '60s-era show cars are in museums. Ed Newton designed the Wine Keg in 196
George Jezek's highboy Deuce sedan was cool enough with its vintage appearance and Flathea