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...
Byron Crump was a cool rodder to meet. Though a young guy, he obviously knows how to build a hot rod with a much older feel. His '32 is only one of the handful of projects he's got, all of which look really interesting.
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...
In from Carrollton, TX, Richard Gary and his '62 'Bird took in the show. The Ice Blue paint and white roof and interior was nice, but the Norm Grabowski skull shifter really set the tone for this one.
This Model T roadster pickup...
This Model T roadster pickup looked pretty vintage, but the polished shark (made from F-86 Sabre Jet parts) that was for sale ($3,500), which is bolted to the roof rack, stopped a lot of folks in their tracks.
A blown 383 stroker was stuffed...
A blown 383 stroker was stuffed into the front of Mark Britt's '38 Chevy truck. With there being so many stock pickups located in the south we're sure we'll be seeing them converted to hot rods for some time to come.
Looking for some kind of cruiser...
Looking for some kind of cruiser to build? Gary Locklin had a '51 Chrysler for sale for only $3,500. Black paint, a Hemi, and the right set of wheels would make this one sharp hot rod.
In from Little Elm, TX, Bob...
In from Little Elm, TX, Bob and Susan Busby's '61 bubbletop Chevy has the right low-and-lean attitude.
There's something about '54...
There's something about '54 Chevy wagons that are cool, even in their stock state. Kevin St. John, from Sachse, TX, rolled into the Ft. Worth event in his two-tone 210, which is powered by a 235 straight-six backed to a Powerglide.
Otis Schmidt has had his '29...
Otis Schmidt has had his '29 Ford Tudor at Goodguys shows before, but without an interior. He's finally addressed that, and the chopped sedan now features a great-looking aircraft-style aluminum bucket seat setup.
Anyone else out there love...
Anyone else out there love the little Rambler Americans? Keith Stephens' '64 still had its stock 196-inch flathead straight-six in it (and it was nicely detailed), but it would be hard to resist dropping in a small-block of some sort.
Bill Dwyer's '39 LaSalle from...
Bill Dwyer's '39 LaSalle from Richmond, IN
Ken Smith's '46 Pontiac from...
Ken Smith's '46 Pontiac from Mansfield, TX
J. T. Moore's '35 Buick from...
J. T. Moore's '35 Buick from Arlington, TX
We saw Dave Pearce's '60 Impala...
We saw Dave Pearce's '60 Impala convertible with the top both up and down, and it looks great either way. The green-on-green-on-green 'vert is powered by a 372 Chevy backed to a Powerglide.
There were several ol' rusty...
There were several ol' rusty early Ford pickups in attendance, including Bruce Capen's '32 Ford, which was equipped with a 383 stroker and a four-speed. Some fun!
T.J. Akins' '36 Ford has a...
T.J. Akins' '36 Ford has a definite old-school look from the outside, but an LS1/4L60 engine and trans combo powers the slammed coupe.
You can still find some great...
You can still find some great buys in the swap meet sections of the Goodguys Southern-based events, as this all-steel '26 Ford T roadster pickup-running and driving with a small-block Chevy-was only $7,900.
John Ligon's '39 Chevy was...
John Ligon's '39 Chevy was one of the nicest cars at the show. Perfect stance, contemporary tan leather interior, subtle body mods-he's got the right idea.
Wonder what to do with that...
Wonder what to do with that military Jeep laying around in your backyard? Dallas' Clifton Greenwood made a hot rod out of his '46 Jeep CJ-2A.
There are two classes of racing...
There are two classes of racing over at the Street Challenge Autocross: one for venders and one for "regular" folk.
Though you can usually find...
Though you can usually find a good number of Camaros and Mustangs running in both classes, you can also find a few hearty types running their street rods through the timed course as well.
They didn't make too many...
They didn't make too many '62 Olds F85 Club Coupes (less than 8,000 by one count), but Cliff Angelle knows how to set one up. His still sports its aluminum 215 engine, but it's backed to a 700-R4 transmission.
So you bought a Roadster Shop...
So you bought a Roadster Shop chassis and now you've got to get it home-now what? Just push it down the road to the truck! You don't need those old Centerlines anyway, do you?
Looking like a carved bar...
Looking like a carved bar of gold, Larry Ornduff's '47 Chevy had a good amount of custom touches, from the rear shirts and shaved handles to the frenched headlights and the shaved drip rails.
Not all of those '60s-era...
Not all of those '60s-era show cars are in museums. Ed Newton designed the Wine Keg in 1968. It was built by Dick Dean years later, and it is currently owned by Jack Orwell of Iowa Park, TX.
George Jezek's highboy Deuce...
George Jezek's highboy Deuce sedan was cool enough with its vintage appearance and Flathead engine, but the pinstriping found all around was just too cool.