You may have noticed that, for most street rodders, the whole point of building or owning a rod is the pleasure of actually driving it. There is a percentage of enthusiasts who get more enjoyment out of building and fabricating and performing all the hands-on mechanical stuff, but for many others, the best day of the build is the one when all the work is done and it's time for fun.
You may have also noticed that Goodguys events generally reflect that trend. Getting there may be half the fun, but the other half is waiting for you when you roll through the gate at a national event. Parking yourself in a folding chair is always an option, if that's your thing, but it's definitely not the only one.
Nowhere is that more obvious than at the relatively new Goodguys Chicagoland Nationals, held at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois.
In addition to the attractions you typically find at Goodguys events-all the vendors and manufacturers, the swap meet, and the show 'n' shine for cars and trucks in numerous categories and corrals (including Homebuilt Heaven, Suede & Chrome, and Ya Gotta Drive 'Em), the Chicagoland Nats has the advantage of actually taking place in the infield of a modern, state-of-the-art 1-1/2-mile tri-oval racetrack. But that's not the only advantage. Another is Route 66 Dragway, located right across the street, where Friday Night Drags drew a big crowd of Goodguys participants at the end of the first day of the Chicagoland Nats.
There's not even enough space for a shadow underneath Mike Saltzman's slammed '34 Ford pic
Back at the Speedway on Saturday, event participants got a chance to have some fun with their street rods, customs, muscle cars, and classic trucks in a couple of different ways. One was the Street Challenge AutoCross, set upon the site Goodguys holds this event at more than a dozen of its shows, giving competitors the chance to run their rides through the twisty course, testing their car's handling abilities, and their own driving skills. We've never seen a skinny-tired, buggy-sprung Model A coupe zip through the cones as fast as a purpose-built g-Machine Camaro, but the rods do make for better photos. The other performance opportunity at Chicagoland took place on Saturday when the event moved out of the infield onto the banked oval, where participants got to take some laps around the track. Even in a mild-mannered street car at sub-NASCAR speeds, there's no experience quite like making a few counterclockwise passes around the course.
If all of this sounds like your idea of fun, start thinking about getting yourself and your car to Joliet this year. Goodguys will be back at Chicagoland Speedway on the third weekend of September. How 'bout you?
Turtle Wax Tech Tips
Car care tip:
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.
Turtle Wax presents Street Rodder Top 100
Dustin Colclasure / Champaign, IL '27 Ford roadster
The Jaguar Green '27 Ford modified ro
Butch & Connie Klein Dubuque, IA '35 Chevy coupe
Hailing from Dubuque, IA, is this super-
Brian Vanzant / Paducah, KY '50 Chevy tin woodie
This '50 Chevy had spectators stumped al
Steve Ralfs / Durant, IA / '56 Chevy Bel Air sedan
Powered by a Corvette LS1 engine/4L60E
Craig Claus / East Moline, IL '34 Chevy coupe
Take a look at this '34 coupe, another all-
Wendell Sagendorf / Belvidere, IL '34 Hudson cabriolet
One of five still known to exist,
Dave Morge / Brazil, IN / '36 Ford Club cabriolet
The traditional '36 Ford Club Cabriolet