Goodguys Chicagoland Nationals - Ready, Set, Joliet
The Third Annual Goodguys Chicagoland Nationals
From the May, 2010 issue of Street Rodder
By Ryan Manson, Tim Bernsau
Photography by Ryan Manson
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...
There's not even enough space for a shadow underneath Mike Saltzman's slammed '34 Ford pickup, powered by a Chevy small-block with triple two-barrels. Those bright red wires with skinny pie crust tires on look great on the bare-metal truck, which made the short trip from Channahon, IL.
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?
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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...
Turtle Wax presents Street Rodder Top 100
Dustin Colclasure / Champaign,...
Dustin Colclasure / Champaign, IL '27 Ford roadster
The Jaguar Green '27 Ford modified roadster runs a Chevy 4.3L Vortec V-6 for power backed by a TH350 trans. Quarter elliptic springs and friction shocks handle the suspension responsibilities up front, coupled with a dropped and drilled I-beam axle. Rolling duties are handled by '35 Ford wires wrapped in Firestone rubber.
Butch & Connie Klein Dubuque,...
Butch & Connie Klein Dubuque, IA '35 Chevy coupe
Hailing from Dubuque, IA, is this super-clean, Sky Blue '35 Chevy coupe, powered by a fuel- injected Chevy 350ci engine backed by a 700-R4 automatic transmission. The all-steel three-window sits on RideTech airbags to get that "in the weeds" look.
Brian Vanzant / Paducah, KY...
Brian Vanzant / Paducah, KY '50 Chevy tin woodie
This '50 Chevy had spectators stumped all weekend about whether the wagon was actually a woodie or the result of some extremely clever paintwork. Turns out the Paducah, KY, native's Chev' is all steel with some of the most impressive paintwork we've ever seen. The rest of the car is just as amazing. Built by Brad Starks Rod & Custom, the former four-door was converted into a two-door wagon before the top was chopped and a Hilborn-injected 502ci big-block was slipped between the framerails. The paint is Hot Hues Cappuccino.
Jim Evans / Hammond, IN '36...
Jim Evans / Hammond, IN '36 Ford coupe
At first glance, Evans' '36 Ford five-window coupe may look relatively mild, but under that hood lurks a potent and period 312ci Ford Y-block engine topped with a '57 Ford NASCAR air cleaner. The coupe puts the power from flywheel to rear wheels through a five-speed Tremec transmission and a Granada rearend.
Steve Ralfs / Durant, IA /...
Steve Ralfs / Durant, IA / '56 Chevy Bel Air sedan
Powered by a Corvette LS1 engine/4L60E combo, Ralfs' mild custom '56 Chevy Bel Air is too cool for words. The Sunflower Yellow and Black two-door sedan is equipped with Classic Performance Parts suspension components, '60 Corvette hubcaps and steering wheel, A/C, power disc brakes, and tilt power steering.
Craig Claus / East Moline,...
Craig Claus / East Moline, IL '34 Chevy coupe
Take a look at this '34 coupe, another all-steel Chevy we spotted at Joliet this year. The red three-window sits on RideTech airbags and polished American Salt Flat wheels, and is powered by a 502ci big-block Chevy. Claus' homebuilt hot rod also features A/C, power windows, power trunk lid, and the roof from a Valiant station wagon.
Steve Hayes / Morton, IL /...
Steve Hayes / Morton, IL / '32 Ford sedan delivery
The rear quarter-window glass lends one to believe that Hayes' Deuce is just a regular sedan. Closer inspection reveals that the car was converted from a sedan delivery, notable by the oak window moldings. This conversion is commonly referred to as a "flower car." Despite the name, we still love it, from the four-banger to the two-tone black on blue paint scheme. Firestone big 'n' littles, '39 juice brakes, dropped axle, monoleaf front spring, and flipped rear axle housings are all hot rod accoutrements.
Del Huyser / Holland, MI /...
Del Huyser / Holland, MI / '40 Ford convertible
This '40 Ford convertible custom came to Joliet from Holland, MI, and features '41 Studebaker taillights, a 2-1/2-inch chop, A?C, cruise control, a tilt steering column, power seats, and power windows. The inside is wrapped in Italian Burgandy leather. Under the hood lurks a powerful 540ci Cadillac motor backed by an overdrive 700-R4 transmission.
Wendell Sagendorf / Belvidere,...
Wendell Sagendorf / Belvidere, IL '34 Hudson cabriolet
One of five still known to exist, Sagendorf's '34 Hudson Cabriolet is a rare bird indeed. It's been on the road since 1994, and rides on a Kugel IFS setup with a 9-inch Ford rear powered by a Corvette LT-1 engine mated to a 700-R4. Found in a swamp in Kansas City, MO, in 1981, except for the wheels and tires, the Hudson wears all the original exterior trim.
Dave Morge / Brazil, IN /...
Dave Morge / Brazil, IN / '36 Ford Club cabriolet
The traditional '36 Ford Club Cabriolet features a 4-inch dropped axle, monoleaf front spring, and an 8-inch Ford rear for suspension duties, while the motorvation comes in the form of a Flathead 276ci Merc topped by a pair of Stromberg 97s and backed by a '39 Ford trans. One of only 1,416 Club Cabs made, Morge's was painted that dark black hue by 2-Guys Rods & Restorations.