Things were cooking in Columbus! In the days leading up to the event we had been checking the weather reports from central Ohio, hoping the triple-digit temperatures and 90-plus percent humidity would take a dive before we got to town. It didn’t, and 6,000 street rods, customs, classic trucks, street machines, street cruisers, and muscle cars came with some heat of their own, making the 15th Goodguys PPG Nationals one of the hottest events of the summer.

Taking place right in the middle of Goodguys’ list of 20 events for 2012, the Nats in Columbus has become the centerpiece of all the Goodguys shows. With the participant show car count typically topping the 6,000 mark, it’s the largest by far. But it’s not just quantity that makes Columbus hot. The quality of cars is sizzling. Many of the country’s most prominent builders come here to show off their newest projects. And Columbus is where Goodguys selects its Street Rod of the Year (this year’s winner is Dave Walsh’s ’32 Vicky, built by Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop), in addition to more than 100 other award winners. STREET RODDER, as always, is on hand to select 10 finalists for our Top 100 program from the participants here.

Nobody works harder for their awards than the participants in the Goodguys AutoCross competition. Goodguys introduced this program several years ago and it has exploded in popularity, attracting novices curious to test their cars and driving skill on the timed cone course, as well as purpose-built sponsored vehicles that really put on a show.

You don’t even need a car to get a prize at the PPG Nats. Lots of people went home with prizes from the extensive swap meet, and even more with treasure from one of the many manufacturer displays.

By early evening the temperature drops and the Expo Center empties out, but the Nats stay hot as the activity shifts from the fairgrounds to the nightly parties in the parking lot of the host hotel. The PPG Nats doesn’t cool down all weekend!

We’ve got a lot of events to attend between now and next summer, but we’re already looking forward to being back in Columbus for the 16th Goodguys Nats. There’s no way we can predict the weather, but we know it’s going to be a hot weekend!

Painless Performance Products presents

Street Rodder Top 100

For the Top 100 program, STREET RODDER attends 10 selected car shows each year and picks 10 vehicles at each to make up the Top 100. For more on where those shows are and how they’re voted on, check

Painless Tech Tip

If you have acquired an engine that has sat for six months or longer, be sure to remove the injectors and have them tested before attempting to start the engine, as the reformulated fuels of today will cause the injector solenoids to stick closed.