The various messages crackling over the PA system sometimes do and sometimes don't catch our attention when we're hiking around at a car show. But our ears perked up at the 2013 West Coast Nationals when we heard the announcement that Goodguys has been holding rod and custom events for 30 years, and that where we were that weekend is where it all began. That first event in 1983 drew a few hundred participants. That was a good start, but these days Goodguys can pack the Alameda County Fairground in Pleasanton, California, with more than 3,500 hot rods, customs, muscle cars, street machines, and classic trucks without breaking a sweat.

Goodguys is headquartered in Pleasanton, and four of their 19 national events in 2013 took place there, including this one. For the show staff, many of the participants, and people like us, the West Coast Nats has the feel of a homecoming weekend. For many others, the road to Pleasanton is long; we met rodders who started their trips in Washington, Missouri, Ohio, and North Carolina. They came to enjoy the cars, the numerous aftermarket performance booths and trailers, the swap meet, the tether car races, the perfect weather, and all the other exhibits and activities that make the West Coast Nationals one of Goodguys' oldest and greatest events.