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.

BEST FORD IN A FORD

Just the Facts
Year: 1957
Make: Ford
Model: Ranchero
Owner: Tim Tralongo
State: California

Personalized plates always confuse us. When we saw RST BKIT on this 1957 Ranchero's tag, we could think of only one meaning, but it had to be wrong. Nope, it was right. When Tim Tralongo started building his 1957 Ranchero it was a "rust bucket". After repairing the eaten-up floors, rockers, and lower quarters, Tim finally got to the fun stuff. He shaved the exterior sheetmetal and chopped 3 inches out of the top. Finish Line Body and Paint sprayed the paint. The RideTech air suspension drops the Ranchero way down, tucking the BFGoodrich radials on 16- and 17-inch Torq Thrusts into the fenders.

A Smeding Performance 347 Extreme crate engine powers the truck. The Ford small-block–based stroker is fired by an MSD 6AL ignition and linked to an AOD transmission, with a 3.50:1 limited-slip Ford 9-inch rearend out back.

Inside, the seat was lowered 3 inches and set back the same amount. Bascom Trim & Upholstery covered the seats in two-tone vinyl, and Sid Chavers added the headliner.

With help from his son, Joe, and Ace Cook, Tim had the Ranchero finished by 2007. In 2008, he took it to the San Francisco Rod, Custom, and Motorcycle Show, where it won First Place in its class. He was our Best Ford in a Ford selection in Pleasanton and has the jacket to prove it.


Painless Tech Tip
GM Computer Flashing

Did you know that Painless Performance Products will re-flash your 1998-and-newer computers at no charge? If you purchase a Painless harness for a GM 1999-and-newer engine, just go to the Painless website (painlessperformance.com) and fill out a re-flash form and send it and your computer in. A one-day turnaround is common.

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