Wednesday, 02 May 2007 10:01

Medley of classic cars built with blood, sweat and tears at Goodguys Nationals in California

Written by Kevin Furstoss
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“Little Deuce Coupe,” “409,” “The Little Old Lady From Pasadena,” “GTO,” “Hey Little Cobra.” You know the songs and you can almost smell the burnt rubber. Such songs from The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, The Rip Cords, and others evoke memories in every one of us from days long past. This was an era of camaraderie, creativity, hard work ethics, originality and bonding friendships. 

Bad boys and good boys alike have defined a culture that has grown into what is now the 23-venue circuit of Goodguys Rod & Custom. This tradition continued on a perfect 70-degree March weekend in Del Mar, Calif., with over 3,000 rides, rods, customs and originals on display. With membership approaching 70,000 nationwide, Goodguys is the largest rod & custom association in the world.

    The immense popularity is likely due to the fact that nearly everyone with a 1972 vintage or older ride is welcome to come down and simply be a part of the event. This is not an event about awards. Selected cars are earmarked as marquee vehicles for Sunday viewing; however, this is more about a lifestyle. Inexpensive jalopies or period pieces re-worked to define originality and creativity.
    There were multiple unbelievable vehicles that can be described as nothing short of pieces of rolling art. These are the infamous “Ridler” award winners. The Don Ridler Memorial Award, sponsored by GM performance parts, is America’s most prestigious car show award. It is presented at each Detroit Autorama to the outstanding new car shown for the first time. This award may have started in 1953 by a hot rod association as a fundraiser for a new track, but over the years it has morphed into an honorable distinction. The award acknowledges the years most creative and graceful interpretation of the golden years of rodding.

    Also in attendance at Del Mar was the 2007 America’s Most Beautiful Roadster. This stunning 1935 Ford was complete with actual gold laminate pinstripes and inlaid granite pedals, and it took home the 2007 Goodguys Street Rod d’Elegance award at the event.
    Any hot rodding enthusiast who has ever wanted to lay down the perfect flame paint job onto their ride would appreciate witnessing examples of Mike Lavelle’s unbelievable work; “True Fire.” Just don’t call these flames! This nearly 3-dimensional realism is too big for sheet metal and comes with a price tag to match.
    As awe-striking as these award-winning cars were, they paled in comparison to the enthusiasm that exuded from the daily drivers. Goodguys is all about group participation and this was evident all day, everyday. The promenade was packed with vehicles simply cruizin’ because that is all this car culture asked of them. The venue could not have provided a more perfect setting as the cars passed by rows of statuesque palm trees framed by a light blue sky.
    It didn’t matter that some cars were delivered there on hermetically sealed trailers which were climate and humidity controlled. Everyone there was equal. Heart, passion, blood, and tears went into all of these rides and that is what made them all original…and gave them all meaning. At this year’s 2007 Good Guys Rod and Custom in Del Mar, Calif., cars that could be described as trailer queens mingled in perfect harmony alongside their physical opposites, the trailer trash.
    Passionate, car-aficionado Kevin Furstoss is the proud owner of a ’57 Jaguar that he shows as often as he can.

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