Goodguys, America’s favorite auto show, returned to the Del Mar Fairgrounds for the second time this year, from September 30 to October 2, with a new name: the 1St. Meguiar’s So-Cal Nationals, presented by BASF. While much remained the same, there were also some significant changes.
Goodguys was founded in Northern California in 1983 by cool car enthusiast Gary Meadors. Shortly after, in 1987, a national series of hot rod and custom car events began. Gary customized his first hot rod, a 1947 Plymouth, at the age of 16, cutting the factory coil suspension springs so it would sit low to the ground, a look that typified the style his cars would become known for, a look depicted on his most recognizable hot rod, his bright yellow 1932 Ford Tudor, “the centerpiece of the Goodguys logo since 1987” (https://www.good-guys com/info/about-the-goodguys).
Sadly, Gary passed away in 2015, but his legacy lives on with “Gary’s Pick,” a special award given to a vehicle that Gary might particularly like. “Gary’s Choice” on 21St. So-Cal Nationals was awarded to the 1953 Packard of Scott Melcer, of Encinitas, California.
As always, there was plenty to see in the open spaces and expansive exhibit halls of the sprawling Del Mar Fairgrounds. Wherever you go, the cool cars and trucks will force you to stop, look at them and, at least in my case, take pictures of them.
I mentioned earlier that there were a few changes to this event, compared to previous Goodguys events at Del Mar. The most notable of these changes, to me, was regarding the Goodguys Autocross. For many years, autocross had been on pretty much the same fast, challenging course, and surrounded by intimidating concrete barriers. I ran this course for many years on “All-American Sunday” in my original, poorly handling 2011 Ford Mustang GT. This course had a challenging combination of esses, hairpin turns, and straight runs. If you drove around corners too fast, the result could be an up close and personal encounter with the concrete barriers, something that has happened several times over the years (but thankfully not for me!). Coincidentally, I videotaped and documented one of the most serious of these collisions with a video of the entire custom truck truck wrecking run (124,000 views to date), at the first of two Del Mar Fairgrounds events this year. To view, click the YouTube video link in the middle of “AutoMatters & More” 736, at: https://automatters.net/goodguys-del-mar-nationals-part-one-the-autocross-slow -down-to-go-fastends-with-a-crash-captured-on-video/.
This time at 1St. So-Cal Nationals and perhaps in response to the crashes and vehicle carnage that resulted from them, autocross organizers changed not only the layout of the course, but also moved its location to a different part of the paved fairgrounds. Whether or not the new course is better is up for debate, but it certainly seemed safer. Take a look at my photos (at https://automatters.net) and decide for yourself.
Other exciting action at the So-Cal Nationals was the Goodguys Nitro Thunderfest, where loud, fire-breathing dragsters entertained the cheering crowds; and the Burnout Competition to smoke tires.
An entire showroom was dedicated to the PPG Lowrider Palace, filled with spectacular and beautifully customized lowriders.
Outside, zipping up and down the boulevard, several lowriders demonstrated their hydraulic jumps. I especially enjoyed watching the custom truck beds lift up and spin in all directions.
Another part of this Goodguys event that changed was moving the scale model exhibit to its own enclosed area. Here, master modellers displayed examples of their work and children could “Make and Take” their own free model.
Other highlights included a slew of vendors, a swap meet, a “Car Sale Corral” and, to wrap up the weekend, the awards procession.
After the show ended on Sunday, members of a car club arranged their custom rides for some spectacular group photos.
For more information on Goodguys car shows, including the full schedule of events; issues of the beautiful online magazine, classified ads, membership, team and more, visit https://good-guys.com. Also, enter the keyword “Goodguys” in the search bar on the home page of “AutoMatters & More” (https://automatters.net).
To see the most recent photos and text, and to explore a wide variety of content dating back to 2002, visit Automatic affairs and more at AutoMatters.net. On the home page, search by title or topic, or click on the blue ‘years’ boxes.
Copyright © 2022 by Jan Wagner – Automatic affairs and more #762