The 18th annual Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, OH wrapped up three days of “Full Throttle Fun,” with more than 6,200 hot rods, muscle cars, classics, and trucks in attendance. It was a veritable feast of color, chrome, innovation, creativity, and raw unadulterated power. Seventy-five thousand fans enjoyed a weekend of rumbling V8s, 300+ vendor and manufacturer vendors, vintage tunes, and fantastic fairground food. Who could ask for more?
The Autocross, which is one of the main attractions of the event, began on Friday and continued through Sunday. Here is where hard core racers carved up the cone-laden blacktop to compete for the shortest elapse time of the weekend. It's also where Street Machine entrants qualified for the Street Machine of the Year award (by proving they could maneuver the tight turns of the course for two laps). Some of the drivers lit up their tires. And, they weren't afraid to drift around a corner to please the crowd, while the owners of these six-figure builds were sweating bullets. Although there weren't any awards for the fastest Street Machine, the winner did get bragging rights.
Unfortunately, not all competitors were lucky enough to get away unscathed. We saw one of the hard-core racers, a second generation red Corvette, snap a half-shaft by pushing too much power through its monster rear tires. After all was said and done, the winner of the Autocross was a blue 1972 Corvette.
After several rainy and overcast days, Saturday offered up blue skies and mild temperatures -- a perfect day for a car show. As we walked the grounds, there was a new favorite around every corner. Here is a sampling of a few of the eye-catching rides.
As if there wasn't enough car excitement on the show field, inside the awards building, over 20 contenders for Street Machine were parked for viewing. On the opposite side, over 30 contenders for Street Rod of the Year were on display. This field of dream cars was narrowed down to five finalists on Saturday evening.
A 1937 Chevy Coupe, owned by Diane & Chuck Rowe of Memphis, TN, was crowned the 2015 Street Rod of the Year. Aside from being a spectacular build overall, the most unique feature was an all-aluminum McLaren Chevrolet, Big Block V-8 (a rare vintage motor used in the '70s Can-Am race series). The car’s resume included awards as Best Hot Rod at the 2015 Grand National Roadster Show and Goodguys Gold award winner at the 2014 SEMA show. Taking home the hardware as 2015 Street Machine of the Year was a 1967 Corvette, owned by Sonny Freeman of Lafayette, LA. This truly modernized version of the classic Corvette roadster is powered by a tricked out LS-7 motor and a clean body with brushed nickel, tucked bumpers.
Also on Saturday, Goodguys unveiled their 2016 Giveaway car – an “old school” 1932 Ford Roadster.
On Sunday, Goodguys recognized more than 120 vehicles at the show with special awards including “Builders Choice”, Best Paint, Best GTO, Memory Lane Award, Best Duece Coupe and many others. Here are some photos of these great classics as they queued up for the ceremony, as well as some of the winners.
The final activity on Award Sunday was to find out the winner of the Goodguys Giveaway vehicle, a 1970 Chevy G10 pickup. Each of the 21 contenders (one person from each of the previous year's Goodguys events) drew keys (numbered 1 thru 21) from a box, and one by one (starting with key #1), they attempted to start the truck. The suspense ended when Rick Lingen, from Cave Creek, AZ, inserted his key, #8, into the ignition. We can only imagine how it felt when that engine engaged.
For more photos, see our 2015 Goodguys gallery.
See our video for the three days of action at Goodguys' biggest show of the year.