Our continued coverage of the 2013 Goodguy’s Rod and Custom event season takes us to the big state of Texas for the 21st Lone Star Nationals that were held this past October 4-6. We knew we were in for a huge treat since this event is held at the Texas Motor Speedway and that made this trip even more enticing. Having the opportunity to walk the same grounds as racing greats was quite an honor.
Once we landed in Texas we headed straight to the car rental office and within minutes we were headed to the racetrack. We pulled off the main highway, turned onto Labonte Lane and headed towards the track area. Next we made that famous left at Allison Ave. so we could go through the tunnel under turns 3 and 4 and wow did that give us goose bumps. The excitement of being on a race track was quickly overshadowed by over two thousand glorious show cars sprawled throughout the infield of the track.
Our first order of business was to meet up with our good friends and Texas residents Jeff Garrett and Steve Green. Being that this was our first time at the enormous event we felt that we needed to call in a favor and got ourselves a guided tour of the show so we didn’t end up like high school freshmen walking around without a clue on where to go first. Jeff was a good sport and he showed us where the special parking spots were, this made our job of showing you guys the best of the best much easier.
He first guided us to the “Homebuilt Heaven” were they say that if you built it yourself then you should park it here for the recognition deserved. There, we saw some great cars and trucks that were built by their owners and which could easily rival the pros.
Next stop was the “Goodguys Mighty Muscle” area where we saw some of the finest factory correct or modified musclecars and where the Musclecar Of The Year is selected. This year the 1971 Pontiac T-37 of Brian Perilloux from Katy, Texas was selected as a finalist. His T-37 is 1 of 41 ordered in this package that featured a 400 block, 4-speed transmission, and the only one that is documented to be Nordic silver.
The next area we ventured to was the “Trick Truck Corral” and that’s where we spotted some of the finest trucks in North America. All came for a chance to be selected as a Truck Of The Year finalist. One of the lucky few was Mike Losh with his 1967 Chevy C-10.
The next show area was the the major highlight of the show, the “Builders Choice” area. This is the area where the best of the best gather to be selected for the top awards of the event. The builder’s choice recipients this year were selected by Kenny Davis of Kenny Davis Hot Rods. Some of the great cars that were spotted here were both past Ridler winners and Great 8 finalists. One such car was the 1955 Ford T-Bird of Dwayne Peace that won the Ridler award in 2012. Two great looking cars that made an appearance both belonged to Gil and Janet Losi of Murrieta, California. Gil and Janet brought out their 1960 Ford Skyliner and 1961 Chevrolet Imapla and both of these fine cars had crowds around them all weekend.
If The Show Cars And Trucks Weren’t Enough
All weekend long show goers were treated to more than just cars and trucks. We know what you’re thinking… “There’s more?” Well yes, there actually is. A visit to a racetrack wouldn’t be complete without race cars on the track and Team Texas was on hand Saturday to take folks on a ride-along in a NASCAR race car. It was not just one car riding alone on the track either, there were 6 to 8 cars that were racing along and passing each other at high speeds.
Another cool ride around the track opportunity was the “Texas Limo” which was a modified NASCAR race car that was stretched providing seating for 9 plus bodies. It raced around the track at high speeds all weekend as well. And of course, one of the big highlights during all Goodguys shows is the Swap Meet and Cars for sale corral.
Texas did not disappoint with all the cool parts and complete cars that were up for purchase. The crew of the TV show Fast N’ Loud were at their booth Saturday and we believe that Richard might have ventured off to the swap meet area for a bit to see if he could find a good deal or two. There was also a lot for the “Good Gals” to do and see in the vendor areas. Goodguys never forgets about the kids either, coordinating a special kid’s area featuring a free make and take program as well as a model and pedal car show.
An exciting portion of the Goodguys Lone Star Nats was when participants of the car show got to take their hot rods out for a few laps around the speedway. It was awesome to see some of the show cars going up the high banked turn 1 keeping up with the pace car but we’re sure that many were itching to pass. Those that had a yearning to go fast could also participate in the now famous Goodguys Auto Cross.
We stuck around for a bit to see some of the fine show cars and trucks put their machines and themselves through the track at high speeds. There are some participants that take it very seriously and they compete in all the events in an attempt to win the title of the Goodguys/Intro Wheels “Autocrosser” of the year.
As always, we had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a few of our favorites from the show. In no particular order, here’s a closer look at our Rod Authority Top 5 Picks from the Lonestar Nats.
Rod Authority’s Top 5 Picks
Car Owner: Don Montgomery
Location: Sedona, Arizona
Vehicle: 1969 Plymouth Valiant
We would had never thought that a Valiant would be the object of conversation this weekend, but when it first caught our eye we immediately knew there was more to it than just a cool stance and what appeared to be one-off specialty wheels. The opened hood revealed a 6.4L Hemi topped with a custom intake and 8-stack fuel injection system.
We were informed that the car was built by Greening Auto Company. Don had already hired Greening to build him a show car before but this time around Don wanted a car he could drive at full-throttle down the open Arizona highways. Greening slipped an Art Morrison chassis under the patina’d body and finished it off with an abundance of one-off parts. It was definitely a highlight seeing the Valiant being raced around the Goodguys Autocross.
Car Owner: Joe Pigford
Location: Pasadena, Texas
Vehicle: 1932 Ford 5 window coupe
The difficult decision was which one of Joe’s 1932 Ford’s we were going to choose, his Brookfield roadster that featured a modified So Cal Speed chassis powered by an all-aluminum Chevrolet 427 small-block and 6-speed transmission or his 5-window coupe. We ended up favoring his 5-window coupe that featured a well-built flat head.
The coupe is painted in a deep black paint with red pin-striping. The wheels are factory artillery with Mercury caps. Besides for the gorgeous duo of Deuce Coupes, we chose Joe also for his friendly nature, as he was ready to chat cars with us and we could have spent the afternoon bench racing with him (if we didn’t have a couple more top picks to knock out).
Car Owner: Michael Bunch
Location: Morristown, Tennessee
Vehicle: 1959 Chevrolet Impala Convertible
Who doesn’t love a convertible Impala? Especially one that features a lowered stance via a Morrison front clip and custom airbag rear suspension riding on Billet Specialties Legacy wheels. The peanut butter colored leather interior sure stood out nicely against the super jet black exterior done by Rutterz Rodz in Bristol, Tennessee. It’s powered by a Chevrolet 502 big-block that’s topped by two 4-barrel carburetors and a 480L transmission.
Car Owners: Doyle and Karen Thomas
Location: Longview, Texas
Vehicle: 1964 Ford Fairlane KR 500
Sometimes subtle and classy can make a bolder impression and this Fairlane surely fits that description. Once we took a look under the hood and saw the 600 hp blown 5.4L Mod Motor we knew that this was no subtle car. The entire engine compartment was spotless and very well executed. Another highlight was the beautiful blue interior done by Paul Atkins. A set of Schott F-10 wheels finish of the exterior quite nicely.
Car Owners: Tom and Pat Holmes
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Vehicle: 1948 Chevrolet Pickup
Tom and Pat’s truck definitely made a strong statement all weekend. The abundance of body modifications kept admirers looking for long periods of time trying to pick out all the subtle mods. The custom mixed PPG green paint certainly was an eye catcher and the cream colored leather interior coordinated well with the paint. Under the hood sat a highly detailed big-block 502 featuring custom sheetmetal modifications to the engine bay.
As always, Goodguys knows how to party and we had a blast getting to know more of the community and show-goers. We look forward to returning next year and don’t forget – the next Goodguys event, the 20th Southeastern Nationals held October 25-27 in Charlotte, NC.