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If there’s one show that has been on our “must attend” bucket list for way too long just begging to be checked off – it was the Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio or simply referred to as the GG Nats, or Columbus to hot rod veterans world wide. This is the ultimate car guy’s bash of the year and although we’ve had every intention of hitting this show in years past, this happened to be our maiden voyage to Columbus and we were definitely in for quite the sensory overload.

Not only is this the “Superbowl Event” for the Goodguys nationwide tour – but with this year being the 30th Anniversary celebration for Goodguys we were in for quite the treat. The Columbus Nats is already known for bringing out the best of the best in record numbers, but this year was one for the history books.

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With the weather being mighty temperamental in the midwest, sometimes it’s hard to know what to expect or plan for. But the weather for this year’s mid July event was prayers answered with a perfect breeze, sunshine throughout the weekend, and temps in the mid 80s – it literally couldn’t have been any better. We’re not sure if it was the weather, the 30-year celebration, or the perfect venue, but the crowds and cars flooded the massive Ohio Expo Center in record breaking numbers!

Perfect weather, thousands of gorgeous hot rods and classics, giant vendor midway, one of the nation’s largest Autocross shootouts, swap-meet and more helped seal the deal as we checked Columbus off our bucket list and scribbled “WIN” next to it for the memory banks.

Dressed To Impress // Show & Shine

We weren’t lying when we said this was one for the books. A record-setting crowd in excess of 100,000 hit the Ohio Expo Center through the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday show days. When the final vehicle tallies came in, total registration numbers showed over 6,200 cars had entered to take part in the biggest event on the Goodguys schedule.

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As with all Goodguys extravaganzas there was no shortage of killer vintage tin in all shapes, sizes, and colors – and the Columbus Nationals was no exception. However, one thing that we did notice right off the bat was the abundance of extremely high-quality rides, debut builds, new products, and innovation throughout.

Pushing the limits, the builds here in Columbus are some of the nation’s very best which is probably why the annual crowning of the Street Rod and Street Machine of the year takes place at this show.

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Every style of build had some representation, and with over 6,200 classic rides in attendance it was nearly impossible to see every one of them.

Centrally located, Columbus Ohio brings out the best of the best from all over the country. Some driven, some trailered – but ALL coming together for a common cause to show off their hard work and enjoy like-minded company.

The weekend is full of fun kicking off with the Friday Night Vintage Drags and rolling all the way through sunday with a very special award ceremony for some heavy metal hardware.

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The Goods // Parts & Gear

Inevitably when attending a giant mecca for all things hot rod, it’s generally a good time to consult the expertise of those who can lend a helping hand. You might actually be pleasantly surprised with how helpful getting a few simple questions answered can be to the progress of that “never ending project” your wife’s been bugging you to finish.

The industry’s finest automotive companies gathered for the weekend to share in innovations, show specials, and a great time with friends and family alike. The coolest thing about through-and-through car guys is that most of them are as humble as can be and no matter how big or busy they get, the still make the time to help their fellow brethren.

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With over 400 companies on hand featuring everything from complete chassis setups to billet accents, pinstriping, T-shirts, and accessories, there was plenty for the droves of car enthusiasts on hand to satisfy every need, at a fraction of the cost. Best thing, the expert advice was handed out – free of charge all weekend long.

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With over 400 of the top names in the industry, you'd be hard pressed not to get some expert advice and score a deal on the perfect part needed to complete your project build.

With companies like Coker Tire, Billet Specialties, COMP Cams, Holley, Edelbrock, American Racing, Total Cost Involved, Tremec, Chris Alston ChassisworksQA1Shwartz Performance, Speedway Motors, and many others, it was easy to see the family spirit of the automotive world and the support that goes along with the nation’s premier classic car event.

Along with the giant vendor midway there’s also the famed Ahwooga.com Goodguys Swap Meet and the AutoTrader Classics Cars 4 Sale Corral all setup to help both buyers and sellers strike that perfect agreement for the next part or project.

Goodguys Street Rod And Street Machine Of The Year

One of the big events that takes place each year at the Goodguys PPG Nats is the crowing of the Goodguys Street Rod and Street Machine of the year. These two coveted awards are top brass in the hot rod industry, and it’s a crowning achievement to make it into the final selections.

IMG_4726The highlight of our trip to Columbus came with the special awards ceremony where everyone gathered in anticipation of the pending selection. As it is any car guy’s dream to even come close to being selected for this elite group – Five finalists are chosen for each category.

Here are the Top Five Finalists for the Goodguys 2013 Optima Batteries Street Machine of the Year:

  • torino-01Sid Tracy, Champaign, IL ’69 Firebird
  • George Poteet, Memphis, TN ’69 Torino
  • Jimmy Shaw, Forest, MS ’67 Nova
  • Alan Woodall, Cary, NC ’65 Corvette
  • Skip Walls, Knoxville, TN, ’69 Camaro

George Poteet took the win for the Street Machine of the Year title and in a winning announcement upon accepting his award, he offered to cover the costs of all ten finalists for anyone who would attend the Texas Road Tour with him. And quite a few will be joining the almost 2,000 mile road trip! You’ve got to love it when car guys stick together for a good cause.

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George Poteet, the only person to ever have a vehicle in both the Street Machine and the Street Rod of the Year finals, took home the Street Machine of the Year award with his Rad Rides By Troy 1969 Torino.

While the competition was tough for the Street Machine class, we think it was even harder in the Street Rod of the Year top billed cast. There was such a high-caliber of build quality represented across the board. This year’s Goodguys’ Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year finalists were:

  • IMG_5551Kenneth DelCour, Louisville, KY ’34 Ford
  • Terry Hudson, Strawberry Plains, TN ’37 Chevy
  • Ron Cizek, Omaha, NE ’40 Ford
  • George Poteet, Memphis, TN ’34 Ford
  • Harold Chapman, Andice, TX ’33 Ford

There was definitely some hefty competition but in the end, this year’s Ridler Winner who has had quite the show season took home the hardware for the Goodguys Classic Intstruments Street Rod of the Year. Goodguys put together a nice recap video covering both the finalists and the winners.

Winner – Ron Cizek – 1940 Ford

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The Hardware // Winner’s Circle

The Goodguys team of dedicated automotive enthusiasts do an amazing job at organizing and hosting events nationwide that go off without a hitch. One of the coolest things about these events are all of the top name industry partners who share in the award’s ceremonies and crowning of some very well deserving vehicles. Top brass is awarded in many different categories and all of the winners are more than deserving of their share of recognition. 

It would be impossible to list all of the winners so we’ve broken it down into a few of the specialty categories listed below:

“The Daves” // Builder’s Choice Awards

  • IMG_4951Dave Lane & Dave Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Jay Gruba, Rapid City, SD – 1937 Packard Coupe
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Larry Tucker, Elizabethtown, KY – 1934 Ford Truck
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – David Wolfe, Long Grove, IL – 1969 Camaro
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Steve Hea, Columbus, OH – 1969 Chevy Nova
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Kris Duggan, San Francisco, CA – 1970 Dodge Charger
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Bill & Linda Yorker, Canton, CT – 1933 Willys Coupe
  • IMG_4792Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Steve & Marge Spang, Prior Lake, MN – 1966 Nova II
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Phillip & Deb Becker, Dwight, IL – 1946 Ford Woody
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Dale Turner Canal, Winchester, OH – 1947 Buick Convertible
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Ron Caicco, Mississauga, ONT – 1956 Ford F-100
  • IMG_4996Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Jason Rinaldi, Prince Albert, ONT – 1927 Ford Coupe
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Brett & Billy Hunter, Edina, MO – 1971 Chevy Nova
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Joe & Josh Bailey, Maryville, TN – 1956 Chevy 210
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Chris Ryan, Ninety-six, SC – 1953 Cadillac Convertible
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Tim Kilkeary, Ventia, PA – 1949 Chevy Tin Woody
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Mary & Clayton, Graham Baker, MT – 1967 Camaro
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Chris Staneck, Waynesville, OH – 1932 Ford Roadster
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Bill & Maureen, Cromling Grafton, OH – 1932 Ford 5-window
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Jim Martin, Mentor, OH – 1932 Ford Coupe
  • Lane & Kindig Builder’s Choice Award – Gary McCormick, East Peoria,IL – 1932 Ford 3 window coupe

gg-02Cone Carving // Goodguys Autocross Winners

There’s not much quite like the tire screeching action of a good autocross shootout. Goodguys knows how to lay down a track that will challenge even the most seasoned vet and put both the skill of the driver and the build components of the car to the test. This year there was some heavy competition as more and more drivers become “seasoned” in the expertise needed to pilot their street machine through the cones. 

You can watch some of the action from the Autocross shootout here:

Some came from as far as Southern California to test both their skills and their machines in one of the most challenging automotive displays of craftsmanship to date.

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Sal Solorzano piloted the TCI Engineering 3rd Gen. Nova owned by Jimmy Matthews of Charlotte Rod & Custom for final testing after a thrash session to get them ready for the Columbus shootout. The '63 Nova is owned and driven by Ryan Buck of Bucknaked Racing and was the fastest Nova on the course over the weekend.

  • 1st Place Pro Class – Ryan Matthews, Mooresville, NC – 1969 Camaro
  • Hautocrossot Rod Winner – Todd Holdren, Chillicothe, OH – 1953 Buick
  • Shootout Winner – Brian Finch, Nashville, TN – 1971 Camaro
  • Street Machine Winner – Danny Popp, Cincinnati, OH – 1972 Chevrolet Corvette
  • Truck Winner – JB Granger, Cumming, GA – 1965 C-10 Chevy
  • Sponsor Shootout Winner – Kyle Tucker, Mooresville, NC – 1970 Camaro

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Specialty Awards

  • Ladies In Autosports Award – Beverly Logsdon, Orient, OH – 1968 Camaro
  • Long Distance Award – LeRoy & Marcia Amundson, Imperial Beach, CA – 1955 Chevy
  • IMG_4704Low Lid Pick – Bob Lampe, Galatin, TN – 1932 Ford Coupe
  • PPG Dream Car Pick – Barry Penfound, Elyria, OH – 1964 Pontiac GTO
  • PPG Dream Car Pick – David Lianes, Sheffield, OH – 1967 Chevy Impala
  • Slick 60′s – Victor Buraglio, Champaign, IL – 1963.5 Galaxie
  • Sooo Low – Scott & Beth Subler, Versailles, OH – 1946 Ford
  • Speedway Motors Homebuilt Heaven – Stan & Ann Fowler, Fenton, MI – 1955 Woodill Wildfire
  • Speedway Motors Traditional Homebuilt Heaven – Glenn Snavely, Lebanon, PA – 1939 Ford Pickup

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Stay tuned for more coast-to-coast exclusive coverage from Goodguys events nationwide right here on Rod Authority. If you haven’t been able to make it out to the PPG Columbus Nats yet, mark your calendars and start your planning now to check this one of your bucket list – you’ll be glad you did.

For more exclusive coverage from Columbus check out our giant GALLERY below: