One of the joys of living in California is the year-round car scene – no salted roads, no hurricanes, no dead batteries and stale gas after months of sitting, and if you’re always out cruising, you may not even feel the occasional earthquake! For the past two years, the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has been taking advantage of the fair skies and 70-degrees-in-November SoCal climate by holding their year-ending event in beautiful sea-side Del Mar, California. The 2nd Fall Del Mar Nationals brought car enthusiasts from as far as Canada to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, just north of San Diego, for three days of car show enjoyment November 23-25, 2012.

Palm trees and clear skies in November - California is definitely hot rod heaven.

The venue at Del Mar, which also hosts the San Diego Fair each summer and thoroughbred racing in the fall, makes for an interesting place to hold a car show. Two large indoor pavilions hosted a variety of vendors, special events, and cars on display, while the “black lake” of asphalt outside had special areas set aside for homebuilt projects, woodies, muscle cars, deuces, daily drivers, trucks, and young owners, on top of a challenging autocross course, swap meet, and car corral for those looking to provide you with your next project vehicle.

Salt of the Earth

While it’s possible to spend an entire day at a Goodguys show just looking at the ‘regular’ cars on display, there always seems to be some special themed exhibits to draw your attention as well. In our case, we made a beeline to the Bonneville Salt Race Car display, where the same creativity and passion that kindled the original hot rod movement back in the 40s and 50s was still burning bright. It’s only fitting, as both drag and land-speed racing saw their start in SoCal, fed by participants from military towns like San Diego and engineering talent from the epicenter of aeronautic industry in Los Angeles.

The 1970 Harley Davidson streamliner, owned by Kent Riches of Vista, California, is smaller in diameter than some pairs of pants we own. Another intriguing land speed work-in-progress was this rear-engine modified roadster, powered by a 200 cubic inch Model A engine with a custom 3-valve twin cam head, mated to a FWD Ford Escort transmission. They're hoping for 200 MPH in 2013.

Slingshot dragsters always draw a crowd, even when they're just sitting quietly, minding their own business. Fire them up and let them rev a bit on uncut nitromethane, though, and people gather ten-deep despite the noise and smoke. While these relics will never break the beams in competition again (and as a matter of fact, their driveshafts are missing for safety), at least a new generation can get an inkling of the bravery and skill it took to race them.

The Revell "make and take" booth was a huge hit with kids and parents - snap-together '69 Camaro models were given out for young hot rodders to assemble and keep.

Lots to See, Lots to Do

One of the challenges to the hot rod hobby has been to make sure there’s a ‘next generation’ of enthusiasts, and that’s a task that Goodguys has taken head-on. While the hot rod and custom scene may have begun as a youth movement, today the most frequent impression the outside world gets is that it’s a world that includes only those with the cubic dollars necessary to pay for a half-million dollar build – in other words, “old people”. It’s reassuring to see special activities at the Goodguys events that are designed to plant that seed in today’s kids and teens.

Another nod to the changing demographic among car enthusiasts is the addition of Super Sunday, when domestic vehicles of all ages, not just 1972 and earlier, can participate in the Goodguys fun.

While vintage vehicles might be inaccessible to a 20-something on a limited budget, the cars of the 70’s and 80’s are reaching the bottom of their depreciation curve, and just like earlier cars, they’ll provide a canvas for the next generation’s artistic expression, perhaps with a little inspiration from seeing what’s possible at a Goodguys meet.

The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow program takes teams of high schoolers and pits them against one another in a race against the clock to tear down and rebuild a small-block Chevy using only hand tools. The cam and crank remain in the block, and referees are on hand to make sure proper procedures are being followed and safety rules obeyed. So you might be wondering why one of the kids is in a helmet - he's the designated crewmember who does the under-engine work, and is thus in the most danger of bumping his head or having an engine component dropped on his bean.

Better Bring Some Walkin’ Around Money

Of course, if the acres of cars on display happens to inspire you, Goodguys provides an outlet for that desire in their “for sale” car corral and swap meet section. We spotted everything from basket case trailered shells perfect for those looking to turn their retirement hobby into a full time job, to perfectly restored musclecars ready to roll (for the right price, of course). Cars, parts, and memorabilia were all in good supply at Del Mar.

One of the more interesting (in an offbeat way) cars we saw in the Corral was this Nash Metropolitan with a Toyota engine swap.

Those looking for vintage parts were well served, but for sheer volume and variety, nobody had the guy selling collectable license plates beat.

More in Store

Of course, there’s too much going on at a Goodguys event to do it all justice in a single piece, so don’t forget to check out our Top 10 Favorites article!

Car Show Results

Special Awards

2013 Hemmings Muscle Car of the Year Finalist – Jerry Parisi, Carlsbad, CA – 1960 Pontiac Ventura
2013 Intro Wheels Muscle Machine of the Year Finalist – Steve Keefer, Brentwood, CA – 1969 Camaro
2013 Street Rod Headquarts Truck of the Year – Early Finalist – George Cameron, Bonita, CA – 1950 Chevy

Goodguys Builder’s Choice Top 10

  • Larry Henderson's 1951 Henry J

    Ben Von Kleinsmid, Newport Beach, CA 1932 Ford
  • Chandler Family, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 1940 Ford
  • Tom Kelly, Bellflower, CA 1957 Chevrolet
  • Larry Henderson, Carlsbad, CA 1951 Henry J
  • Hilton Vail, El Cajon, CA 1955 Chevy Pickup
  • Scott Van Steenwyk, Rossmoor, CA 1933 Ford
  • Paul Friedrich, Anaheim, CA 1957 Oldsmobile
  • Mike Toberman, Anaheim, CA 1955 Chevy
  • Andy & Mary Houchtelin, Bakersfield, CA 1960 Ford Pickup
  • Steve Keefer, Brentwood, CA 1969 Camaro

Goodguys Pick – George & Joyce Cowman, Poway, CA 1937 Buick

General Awards

Best Ride on American Racing Wheels: Don Walker, El Cajon, CA 1965 Chevy

Best Ride on BFG’s: Larry Johnson, Vista, CA 1972 Dodge Challenger

Best Ride on Billet: Dean Hart, Escondido, CA 1950 Mercury

Chevy Truck Pick: Chuck Cena, Temecula, CA 1969 Chevy C-10

Chopped and Dropped: Chuck Elliott, San Juan Capistrano, CA 1950 Mercury

Chris Alston Chassisworks Mighty Mustang: Denver & Coroline Wells, El Mirage, AZ 1967 Mustang

Coker Tire Best Wide Whites: Mark Hopkins, San Marcos, CA 1956 Ford Victoria

Cool Camaro: Travis Wells, St.George, UT 1967 RS/SS Camaro

Ford in a Ford winner Chuck Waltman's 1956 Ford Pickup

Cool Convert: Earl Asbury, Poway, CA 1966 Cadillac

Cool Corvette: Peter, San Clemente, CA 1963 Corvette

Cool Cruiser: Thomas Crellin, Spring Valley, CA 1953 Lincoln

Cool Custom: Mark Henry, Lakeside, CA 1947 Monarch

Dare to be Different: Jorge Torres, Hemet, CA 1950 Plymouth Coupe

Deuce Doin’s Pick – 80th Anniversary: Jose Serrano, San Diego, CA 1932 Ford

Eckler’s Classic Chevy Pick: Wayne Arguello, San Diego, CA 1961 Chevy Impala

Fat Fendered Pick: Chuck Parker, Litchford Park, AZ 1937 Ford

Flowmaster American Thunder: Dave Pepper, Lakeside, CA 1972 Chevy Suburban

Ford in a Ford: Chuck Waltman, Temecula, CA 1956 Ford Pickup

Ford Muscle Pick: Bill Sandretto, Fallbrook, CA 1967 Ford Mustang

Ford Truck Pick: John Hemphill, Studio City, CA 1947 Ford Truck

Goodguys Gazette Pick: Jim & Tami Austin, San Diego, CA 1949 Chrysler

Goodguys Staff Pick: Dave & Denise Snyder, Norco, CA 1951 Chevy Suburban

Goodyear Ya Gotta Drive `Em Pick: Al Coloman, Tucson, AZ 1961 Pontiac

 

Bob & Leanne Kleiner's 1954 Kaiser Manhattan 2 Door

Host Club Pick Bob & Leanne Kleiner, Glendale, AZ 1954 Kaiser Manhattan 2 Door

Hot Hauler: Dwayne & Martha Richardson, San Marcos, CA 1953 Ford F-100

Hottest Hot Rod: Gerry Sevigny, Bonsall, CA 1940 Willys

Jet Hot/ HPC Coatings Young Guys Pick: Zane Graham, Oceanside, CA 1971 Camaro

LMC Trick Truck Corral Pick: Jim & Brenda McWhorter, Bakersfield, CA 1957 Chevy Truck

Lokar One Fine Deuce: Ray & Kris Hamblen, Fallbrook, CA 1932 Ford

Long Distance Award: Raymond Witt, Ontario, Canada 1946 Ford Convertible

Magnum Axle/Real Hot Rod: Gary Loope, Corona, CA 1929 Ford

Meguiar’s Magnificent Masterpiece:

  • John Souza, Alpine, CA 1951 Ford
  • Rick Blank, Poway, CA 1955 Ford

Memory Lane: Ken Alden, San Diego, CA 1961 Pontiac Ventura

Mighty Muscle Pick: Walter Gefron, San Diego, CA 1967 Ford Mustang

Mopar Muscle Pick: George Bittle, Oceanside, CA 1967 Dodge Charger

Period Perfect: Jim Bostick, Rancho Santa Fe, CA 1955 Chevy Gasser

PPG Paint Pick: Edward Evans, San Jose, CA 1952 Ford Pickup

Preacher’s Pick: Nancy & Vince Ciccia, Vista, CA 1960 Chevy

Real McCoy Award: Daniel Daviess & Burnham Family, Danville, CA 1929 Ford Roadster

Restored Award: Ted Shilts, San Diego, CA 1956 Ford Victoria

Right on Resto: Dean Harrison, Temecula, CA 1936 Ford

Rodders Rep Pick:

  • David Hughes, Chula Vista, CA 1969 Camaro
  • Adam Robinson, Escondido, CA 1966 Chevelle
  • Alan Behrse, Victorville, CA 1929 Ford
  • Bob & Sandi Johnson, Phelan, CA 1954 Studebaker

Sexy Sedan: Ivan Gorbulev, Murrieta, CA 1968 Nova Chevy II

Shoe Box: John Souza, Alpine, CA 1951 Ford

Slick & Smooth: Ric Longo, Temecula, CA 1956 Ford

Slick ’60s: Richard Abate, Orange, CA 1961 Impala

Snap-On Innovation Award: Rob MacGregor, San Bernadino, CA 1969 Chevy C-10

Sooo Low: Andi & Jody Lang, Irvine, CA 1963 Buick Riveira

Speedway Motors Homebuilt Heaven: Richard Dinmen, El Cajon, CA 1956 Ford Pickup

Speedway Motors Traditional Homebuilt Heaven: Cody Hill, Escondido, CA 1949 Ford

Street Rod Headquarters Class Act: Willy Green, La Mesa, CA 1932 Ford Coupe

Suede & Chrome: Mike Trussell, San Diego, CA 1931 Ford

A few of the denizens of the Good Wood section.

Super Sunday Award:

  • Art McHugh, San Diego, CA 2005 Chevy SSR
  • Erik Degrate, Paramount, CA 2006 Dodge Magnum
  • Ray Hamel, Pacific Beach, CA 2003 Corvette
  • Brandi Fluch, Carlsbad, CA 2010 Camaro SS
  • Milt Ballentine, Vista, CA 2013 Ford Mustang

Terrific ‘T’: James Ward, San Diego, CA 1926 Ford

Timeless Traditional: Justin Baas, Escondido, CA 1928 Ford

Way Cool Wagon: Gerry Gamet, Murrieta, CA 1957 Ford

Wheel Vintiques Best Bitchin’: Bruce Chandler, Oceanside, CA 1932 Ford 3 Window

Wildcard Just Cause It’s Neat: Butch Engelbrecht, San Diego, CA 1965 Cobra

WIX Filters Way Cool, Gordie Abougough, Kelowna, Canada 1957 Chevy

Wonderful Woody: Joe Free, Vista, CA 1950 Ford Woody

Goodguys AutoCross

Pro Class:

  1. Bret Voelkel, RideTech 33 Ford Coupe, 54.755
  2. Rob MacGregor, 69 Chevy C-10, 55.522
  3. Rodney Prouty, 68 Chevy Camaro, 55.73
  4. Jeff Schwartz, 65 Pontiac Tempest, 56.236
  5. Eric Hanson, 33 Ford Coupe, 57.36
  6. Dennis Russell, 33 Ford Roadster, 58.015
  7. Robert Pierik, 71 Chevy Camaro, 58.445
  8. Jeff Schwartz, 49 Chevy 3100, 58.859
  9. Cheryl Herrick, 67 Chevy Nova, 58.911
  10. Cheryl Herrick, 65 Chevy II Wagon, 60.405

Once again, RideTech founder Bret Voelkel took the pro class to school on the autocross course, winning top honors and cutting the fastest time of the weekend.

 Street Machine:

  1. Gerald Lum, 71 Chevy Camaro, 55.441
  2. Dan Weishaar, 70 Dodge Challenger, 56.576
  3. Gregg Blundell ,69 Chevy Camaro, 56.896
  4. John H., 70 Dodge Challenger, 58.037
  5. Dale Akuszewski,64 Sunbeam, 58.105
  6. Suzy Bauter, 68 Chevy Camaro, 58.657
  7. Chris Meyer, 70 Chevy Camaro, 59.022
  8. Brennan O’Tool, 69 Chevy Camaro, 59.327
  9. Paul Alderman, 70 Chevy Camaro, 59.374
  10. Dennis McNeil, 72 Chevy Chevelle, 59.763
  11. Tom Kamman, 69 Plymouth Barracuda, 59.845
  12. Robert Hall, 68 Chevy Camaro, 60.001
  13. Steve Rupp, 68 Chevy Camaro, 60.575
  14. John Wityak, 65 Ford Mustang, 60.723
  15. Steve Keefer, 69 Chevy Camaro, 61.18
  16. Mike Young, 65 Ford Mustang, 61.511
  17. Richard Trojillo, 69 Ford Mustang, 61.649
  18. Robb McIntosh, 69 Chevy Camaro, 62.297
  19. Nick Herrington, 67 Ford Mustang, 62.436
  20. Bryan Oats, 69 Chevy Camaro, 62.742
  21. Robbie Coaklin, 68 Chevy Chevelle, 63.691
  22. Peter Madsen, 56 Chevy 210, 65.395
  23. Ralph Hollis, 70 Pontiac GTO, 65.396
  24. Andrew Pelloth, 72 Olds 442, 66.409
  25. Scott Higgett, 65 Chevy Impala SS, 72.318

 Street Rod:

  1. Will Seeger, 37 Chevy Panel, 67.481
  2. Ken Butler, 36 Ford Sedan Del, 66.517

Truck:

  1. Scott Call, 67 Ford F-100, 56.565
  2. Mike Hickman, 68 Chevy C-10, 57.48
  3. Marcel Venable, 55 Ford F-100, 59.501
  4. George Keiss, 67 Chevy El Camino, 65.932
  5. Tommy Shelby, 56 Ford F-100, 70.111
  6. Logan Berry, 69 Chevy C-10, 72.752

Roma Lascano's 2001 Lincoln Town Car hits the Autocross course.

Super Sunday:

  1. Tom Kamman, 13 Ford Mustang GT, 55.376
  2. Joy Wheaton, 00′ Ford Mustang, 58.379
  3. Kirk Westerfield, 12 Ford Mustang GT, 58.808
  4. Dennis Russell, 06′ Ford GT, 59.734
  5. Dave Land, 07′ Ford Mustang GT, 59.94
  6. Matt Alcala, 12 Ford GT 500, 60.445
  7. Ethan Bartel, 08′ Ford Mustang, 61.079
  8. Jeff Wilkinson, 11 Chevy Corvette, 61.933
  9. Jared Sweeney, 02′ Ford Mustang, 62.003
  10. Tim Callahan, 66 Chevy Nova, 62.112
  11. Garrett Gilbeau, 04′ Dodge Neon, 62.171
  12. Justin Libby, 11 Dodge Challenger, 62.184
  13. Michael Bartelt, 05′ Pontiac GTO, 61.237
  14. Joe Chancellor, 07′ Ford Mustang, 62.515
  15. Peter Witrok, 92 Chevy Corvette, 62.721
  16. Bill Banta, 06′ Pontiac GTO, 63.314
  17. Jonathan Lapaglia, 73 Dodge Challenger, 62.525
  18. Hector Gutierrez, 09′ Saturn, 63.539
  19. Tim Sears, 07′ Chevy Corvette, 62.621
  20. Steve Bandtlow, 08′ Ford Mustang, 64.225
  21. Rick Seitz, 06′ Cadillac CTS-V, 65.434
  22. Mark Gregorich, 34 Ford Coupe, 69.933
  23. Roma Lascano, 01′ Lincoln Towncar, 72.768

And of course, check out our GALLERY from the show: