It was a great August weekend for a car show in beautiful Pleasanton, California! The temperature was in the low 80’s and the sun was shining. The smell of fresh jumbo corn dogs, strawberry-topped funnel cakes, and burned high-octane fuel filled the air at the Goodguys 25th West Coast Nationals. The hot rod party started on Friday, August 26th and carried through to Sunday, August 28th. The WCN is open to ‘72 and earlier vehicles, but it was an awesome turnout for early iron! The fairgrounds were packed with a sea of street rods, jalopies, roadsters, sedans, trucks and more. There were people everywhere having a great time viewing the cars and enjoying the food, music, and activities.
When you regularly attend events like this you tend to see some of the same cars at every show. The West Coast Nationals seems to be held in the street rod capitol of the world because it never disappoints with a big turnout of new iron in the form of completed (they’re never really finished) and unfinished rides.
This show was full of new impressive metal. A look at the winners circle on Sunday was proof that there were a lot of deserving high-quality and eye-catching vehicles in attendance. The craftsmanship, artistry, and coolness of hot rods at the show were at an all-time high.
A walk through the Car Corral showed us that there are still some great deals to be had if you were looking for complete and road-worthy street rods to project cars of epic proportions and everything in between. Some of the vehicles for sale were pristine and going for a song, especially on the last day of the event.
An obviously abandoned project ‘59 Chevy wagon was stripped down to a rolling shell. The owner filled the entire car with all its parts and brought it on a trailer. By Sunday the price was seriously reduced and would have been a good deal to make a nice cruiser. There were even some really cool pro-street/drag cars up for grabs.
The swap meet was full of bargains too. Along with all the hot rod and restoration parts, there were plenty of other cool treasures. You could pick up just about any street rod or drag racing magazine ever printed. There were great hot rod parts and service station memorabilia everywhere just waiting to find a new home. Just like most swap meets, there were a few odd trinkets here and there. The standout weird and cool artifact of the swap meet was the eight foot realistic-looking Frankenstein’s monster strapped to an operating table watching out over a big booth of garage signs.
The vendors were there in force with cool products and even some great interactive fun. WIX Filters had a really cool booth with a little quarter mile track with a “tree” on the asphalt for the kids, young and old, to compete with radio controlled Dodge Challengers. The theme of the Challengers was part of the WIX promotional tour with a 2010 Dodge Challenger they had completely rebuilt NASCAR Legend Richard Petty’s shop aptly named Petty’s Garage.
While walking around the vendor area we also paid a visit to Flowmaster, Edelbrock, Vintage Air, Baer Brakes, Chris Alston’s Chassisworks, Roadster Shop, and Billet Specialties to name a few. Everyone had some cool new products on display from new Vintage Air control panels, Baer Brakes parking brake assemblies, Roadster Shop frames and IRS suspensions, and more. Flowmaster showed us their HP-2 and Pro-Series mufflers with Cool-Shell technology that can be mounted in tight spaces and very close to the floorboards, which is handy with hot rods with cramped quarters underneath.
One of the stand-out vehicles at the show for us was Eric Zausner’s Moal-built ’36 Ford Roadster named, Aero Sport. It was only unveiled a few days before the West Coast Nationals. Michael Moal told us, “there’s not much left of the original ’36 Ford steel body.” It features man hand-formed aluminum panels including the pontoon fenders, hood, and trunk. The engine is a ‘55 312 cubic inch Y-block with twin Novi superchargers transferring power a De Dion IRS rear via a Tremec 5-speed transmission. The independent front suspension is all custom fabbed for great handling. The interior was reminiscent of art deco merged with a 1940s aircraft cockpit due to some artistic upholstery and metal crafting and a liberal use of gauges from the Moal Bomber Gauge line.
There were great looking sleds and slammed classics parked throughout the fairgrounds. Some wore all vintage parts and some were a combination of new and old parts.
We don’t know if you call them jalopies, rat rods, or traditional hot rods, but we love them and there were plenty at the West Coast Nationals!
We walked for hours soaking up the sun and taking in the different cars, trucks, and parts. Once in a while you’ll catch the owner hanging out with their vehicle and you can get some cool history. There’s usually a good story with each hot rod and guys and gals are more than happy to share a good story or two. History and awesome iron are what keeps our passion for cars (and trucks) going. Every Goodguys event draws cool cars and trucks, but they also get a few vehicles you just don’t get to see too often. This show was no exception with a Citroen, ’39 Buick Special, a cool 1941 aerodynamic motorhome, and more! Hot rodding is about building different than the next car, either with parts, paint, wheels, stance, or even a rare make and model.
At the end of the show on Sunday we were tired and hot, but at the same time energized by hanging out with some old friends and by seeing so many cool cars and seeing some great ideas we can incorporate into our future projects. Maybe everyone looking through all of our pictures will pick up a little something too. Like usual, Goodguys West Coast Nationals never disappoints. If you’ve never been, it’s worth the trip…which is obvious, since we saw cars from all over the US and even the far reaches of Canada. If you can’t make it out to the next event, check right here on Rod Authority for coverage!