The Goodguys Rod and Custom Association put on their annual Pacific Northwest Nationals show at the end of July, and it was exactly what you’d expect from one of their events: great cars, great people, and one great weekend. There was a record breaking number of cars at the show this year with more than 2,700 unique vehicles in attendance. Between the show cars, the vendors, and the swap meet, there was something for everyone to enjoy.
We had a blast just walking around and looking at all of the cars parked along the corridors of the Washington State Fair and Events Center. The variety was absolutely amazing and that’s one of the things that really makes a Goodguys show so special. There were $100,000 pro-street builds parked right next to $1,500 four-doors and ratrods. There was no politics, no class separation, just our cars bringing us all together.
It’s always fun to see the different ways people go at restoring and driving a car. Some cars were restored by professionals with no expenses spared, others were restored in garages by first-time do-it-yourselfers, and others weren’t restored at all and showed scars of a long life lived through dents, dings, and terminal rust. Every car or truck is as individual as its owner and they are a great expression of personality.
We walked into the swap meet and found a few good deals. There was some rare stuff there too if you had the cash. There were even a few bargains to be had in the car corral for someone with a little creativity and willingness to do something different. We found a pretty solid 1963 Plymouth Valiant convertible for only $1,500—running and driving no less!
It’s tough to pick favorites at a show like this, but we do have a few highlights for you. There was no shortage of awesome cars, but these five are just a few that stood out to us. So, without further delay, here are our top-five picks from this years Goodguys Pacific Northwest Nationals.
Pete Kinch’s 1956 Chevy Nanowagon Traded Body Size For Engine Size
This car immediately caught our eye as we were walking around the event. It’s green paint and slightly different proportions made it stand out. We got closer, saw the gleaming chrome under the hood, and knew we were going to have to find out more.
We talked to the owners of the car, Pete and Diane Kinch from Everett, Washington, and got some more details on what’s in the Nanowagon and what it took to build it. “I wanted something different,” Pete told us. “It took ten years to build.”
I have to be really careful when I drive this since it’s so overpowered. – Pete
What started life as a four-door wagon is now a tire frying, big-block powered, force to be reckoned with. The engine is fueled by a Quickfuel 750cfm carburetor, has a custom Moroso oil pan, and flip-top RMS valve covers out of Wendell, Idaho, that allow easy access for valve adjustment. We love the Kinch’s car and are glad to have met them at the show.
Ron Berg’s Twice Owned, Once Gifted, 1967 Chevelle
We’re always in the mood for a good Chevelle, and this one hit the spot. It belongs to Ron Berg of Graham, Washington, and has as much to say in the story behind it’s build as it does in the build itself.
Ron originally bought the car in 1988 and had it until 2004 when he sold it to his step-son because Ron was diagnosed with cancer. “I got cancer and decided to sell it,” Ron explained. “So I sold it to my step-son.”
The story for this car only sort of starts in 2004 when Ron’s step-son bought the car. His step-son had the car completely restored and built by Wicked Fabrication before he gave it back to Ron for Father’s Day of 2006. “I got the car back and my cancer is in remission,” Ron said, “I’m happy.”
The car is now running a 540 cubic-inch engine, turbo-400 transmission, and Ford 9-inch rearend, all on 18.5-inch Mickey Thompson tires wrapped around Billet Specialties wheels and stopped by Wilwood disc brakes. Inside is a set of tinted gauges, Mercedes leather seats, an ididit steering column, and a B&M Shifter.
“My favorite thing is the fat tires,” Ron told us. “That, and the color.” His step-son did a great job having this put together just how Ron would have liked it. We can’t argue with Ron’s taste either, this is one well-built Chevelle.
Clay Learned’s Mercury Comet Caliente Is A Rare Racecar
It’s not all too often that we get the chance to take a look at a built Mercury Comet. This one is white hot and it’s the Caliente model, so it’s rare. We saw the car and stopped by to talk to the owner, Clay Learned of Burlington, Washington, and got some more info on this uncommon build.
The motor has been given just a little attention. – Clay
This car is tubbed all the way across, has a full roll cage, racing seats, 4-point harnesses, and a battery cutoff where the fuel filler used to be. “It has a lot of old-school stuff,” Clay explained. It’s fully compliant with NSRA and is ready to race.
The tubbing is really what set Clay’s mind on buying this car. “I walked in the door, saw that it was tubbed, and said I was going to buy it,” he explained. He bought it from Pacific Classics in Mount Vernon, Washington. “As soon as I saw the tubs, I knew I had to have it. We weren’t really looking for a car at the time, but really, we’re always looking.”
Terry Mukopf’s Gen III Hemi Powered 1973 Plymouth Duster
Talk about a Mopar motor swap, this 1973 Plymouth Duster is powered by a third generation 5.7-liter Hemi engine. Owned by Terry Muskopf of Puyallup, Washington, is not only tough, but a smooth driving car. From the custom paint job to the modern motor, we couldn’t leave this off our list of top picks from the show.
The gold and black two-tone paint scheme work well on this car, as do the LED accents in the headlights. It’s got the look and feel of a high-end muscle build, and it’s no wonder considering all the work that it’s had done.
Terry has had his car for 3 years and driving it is like taking a trip down memory lane. “My first brand new car back in the day was a ’70 340 Duster,” he explained, “So I kind of gravitated towards this.” He bought it at a Barrett-Jackson auction and had his eye on it starting when he saw it in the pre-auction brochure.
It still drives like the old one, but it’s faster. – Terry
Terry also has Wilwood disc brakes all the way around, Cragar SS wheels, front and rear sway bars, and tubular upper control arms. The wiring is brand new from Summit Racing and the interior is custom work with ’70 Charger bucket seats, a removable console, and Auto-Meter gauges. This modernized Mopar was definitely built right.
Julie Logan’s All Stock 1964 Oldsmobile F-85 Convertible
Any time we get to see an Oldsmobile, it’s considered a nice treat. They were all pretty cool cars, they’re rare, and parts are hard to come by, so when we see one that’s been restored we know that it was a labor of love. That couldn’t be more true than in the case of Julie Logan’s 1964 Oldsmobile F-85 convertible.
Julie didn’t have to come too far to get to Puyallup from her home in Auburn, but we’re sure glad she made the trip. Although it may not look it, this car was saved from the crusher at a wrecking yard.
“A friend bought this at a wrecking yard where it was destined to be crushed,” Julie explained. “He rescued it and we ended up buying it from him later.” A lot of work went into getting this car back into the shape that it is, so we’re not surprised that someone might have wanted to pass on such a project. That was not a big enough obstacle for Julie to turn it down.
Julie’s Olds is powered by a 455 cubic-inch engine and an automatic transmission. Although it originally came with the smaller 330 cubic-incher, the extra power is a welcome addition to the car. Not only that, but if they ever decide they want to go back to the original engine, it’s still sitting at home in her shed.
One of the cool things for Julie about this project was that she got herself a welder and learned how to weld on this car. There is a sense of accomplishment that comes from being able to do the work yourself. It’s also just a great skill to have and what would be a better opportunity than working on her own vehicle.
This is definitely my style. – Julie
We really just can’t stress enough how much fun this show was. It was a great way to spend the weekend. If you are nearby a Goodguys show and don’t go, you’re missing out. Heck, even if you aren’t nearby it’s worth the drive. There’s one coming up in Spokane so if you’re around the inland northwest and missed the Pacific Northwest Nationals, make sure you hit the Goodguys 16th Annual Great Northwest Nationals. Take it from us, you will not be disappointed.
Check out our gallery for more pictures of the show and more pictures of our top picks!