At the northeastern edge of the city of Bowling Green, Kentucky, sits Beech Bend Raceway Park. The park has been around since the 1940s, and makes for a perfect setting to host a nostalgic automotive event featuring more than 1,500 custom and restored autos.
The Goodguys Nostalgia Nationals was a showcase of the region’s coolest hot rods, customs, classics, street rods, musclecars, and trucks, including low-budget home builds and large-budget head-turners. Along with the show-n-shine portion of the event is the Goodguys Vintage Drag Racing program. The pits were filled with Funny Cars, gassers, hot rods, front-engine Top Fuelers, and Altereds. The grandstands were filled with fans eager to watch the smoke-producing burn outs, wild wheelies, and high-powered dragstrip passes.
Other attractions included vendor and manufacturer exhibits, a swap meet, the Auto Trader Classics cars corral, a model car show, and the Goodguys Autocross. While we were walking around the event, we selected 10 notable Chevrolets, that we feel exemplified the quality of cars at the show.
One Bitchin’ Nomad
This 1956 Nomad is owned by Chuck Leonard, and was built to be driven. When Chuck got the car, it was in pieces. In a little over one year he transformed it into what you see here. The Nomad sports an Air Ride suspension, a 9-inch rearend, and is powered by an LQ4 Vortec 6.0-liter engine pushing 400 ponies.
Rolling stock consists of a staggered set of Coy’s C-5 chrome wheels measuring 18 inches up front and 20 inches in the rear, wrapped in Nexen rubber. Classic Performance Products disc brakes provide the stopping power.
The body wears a DuPont Torch Red hue and a black paint scheme. The interior is just as sweet, with matching red and black leather materials by Ciadella Interiors, and a padded dash that holds Dakota Digital gauges, Vintage Air A/C, and a 1,000-watt Rockford Fosgate sound system.
Old School Cool
Robert Wyman of Madison, Alabama, has been working on cars and trucks since he was 14 years old, and this 1955 Chevy truck is proof of his skills. The chassis has been boxed, C-notched, and fitted with a Mustang II front suspension, and a 9-inch rear. An Air Ride suspension was installed, and can be adjusted easily from inside the cab.
The LT1 engine is fitted with polished pulleys, powder-coated valve covers, and is backed by a 700R4 transmission.
The rear fenders have been widened, and the bed features oak flooring. The body wears DuPont Ferrari Fly Yellow paint, but to give the truck an old-school look, Robert bolted big-and-littles onto the truck in the form of red steelies and wide whites.
The interior is covered in red leather, with all of the visible steel areas sprayed in a red satin that is amazingly close in color and texture to the red leather. A paint-matched Ididit steering column is topped with a Billet Specialties steering wheel, and tunes are provided by an Alpine stereo system. Finally, red carpet adds a final touch to the interior.
Big Bad Camaro
This custom 1968 Camaro was built by Greening Auto in Nashville, and is owned by Jimmy Jackson of Gallatin, Tennessee. The car sits on a chassis fortified with parts from Detroit Speed, including spindles, tubular upper and lower control arms, adjustable coilover shocks, and an adjustable antisway bar. The rear makes use of a four-link, adjustable antisway bar, and coilovers.
Braking is achieved by Baer brakes with 14-inch rotors and six-piston calipers at each corner. A staggered wheel fitment consists of black powder-coated 19×9 and 20×10 HRE C95 wheels wrapped with Bridgestone Potenza tires.
Under the hood is a 454 LSX crate engine that produces approximately 630 horsepower. The exhaust is comprised of DSE headers and a stainless steel 2 1/2-inch exhaust system with 40-series Flowmaster mufflers.
Small details such as removal of the bumper, the addition of RS headlight covers, customized parking lights, and a modified rear pan and bumper make this ’68 Camaro truly unique.
The interior contains the conveniences of a late-model Camaro. Black leather covers the reconstructed seat frames, and a custom-fabricated seatbelt attachment allows Jimmy to quickly convert the five-point harnesses into lap belts. The dash is fitted with Classic Instruments All-American gauges, and a Lecarra Mark IX steering wheel tops off the steering column. An Alpine stereo system completes the interior and provides plenty of entertainment.
Clean First-Series Chevrolet
This 1955 Chevy pickup is owned by Lynn Kirby of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and sits on the stock frame with a four-link and a Mustang II suspension. Under the hood an LS1 engine mated to an automatic 4L60E transmission.
The interior is upgraded with creature comforts such as Vintage Air A/C, Dakota Digital gauges, leather bucket seating, a Secret Audio stereo system, and a custom-made center console. The steering is via a Billet Specialties leather wrapped steering wheel that matches the exterior wheels. The door panels were also custom made, and blend with the leather seats and headliner.
The body has been painted Carbon Flash Metallic, and the bed is upgraded with a walnut wood floor. Wheels are Billet Specialties five split-spoke design, 17 inches under the nose and 18 inches in the rear, with Michelin performance tires.
The Anti-Stock Impala
The cool thing about this 1962 Impala, owned by Brian Carder of Stow, Ohio, is that it retains much of its stock appearance, but benefits from key upgrades that make it a fun show-and-go car that can be driven regularly.
Under the hood is an LS3 engine boasting 430 horsepower. A custom air intake dresses up the engine bay, while a 4L65E transmission keeps things under control. Stopping power is provided by a Classic Performance Products braking system with cross-drilled and slotted rotors.
The chassis includes an adjustable Air Ride suspension with a 9-inch rearend, and rolling stock is Billet Specialties five-spoke wheels fitted with Sumitomo rubber.
The body panels are all original, and the paint is the original stock color. The interior is also stock with a Billet Specialties steering wheel and Vintage Air air-conditioning.
Roger Price of Jeffersonville, Indiana, saved this 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle from barn storage. One interesting aspect about this car is that it was built around the wheels, because they were the first parts he purchased.
Roger painted the car with a 2011 GM Synergy Green with custom graphics on the sides and trunk lid. The bumpers, door handles, hood pins, and side mirrors were all painted matte black, and match the black 18-inch Ridler five-spoke wheels.
Looking inside, the black leather seats and dash are accented with carbon fiber inserts. The interior was stitched up by Sewn Tight Custom Interiors in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The steering column is capped with a Lecarra leather-wrapped steering wheel that blends nicely with the interior.
The engine is a small-block 383 delivering 400 horsepower, and slowing those ponies are disc brakes with cross-drilled and slotted rotors at each corner.
Josh Hellmer of Tolono, Illinois, owns this cool 1967 C10 pickup. The paint is of House of Kolor Blue Ice Pearl over a custom-blended base coat that resembles a factory color. All body work was performed by Josh Hellmer, and other than the rocker panels and front fenders, the truck’s body is all original.
The truck came with factory A/C, but Josh upgraded to a Vintage Air kit. The interior is mostly original, save for the stereo, billet steering wheel, and seat cover that came out of a 1972 Highlander Edition Chevy pickup.
Under the hood a 462 cubic-inch big-block with 525 horsepower uses a solid-lifter camshaft and twin carburetors. CPP disc brakes were mounted on the front, and factory drum brakes are retained on the rear. An Air Ride suspension was installed, and the air compressor and tank were tucked under the bed. A staggered set of 18- and 20-inch American Racing wheels sit nicely inside the truck’s fenders to complete the great look.
This super clean 1967 Super Sport convertible is owned by Buzz Comstock of Dahlonega, Georgia. The focal point is definitely the engine, which is a highly detailed 427 with aluminum heads. It’s backed by a Tremec five-speed manual transmission, with the engine boasting around 500 horsepower.
The rear is a narrowed Moser unit, and the wheels are staggered-fitment Boyd Coddington Junk Yard Dogs, measuring 17 inches under the nose and 18 inches on the rear. Tires are 235/45R17 and 275/40R18 Kumhos. Slowing this bad boy are disc brakes with cross-drilled and slotted rotors by CPP.
Inside the car, everything was replaced with new parts. The stock A/C was swapped for a Vintage Air unit, power windows were installed, and a two-knob aftermarket radio was mounted in the dash.
Buzz decided on a color called Laser Red, and the dark red convertible top uses the same material and color found on a Jaguar for the Chevelle’s top.
Rick Gerau of Wildwood, Missouri, owns this outstanding 1969 Camaro. The paint is Sherwin Williams Snakeskin Green, which is the same color used on the 2010 Dodge Viper.
Under the cowl-induction hood is a 500 horsepower, 502 cubic-inch crate engine. Managing the beast is a Detroit Speed, manually-shifted six-speed transmission.
A 9-inch rearend and Wilwood disc brakes with cross-drilled and slotted rotors bring the car to a halt. A staggered set of 18×8 and 20×12-inch billet Intro wheels with Michelin Pilot performance tires.
Inside, tan leather was used to cover the seats, custom-made door panels, and even the trunk. A billet steering wheel tops off the steering column, and a custom sound system completes this awesome muscle car.
Class of ‘57
Would you believe that this ’57 Bel Air is Kevin Kirby’s first try at building a car of this caliber? We think he did an excellent job.
Under the hood is an LS1 engine mated to a 4L60E transmission. A custom engine cover with Buick-styled vents was pounded out of steel and painted to match the exterior of the car.
The chassis of this Tri-Five uses an Art Morrison four-link with a 9-inch rearend. Under the nose is a TCI suspension, and four wheel disc brakes bind each corner. Boyd Coddington wheels, wearing Nitto performance tires round out the rolling stock.
Inside is another custom interior by Sewn Tight Custom Interiors. The tan leather-covered interior features a quad-bucket-seat design, using seats from a Pontiac Grand Am. A custom-built steel center console flows from the front of the car to rear, the dash received a set of Dakota Digital gauges, and a Budnik billet steering wheel caps off the steering column. Other creature comforts include a Vintage Air A/C unit and an Alpine stereo system.
There were too many stunning rides at the event to only show photos of 10 Chevys that stood out for one reason or another. Check out this gallery of other GM cars and trucks that stood out in the crowd during this three-day event.