The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has long had a reputation-rightly or wrongly-as a magnet for the geriatric crowd. The common misconception is that AARP cards outnumber timecards by 10 to 1, and cabbage patch kids tied to chrome grilles are the only young people in sight. That scenario may have been the state of affairs a few years ago, but Goodguys has seen the light: The older crowd is slowly slipping away from the surly bonds of earth, and is being replaced by a younger, more active, muscle car breed of rodder.
Where many of Goodguys' events were previously only open to cars built through 1948, most of these venues are now open to muscle cars through the '72 model year. In fact, every single Goodguys venue that has the space for them now allows cars through 1972. The simple fact is that the average current Goodguys attendee grew up in the muscle car era of the 1960s and 1970s, not the hot rod era of the 1940s and 1950s, as in decades past. Change wasn't a luxury-it was a necessity. In fact, in the next 10 years we fully expect to see cars through the 1980s start showing up at some events. (And our '75 Laguna will be ready!)
Naturally, the first thing Goodguys found out when these "youngsters" (hey, 50 is the new 30, didn'tcha know?) started showing up is that they wanted to play hard with their hot rods. The second thing Goodguys discovered is that vendors for those muscle cars like to play hard with 'em too!
To answer your question, "fun" in this case equals a badass timed autocross course with unlimited runs for participants. Manufacturers such as Air Ride Technologies, Bowler Transmissions, Optima Batteries, Splitfire, Detroit Speed & Engineering, BFGoodrich, and Baer Racing stepped up to support Goodguys' new Street Challenge Autocross. Not satisfied with sitting on the sidelines watching Goodguys attendees battle it out, many of these manufacturers have built their own autocross hot rods to defend their brand superiority in front of their peers and customers. In the short span of one season, the Goodguys Street Challenge Autocross has transformed these events into a good-natured battlefield, where our favorite parts fight for the hearts and minds of potential customers.
And wouldn't you know it, some of those "geriatric" AARP-card-toting guys got tired of watching the youngsters have all the fun, and are starting to beat up on their older street rods, too. These guys fall into the '54-and-earlier Street Rod class ('55-72 cars are in the Street Machine class of the Street Challenge Autocross). We can tell you there were plenty of second childhoods being lived out right there in the LP Field parking lot in downtown Nashville this past June. And it's not too late: Goodguys has scheduled nine Street Challenge Autocross events this year-and it's free to run for anybody who enters their car in any show class of a participating Goodguys event.
If autocross action doesn't hold the same allure, and you like to kick it with your muscle car old school, Goodguys has a new class-complete with a special cordoned area-called Goodguys Muscle Machine Of The Year. These are for muscle cars ('60-72) modified to accelerate and handle at a high level. Muscle Machine Of The Year finalists will be chosen at each of eight events (including Nashville), and a winner will be announced on line (www.good-guys.com) October 30.
You gotta love the Nashville skyline as seen from LP Field, the home of the Tennessee Tita
Street Machine Autocross Winner
John Bodeen's '66 Corvette roadster won the Street Challenge Autocross in the Street Machine category with a best lap of 25.88 seconds. The car was built by Brian Finch of Nashville. Builder Finch and owner Bodeen were best friends through high school, and this radically updated Vette is Bodeen's dream car. It features a 2002 LS6 mill, T56 trans, suspension from a '94 C4 Corvette, C5 front brakes, and a custom-built frame. It's a '66 by virtue of its body shape, but none of the '66 mechanicals remain.
Street Rod Autocross Winner
Not content to sit it out in the car show, Lowell Grooms (60) hammered his homebuilt '32 Ford mercilessly, racking up at least two dozen autocross laps while we were there watching. Lowell built the 250ci inline Chevy six, then attached an Eaton M90 blower from a 3800 Series GM V-6. A home-fabbed intake and headers finished the look. Even with hard, skinny street tires, Lowell managed a 28.71-second lap time. From the looks of it, he earned it the hard way!
Brian Finch built the '66 Corvette owned by John Bodeen seen earlier, and this is Finch's own car: a '71 Camaro that Brian built himself. The screaming yellow zonker is motivated by a .030 over 454, which Brian built to a 8.75:1 compression spec. A Procharger D1SC compressor inflates the chunk with 10 psi, after first passing through a blower-modified Barry Grant Mighty Demon 850. All the subsequent brutality assaults a T-56 trans and a 12-bolt rear (with Competition Engineering ladder bars), then to a hopelessly outgunned set of 325/30R18 BFGs on 18x12 Z06 wheels. The combo is brutal, and far more suited to a high-speed road course than a tiny autocross. Still, it managed to put on quite a show for the gallery of onlookers.
Best Ford In A Ford Award
We found Steve Allen's '67 Galaxie 500 in the Alloway's Pro's Pick zone, where it stopped many onlookers in their tracks. Steve built the full-sized Ford himself (he runs "Especially Honda," a repair shop in Easley, SC), and endowed it with a warmed-over 428 big-block Ford with Edelbrock intake and heads, a 750 Demon carb, and MSD ignition. The paint was lovingly laid on by Don Jacks' Street Metal Fabrication. Paul Atkins did the interior, and the chassis rides on an Air Ride system comprised of a RidePro controller, Air Springs, and an AirPod.
Flowmaster American Thunder Award
Danny Thomas (46, Pigeon Forge, TN) is smiling because he's having a great time with his '67 Camaro RS convertible. He had yet to be awarded the Flowmaster American Thunder Award when we found him. Danny's Camaro has an LS1 engine with a T-56 trans, a DSE front suspension, an Air Ride LevelPro with ShockWaves, and an AirBar rear suspension. Out back, a Moser 12-bolt rear holds 3.73 gears, and spins BFG g-Force T/As on Forgeline wheels (18x8, front; 18x10, rear). Brakes are by Baer, gauges by Auto Meter, and A/C by Vintage Air.
"And you can tell your readers to thank the husband for bringing her," says Shawn Rhyne. Shawn wasn't talking about this pristine '71 Mustang Mach I, which belongs to his friend, Joe Todd (52) of Marion, AR. Nor was he talking about the restored 429 Super Cobra Jet under the hood, or the 1-of-1,806 four-speeds built that year. Nope. Shawn was referring to his wife, Jodi Rhyne (26), who is a courthouse clerk in Marion, AR. So thanks, Shawn, Jodi, and Joe, for coming out to Nashville and having a great time with us!
"We used to come to the Goodguys shows to shine the tires," says Chris German, a 50-year-o
Jauna Walker (30, Greenville, CS) was drafted into the spokesperson role by her husband, T
Car builder Bobby Alloway and his daughter, Anna Cate Alloway (8), really enjoyed the Stre
Kyle Tucker of Detroit Speed & Engineering won the autocross Vendor Challenge with their '
This sweet '71 AMX belongs to Tim Kemp of Lebanon, TN. Tim restored it himself and painted