The Orange County fairgrounds in Costa Mesa, California, served as the playground for grown-up kids and their cars for the third annual Goodguys Get-Together. Only being the third year for Goodguys in Orange County, it's a baby compared to the veteran California events such as Del Mar, in its ninth year, and Pleasanton, going on 23 years. Though just starting out, this show has proven to draw quite a crowd. Southern California's mild sunny weather suits automotive hobbyists perfectly, and it's only natural for car guys and gals to migrate to its warmth. We weren't blessed with SoCal's usual smell of sun screen, but victim to frequent overcast and temperatures in the 50s--unseasonably cold to the natives. That didn't stop Goodguys' loyal crowd from attending though.
Goodguys has been around since 1983, giving people of all budgets and abilities a place to show off their cars, and enjoy the company of others who share the same passion. The traditional car-show format changed drastically when Goodguys introduced the Street Challenge autocross two years ago. The Street Challenge autocross gets people up off their folding chairs and behind the wheel of their cars, showing off what they can do besides sit and look pretty. Cars with cornering power to go with power are getting popular, and are admired more now than ever before. Since it's hard to put a number on handling performance, besides a skidpad rating, it's nearly impossible to show what your car is made of on paper. Quarter-mile times and dyno results do a great job of sharing a straight-line car's capabilities, but they don't help the guys who spend their bucks on tubular control arms instead of a power-adder. That is the fantastic thing about the Street Challenge: since it doesn't occupy the large footage of a competition-style autocross event, a ton of horsepower doesn't really improve your times. The Street Challenge drew a diverse crowd; it wasn't just the big-braked, hyper muscle cars, but a collection of cars from every era and performance level. It was clear the challenge was less of a competition, and more about just having fun with the car you brought.
There's more to the shows than just the Street Challenge autocross. Over 100 vendors came to the show with their trailers loaded with project cars, product, and demonstration material. Car shows are often the only opportunities that manufacturers get to dazzle us with the new products they've made. Companies like Air Ride and Detroit Speed & Engineering were not only showing off their goods in their booths, but also flexing their muscles out on the autocross course. If you don't mind walking around with them, you can even purchase parts too.
The rest of the show consisted of guys and gals who love cars. Since the show was open to all years of domestic cars and trucks, the spread of vehicles to look at was vast. No matter what you're into, from late-model Mustangs to '32 Fords, there was something to tickle your fancy. We walked every inch of the show, talking to people who were excited about their rides and about being there, which we can't get enough of. There were so many cars we wanted to cover but we just can't fit them all in here. Every Goodguys show we've attended over the years has been a fun-filled family oriented experience. We can't think of a better way to spend a weekend with your car buddies or family than at a Goodguy's car show.
To quiet the smack-talkers and glorify the true driving heroes, Goodguys created the Editors' Challenge. This is the chance for magazine editors and contributors to show off their skills in their own project cars or ones supplied by the participating vendors. The 10 contestants have an hour to squeeze in as many runs as they can, and the best lap time wins. A couple of the editors, such as Steven Rupp from Camaro Performers, and David Freiburger from Hot Rod, had their own cars; the rest shared the driver seats of cars built by Air Ride and Detroit Speed and Engineering. The Air Ride-built Goodguys giveaway '70 Nova named Super Nova even made an appearance. The author even got a single pass in Air Ride's '66 Chevelle, and ran a 35.804. PHR photographer, Robert McGaffin, had much better luck, and whittled his time down to 31.877, which was good for Fifth Place. The top spot went to Steven Rupp in his familiar Bad Penny Camaro, running a 29.69 lap time.
|EDITORS' CHALLENGE RESULTS |
|Driver: ||Magazine: ||Car: ||Time: |
|1. Steven Rupp ||Camaro Performers ||'68 Camaro ||29.694 |
|2. Jim Campisano ||Super Chevy ||‘70 Camaro ||29.978 |
|3. Nick Licata ||Camaro Performers ||’69 Camaro ||30.107 |
|4. Jeff Smith ||Car Craft ||’66 Chevelle ||31.783 |
|5. Robert McGaffin ||Popular Hot Rodding ||’66 Chevelle ||31.877 |
| 6. David Freiburger ||Hot Rod ||’65 Chevy Malibu ||32.849 |
| 7. Travis Noack ||Muscle Car Power ||’66 Chevelle ||34.299 |
| 8. Kev Elliot ||Rod & Custom ||’46 Ford Pickup ||34.906 |
| 9. Liz Miles ||Popular Hot Rodding ||’66 Chevelle ||35.804 |
| 10. Matt Degen ||Orange County Register ||’70 Supernova ||35.869 |
|STREET CHALLENGE WINNERS |
|CLASS: ||DRIVER: ||CAR: ||TIME: |
|Editors ||Steven Rupp ||'68 Camaro ||29.694 |
|Street Machine ||Mike Hodges ||'04 Corvette ||28.964 |
|Vendor ||Kyle Tucker/DSE ||’70 Camaro ||29.183 |
|Street Rod ||Aaron Vukasovich ||'41 International Pickup ||34.280 |
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