When we found out last year that the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association was adding another event for the 2010 schedule, and that event was going to be the season opener, and that is was on our back porch one state over, we were stoked. Scottsdale, Arizona, not only has a great climate in March, it's also a true hot bed of hot rodding activity, so we marked it on the calendar in permanent ink. For us-meaning myself and photographer Robert McGaffin-the 1st Spring Nationals on March 12-14 would mean we got to take Project Laguna out for an early season stroll that would span some 800 miles, most of it through some of the most beautiful desert stretches on the planet. And we weren't alone in our pilgrimage; we tagged along with other rodders making the trek from California to the Phoenix area, and had a great time doing it.
Right after we snuck our "'72...
Right after we snuck our "'72 Chevelle" into the 1st Spring Nationals in Scottsdale, Arizona, we ran into the, ahem, "'72 Malibu" of Bryan Grove. With 525 hp to the wheel-it's got a 383 with a Procharger-it runs 11.90s in the quarter-mile. Man, this thing sure looks like a '74 Malibu!
Arriving at Scottsdale's Westworld where the festivities were getting started, we rolled up to the registration tent with our '75 Laguna. It was at that moment that we remembered that the 1st Spring Nationals is only for cars built through 1972. Oops! Fortunately, we got some good advice (from a Goodguys insider who we won't name in order to protect him): just tell them it's a customized '72. Certainly at a times like this, it's good to be the magazine guy, and as a result, we had the coolest, most unusual '72 Chevelle on the premises. With some good luck on our side, we entered the fairgrounds and immediately discovered Brian Grove's immaculate and very fast '74 Malibu tearing up the Street Challenge Autocross (featured in "Like A Rock," March 2010). Talk about a good omen. It was good to see a familiar face in the crowd with the same covert mission.
Between the Street Challenge Autocross, the Manufacturer's Midway, the Car Show, and the indoor and outdoor swap meets, we were being pulled in too many fun directions. It was kind of like being 6 years old, and trying to pick a flavor in the candy store. For us, the highlight of the weekend had to be hanging out with Kyle and Stacy Tucker at Detroit Speed, wrenching on the Laguna's power steering pump, and drinking all their Sundrop. On our way out of town, we also took a tour of Baer's new digs in Phoenix. Wow, that place is cool! If you're a gearhead and you ever find yourself in Phoenix, you need to drop by.
It was great catching up with old friends and meeting some new ones, and we can't wait to get back to Scottsdale for the Goodguys 13th Southwest Nationals on November 19-21.
It's Chevelle Time!
We're suckers for Chevelles and GM A-bodies in general, so we gravitated to them with the camera while we were at Scottsdale. Call it a personality flaw if you want.
No ambiguity about Ron Goon's...
No ambiguity about Ron Goon's '67 Mustang. True story: The red coupe was the first car for all three of Ron's sons before he reclaimed it as a street/track car. A 520hp 427 small-block Ford had it hustling through the Street Challenge autocross with a best 37.73-second lap. Other goodies include a six-speed Tremec, Chassiworks four-link coilover, and The Mustang Shop front suspension.
Walking through the indoor...
Walking through the indoor swap meet, we were stopped in our tracks by Melanie Rushforth, the better half of wheel and car design mogul, Jason Rushforth. Here, Melanie's effectively hawking the 20-inch Rushforth Night Train hoop with brushed centers for $675 each.
This was my first time checking...
This was my first time checking out Ridetech's new Select shock absorbers. At the touch of a button, they change between soft and firm damping. Their display in the manufacturer's midway was very cool; you step on the back of it, hop up and down on the chassis mock-up, then flip the switch to feel the difference. The difference is huge! You can pair the Select system with either Ridetech's new coilovers, or ShockWaves. We're thinking seriously of trying them in our
'68 Nova project.