Goodguys Scottsdale 1st Spring Nationals - Winter Thaw
The Goodguys Season Opener In Scottsdale, Arizona, Was A Welcome Relief-And The Start Of A Great Season.
From the August, 2010 issue of Popular Hot Rodding
By Johnny Hunkins
Photography by Robert McGaffin
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.
When we come to Phoenix, we...
When we come to Phoenix, we occasionally see Bryon Pryde wheeling his meticulous '69 Chevelle around town. It's got a mild 461 big-block that propels it to 12.60/107 quarter-miles, and on this day, 41-second autocross laps. Pryde relies on Hotchkis suspension front and rear, Baer Eradispeed rotors, and 16-inch Torque Thrusts with BFG Comp T/As.
Mark Callahan (Scottsdale,...
Mark Callahan (Scottsdale, Arizona) is old school when it comes to Chevelles. We were digging his blown 496 big-block '68, which does its best to grenade the M-22 four-speed behind it. He only shows and cruises it, and we did our best egging him on to autocross it, but no dice!
Yeah, we know, it's not a...
Yeah, we know, it's not a Chevelle, but a '65 Olds Cutlass. Real Chevelle guys won't mind though-it's genuine GM A-body tin. It belongs to Paul and Phillip McKee (Mesa, Arizona) and it has a Viper T56 six-speed behind a mild Olds 455. Suspension is Air Ride by Ridetech, wheels are 19x8 (front) and 20x8.5 (rear) Rushforths, and brakes are by Baer. "It's built to be driven," says Paul McKee, who wheeled it to a 38.8 autocross lap.
Here, photog Robert McGaffin...
Here, photog Robert McGaffin has mooched a drive in PHR contributor, Keith Kanak's exquisite '64 Chevelle, who used McGaffin's camera to take this shot of his own car. If you know Kanak, you know he lets no one drive his baby. (Wreck the car Robert, and it's curtains for your fancy camera!) Kanak drives it everywhere, including on the Hot Rod Power Tour a couple years back. It's one of the nicest all-around Chevelles we've met, and it's reliable as a rock.
Showing the range of Chevelle...
Showing the range of Chevelle expression is Steve Edling's Arrival Blue and brushed nickel '68. Turnkey built one of their LS2s with a Kenne Bell blower for 740 hp at the flywheel. Edling's Chevelle is also one of the first cars to receive TCI's new six-speed automatic trans that we told you about in our May issue.
"Honestly, it's a '72 Chevelle."...
"Honestly, it's a '72 Chevelle." We really enjoyed talking with the folks who came by to check out Project Laguna. We want to shout-out a thanks to the guys at Baer Brakes for letting us park in front of their tent.
I love rooting through the...
I love rooting through the Goodguys swap meet for old magazines, like this December 1970 issue of PHR. It was a Christmas Buyer's Guide with a scantily clad model, and shows just how far we've come in terms of political correctness. Hooray for progress!
Every once in a while, you...
Every once in a while, you find the perfect car that pushes all your hot buttons and has zero "taste violations." Try this on for size: Jerod Kirk (Chandler, Arizona) is 26, and is a body man by trade. He's got all of $15K in his '71 Pontiac Ventura, including the intercooled, turbocharged, carbureted 383 small-block Chevy underhood. He did all the paint and bodywork himself (including the custom hood), and he expects to go 10s with it once it's tuned. We shot it for you, and will deliver the details once Kirk gets some timeslips in hand. It already went 12-teens without the turbo.
The crowd went nuts when this...
The crowd went nuts when this '67 Chrysler Newport went for a derby around the autocross and blew a tire. It was leaning so much in the corners that the inside front tire was off the ground at one point. When the outside rear tire had enough of rubbing against the wheel spat, it blew in spectacular fashion. Incredibly, this was the only Mopar to tackle the autocross.
This is 25-year-old Brandy...
This is 25-year-old Brandy Morrow, who is very shy, but if you ask her very nicely, she will pose with the '70 Mach I Mustang she drives under the Spectre Performance banner. Spectre Performance is located in Ontario, California, just in case, you know, you want to drop by and buy some parts.
Muscle Car Winners
Muscle Car of the Year Finalist
Muscle Machine of the Year Finalist
Autocross Street Machine
1967 Chevy Camaro
Best Ride on BFGs
1969 Ford Mustang
Best Ride on Intros
Warren & Laury Partridge
1962 Chevy Bel Air
Brent & Blake Grandil
Larry & Jeannie Crosby
Fountain Hills, AZ
1966 Ford Fairlane
Goodguys Staff Pick
Jack and Tammie Nelsen
Meguiars Magnificent Masterpiece Award
Fountain Hills, AZ
Rick & Lois Younker
Rodders Rep Pick
1970 SS Chevelle
Slick '60s Pick
Joe & Sandy Secola
Snap-On Innovation Award
Sooo Low Pick
Goodguys Builder's Choice Award
Goodguys Builder's Choice Award