Take a good long look at the smile plastered on Chris "Smiley" Harvey's face in our lead photo. You think you've got problems—this guy works third shift in a nuclear powerplant all week keeping millions of dollars worth of dangerous equipment running like clockwork. Yet he's having the time of his life with a jalopy of a '64 Chevy Biscayne wagon he dragged out of a barn and paid $350 for. You'd never know the weight sitting on Smiley's shoulders most days, especially when he's behind the wheel of his Chevy mowing down cones at the Goodguys Street Machine Autocross, but that's the effect autocrossing has on most folks.
The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association realized a long time ago that something was missing from the static car show hobby—action. Once they figured out that autocrossing could provide a safe and fun way to exploit all the handling and horsepower—with timing equipment, trophies, spectators, and bragging rights no less—Goodguys shows would never be the same. Now all that muscle coming through the gate could be put to good use, without the cops getting involved.
Nevertheless, some old fuddy-duddies won't go near the cone course. Might scratch the paint. Might break. Yes—it might very well do those things, but at the end of your days when you're wondering what you did with all your time and money, you'll wish at one point you had a big ol' grin on your face like Chris "Smiley" Harvey. For real, what in the hell are you saving it for? You can't take it with you. As they say, "Ain't nothin' to it but to do it."
Those who harbor a lame excuse for not getting out there and carving up some tarmac should check this out: When Smilie found this '64 Chevy wagon sitting in a shed in 2007, it only needed a water pump to get running. "When I pulled it out, I washed it off, and that's the way it's looked ever since," he says. Over time, the stock 283 and three-speed manual have been replaced with a 350 Vortec out of a 1997 Chevy pickup, and the three-on-the-tree manual was swapped for a 700-R4 four-speed automatic. Some $650 Boss 338 wheels and tires off of eBay, along with a Right Stuff disc brake kit, and it was ready to roll. "It's just an everyday car more or less," Smiley says.
Smiley and his Biscayne more-door dispels another myth: You don't need a first-gen Camaro hosed down with a mail-order catalog in order to get your feet wet, although that certainly is one well-documented route we wouldn't argue with. At Nashville, we saw a lot of guys and gals like Smiley who were wheeling their stock and near-stock classic machinery around the course—and they were having the time of their lives. Want to get involved? Log on to www.Good-Guys.com today to find a Goodguys Street Machine autocross near you.
May 18 was not a good day for Barry Alford of Big Oak Garage. His customer—Willie Maise—wo
Alford opted to make a few laps at the Goodguys autocross to dial in the suspension, but t
The 1961 Ford Starliner is arguably the sexiest bubbletop ever designed, and Alan Hutcheso
Of the hoards of first-gen Camaros at Goodguys Nashville, we have room here for but one—La
Every year we go to Nashville, we see Shane Davenport wheeling his inline-six 1966 Nova, a
If you’re going to build a badass 1966 Chevelle, you might as well reach for the Detroit S