There are car shows and then there are car events so huge that they dwarf all others. The Goodguys PPG Nationals is such an event. Once a year, over 6,000 street machines, rods, g-Machines, and everything in between descend on Columbus, Ohio, for the mack daddy of all car shows. This is also where some of the best cars in the country vie for the coveted Street Machine of the Year (SMOTY) title. Cars that would normally clean house at any "normal" show are lucky to get into the "Pro's Picks" area at Columbus.
The competition is brutal, which is why getting the title is such an accomplishment. First, the herd of 6,000-plus cars is culled down to a group of Pro's Picks. Then the "Best of the Best" slug it out to be in the Top Five. From that handful of cars, the "top dog" is crowned the winner. And because real cars are driven, all the SMOTY hopefuls have to knock down three laps on the autocross course. The times don't count towards getting in the Top Five, but points for style and effort are factored in. After all, it would be hard to give top honors to someone who babied their ride around a simple squiggle of cones.
The Goodguys PPG Nationals is about more than just the SMOTY competition though. Outside the area reserved for the high-dollar stuff, we saw quite a few home-built rides that their budget-conscious owners were showing off with deserved pride. We also cruised the vendors' booths and spied some of the cool new products that are on, or about to hit, the market.
If you ever get the chance to attend this event, go. You won't be disappointed, and you certainly won't be bored.