Goodguys Columbus. It's the Big Dog of the summer vintage outdoor car shows. It's the place where the country's top hot rod and muscle car builders debut their latest and greatest pieces in hope of winning the coveted Street Machine of the Year or Street Rod of the Year award. It's the event people use up valuable vacation time in order to drive their pre-'73 ride long miles to show it off and hang out with fellow classic car enthusiasts. Thousands of walk-throughs show up because they want to see the best and most hot rods, muscle cars, street rods, and customs. Buyers and sellers-they're here, too. It's Columbus, man, and it's all that!
Now in its 13th year at the Ohio Expo Center, the Goodguys Nationals, held July 9 through July 11, has built up a following unlike any other show in the country. Over 6,300 classics of basically every genre can be seen at this event. One might consider it the ultimate melting pot of vintage hot rod excellence. Of course, having bias towards the Camaro, we are happy to report a shortage of vintage F-bodies was nowhere in sight. In fact, it was pretty much impossible to walk down any row of cars and not run into a Camaro. We sort of like that.
The only disappointing aspect of this show was when the rain decided to make an unwelcome appearance on Friday morning just prior to firing up the autocross, in turn canceling what many consider to be the most exciting portion of the event. It's rumored that three to four runs were made before the sky opened up. We've not seen proof of any cars on the course, but we did hear the sound of screaming V-8 power from across the Ohio Expo Center grounds. With only Friday being dedicated to running the autocross, it was a huge disappointment to those looking forward to seeing the baddest muscle cars in the country being driven to the edge of their limits, or limits of the drivers. On a positive note, word from the Goodguys officials is that the autocross will be run on Friday and Saturday at this event in 2011. Friday will be reserved for the SMOY competitors and Saturday will be opened up to anyone who wants to compete. We really like that.
Camaros not only represented in big numbers at the show, but also in quality, as two of the Top Five finalists for Street Machine of the Year were Camaros. Michael Manning's flawless '69 built by Detroit Speed Inc. made the cut, as did Karen Leisinger's '67 built by Roger Burman and the crew at Lakeside Rods and Rides in Rockwell City, Iowa. Once the judges' votes were tallied Saturday afternoon, it was Leisinger's highly modified '67 that took home the SMOY hardware. Leisinger, a devout Camaro enthusiast, named her '67 Scar due to the number of cuts and stretches administered to the finely crafted sheetmetal to get the car built to her specifications and the Eric Brockmeyer rendering. This is certainly one of the most unique first-generation Camaros ever built. The car features styling cues from a fifth-generation Camaro front and back and has an actual roof from a '10 Camaro. The attention to detail on this car is incredible and must be seen in person to be truly appreciated. For now, you can check out the full feature beginning on page 66.
With the 13th PPG Goodguys Nationals in the books, go ahead, bank up that vacation time for next year's show. Besides, there's a good chance a Camaro will walk away with the 2011 SMOY award, and you don't want to miss that.