Sunday, September 4, 2011

2011 Goodguys Midwestern Nationals pictures and coverage. More than 780 photos mean there will be something you love

When it comes to car shows in Kansas City, Labor Day weekend is one of my favorites of the year. And there are no bigger shows in this area than the Goodguys Rod and Custom show, held in the infield of Kansas Speedway.

The attendance seemed to be down a little compared to previous years, but even at that, it was a hell of a lot of cars. We were talking about this at lunch today, and came to the conclusion that the flooding along I-29 had to hurt participation. I know that there were guys in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, etc., that didn't want to take that long detour with all kinds of semi trucks on two-lane roads to get to this event. It'll be nice when the river finally gets all back where it goes, and travel gets back to normal around here.

And just because there were a few less cars, that speedway infield didn't get any smaller. When you go to this show, expect to do a lot of walking. My dad even rented a candy apple red electric scooter with flame stickers. I wanted to make fun of him, but after listening to my dogs bark at the end of the day, I have to admit, he looked pretty smart.

Participating in this Goodguys show is quite a commitment. It is expensive to enter. The scale of the facilities can be overwhelming. And the big-buck hot rods and customs can be intimidating.

But once you're in, you're glad you did it. We got there early on Saturday, and parked where we could watch the majority of the cars and trucks drive in. If we didn't look at another thing all day, we were treated to an awesome parade in the cool morning air.

But that's not all we did. We checked out the swap meet and car corral, and even though we didn't buy anything, it was fun to look at. They also had vendors, model cars, even a craft fair for the "Goodgals."

But the cars are the real reason you go to this show, and there were some sweet ones. I think it's fun to look at things that were built with unlimited funds, where the only thing that held back the design was someone's imagination. You always hear people say stuff like, "I don't like those cars because all someone did was open their wallet and pay for it." That may be true, and it may not, but someone still had to build these cars. Flawless craftsmanship and attention to detail takes hard work. Whether it was the owner's hard work or someone else's really doesn't matter. The point is, when I see it, I know how to appreciate it.

I tend to gravitate toward nice, traditional hot rods and customs, as well as exceptional stock vehicles, over the more modern, radical builds. Goodguys had a really impressive roadster display in front of one of the race car garages. There were several honest, period-correct '40s/'50s-style '32 Fords and such along in there. They also had several customs, trucks, and muscle cars parked in groups at various locations.

There were certainly things that I liked better than others, but there were so many cars, I don't know if I can list my favorites. If there are lots of pictures of one car, there's a chance I thought that one was worth a little extra effort. And honestly, for every car I loved, there was probably another one that I just didn't get at all. Of course, that's the point of a show like this--you get to see a large variety of cars built by a large variety of people, and just because I might think something is cool doesn't mean someone else will.

I didn't take pictures of every single car out there on Saturday, and I still managed to assemble the largest slideshow I've ever done here on this blog. There are 782--you read that right--782 pictures in the slideshow below. So if you see a car that you don't like, keep watching, because there absolutely will be one that you do. I hope you enjoy them!


  1. "780 photos means there will be something you love" ; I Reckon!!! Lots of stuff to love - thanks for posting.

  2. Shame on you, no photos of Mr. Shaky. :p A lot of good photos, thanks for sharing.