Sunday, May 18, 2014

9th-Annual Goodguys Nashville Nationals brought 2,000 cars to the Tennessee Titan Stadium

Ever since I moved to Nashville and people learned that I write about car shows, everyone has asked me if I would be going to the Goodguys Nashville Nationals.  Well, of course I went there.  Casual car lovers and out-and-out fanatics all make it to this 2,000-car extravaganza held in the Tennessee Titan Stadium parking lot.  And maybe the best part of it is that you are surrounded by Nashville’s impressive downtown skyline.  This is a cool place for this event, and this is by far the best car show I’ve been to in the Music City so far.

I really loved this ’56 Chevy Bel Air two-door sedan.  Goodguys is a rod and custom show, and despite its mild appearance, this is a custom.  These paint colors were available on the original color palate—Crocus Yellow and Onyx Black.  But it had a Corvette theme with ’59-’62-style Corvette wheel covers and steering wheel.  The Interior was impeccably finished off in black pleated leather that stayed true to the original pattern.  It would have been very hard to make this ’56 any better.  We’re talking massive curb appeal here.

This ’57 Chevy pickup had even more Corvette influence.  The interior of this thing was absolutely amazing.  They managed to take the entire interior out of a Midyear Corvette and fit it in here like it came that way.  Dash, seats, console, and steering wheel—it was all there.  Under the hood was a late-model Chevy ZL1 engine to provide plenty of grunt.  The big, modern wheels had a vintage Halibrand style, and they were wrapped in a set of redline tires.  As high-end custom trucks go, this one was about as nice as I’ve ever seen.

I don’t normally get too excited about these really cut down hot rods, but this one was hard not to notice.  It’s called “All Cashed Out,” and the Johnny Cash-themed sedan was built by Ricky Bobby’s Hot Rod Shop right here in Nashville.  This one stood out not only because of the amazing quality, but also because of the Cadillac influence.  The engine and wheel centers were all Cadillac parts, and the gigantic wheels and skylights were real attention-getters.  This thing drew a massive crowd all day.  I think the Man in Black would have liked this car, but at 6’, 2”, I’m not sure he would have fit in it.

Now, I do always get excited about ‘50s Cadillacs, including this stunning ’58 Eldorado Seville.  This is obviously not a hot rod, but these babies were pretty customized straight from the factory.  They only made 855 of these, so you aren’t going to see one every day.  They cost $7,500 in 1958, which no doubt contributes to their rarity.  This one was finished in Somerset Blue with a white interior.  Under the hood is a Cadillac-exclusive 355-c.i. V8 with three carburetors and 335-hp.  Just look at this thing.  Can you imagine going to a new car showroom and buying a car like this today?  Fabulous.

Two days ago I was reading a feature about this exact same ’56 Buick in Hot Rod Magazine, and then boom, there it was right in front of me.  This was built by the well-known shop Rad Rides by Troy in Manteno, Ill., and it had the distinction of winning the 2013 Goodguys Custom Rod of the Year.  Nothing on this car is as it seems, because every inch of it has been massaged and rework in one way or another.  Even the old Buick Nailhead was beefed up with a hidden twin-turbo setup.  This is what happens when one of the most talented shops in the world gets an unlimited budged to rework a ’56 Buick.

There were a ton of muscle cars at this show, but none of them grabbed my attention like this Butternut Yellow ’68 Chevelle SS.  This one had a 375-hp 396 big block with a four speed.  The steel wheels and redlines really set it off in the looks department. White parchment bucket seats and black carpets completed the package.  I see a lot of old Chevelles out there, but few of them are as striking as this one. 

Between all the cars, the swap meet, the car corral, and the autocross track, I could continue to write forever.  But instead, I’ll let you look at the pictures.  This was such a big Mcgillicutty that I had to break the slideshow up into two parts.  We’re talking about 990 pictures here, folks.  Check them out in the slideshow below, or click on the following links for nicer versions.

Slideshow part 1

Slideshow part 2


  1. Great show. Great cars. Great website. Keep it up!

  2. nice job, craig. looks like Nashville and surrounds are treating you well with car shows and such. - mike t.