Tuesday, May 17, 2016

11th-Annual 2016 Goodguys Nashville Nationals at the Tennessee Titans Stadium

Of all the car shows I go to, few match the quality and quantity of a Goodguys event. That was true again with the 11th running of the Goodguys Nashville Nationals, which is held in the parking lots surrounding the Tennessee Titans Stadium. There were easily 2,000 cars out there on Saturday, plus a pretty good swap meet, plus perfect weather. I’m not sure how you can beat a deal like this. I know one thing; I definitely got my exercise while I was out there taking pictures. But it was worth it to get an up-close view of all these beautiful rides.

This ’64 Pontiac Catalina Safari station wagon was one of my favorites. They made more than 20,000 of these when they were new, but when was the last time you actually saw one? The card in the window claimed that this one a one-owner, 30,000-mile original. All I know is that this car looked great with its Cameo Ivory paint, eight-lug wheels and Marimba Red Morrokide interior. There was not a flaw to be found—it looked good from every angle. This is one impressive grocery-getter.

Of course, Goodguys is all about the hot rods, and this one was outstanding. This ’31 Model A, built by Brian George and Ben York, was crowned the 2016 Goodguys Hot Rod of the Year at the Nashville event. And why wouldn’t it? Look at those rare, gleaming Ardun heads and vintage supercharger. Look at those subtle changes to the body, and that stylish DuVall windshield. Even the Edmunds and Jones headlights give it that exotic, high-end look. Front-to-back, inside-and-out, this is one of the nicest roadsters I’ve seen in a long time.

If you’re more into high-end customs than high-end hot rods, Joe Horsik’s ’61 Impala may be the car for you. Known as the “Double Bubble,” this two-door hardtop was masterfully crafted into a sleek two-door wagon. Everything on this car was massaged, tweaked, and altered. From the ridiculously detailed 409 under the hood, to the custom aluminum wheels that look like larger versions of the original wheel covers, to the original dash trim that was cut down and centered, this car is truly a work of art. An even though it was crammed in between a couple of other cars here, it was in its fancy display when it took home a Great 8 award at the Detroit Autorama.

This car is not customized, but it had so much style from the factory that you might think that it was. The ’61 Chrysler 300G looks like a concept car, with canted headlights, a push-button transmission gear selector, an translucent steering wheel. Even the 413-c.i. V8 with its wild cross-ram intake is unusual looking. There are a ton of details to study on this Alaskan White 300. Every little piece of it has some level of visual interest. Seriously, find one boring bit on this car. You can’t do it. And the amazing part is that Chrysler managed to take all these little details and make them look good together. There’s a lot going on here, but it flows. This is a fantastic looking car.

There were tons of muscle cars at this event, but none as radical as this ’68 Camaro. This is normally not the type of thing that I would write about, but I saw it drive by on the way out, and it seemed way more impressive on the move than it did just sitting there. Obviously, nothing was left untouched on this beast. Known as “Impulse,” it looked more like a life-sized Hot Wheels car than a real car that actual people could ride in. It was originally built for the 2015 SEMA show and it would definitely fit in there. It amazes me that there are people in the world who have the skill to build something like this. And while first-gen Camaros are a pretty common sight at almost any car show, you sure aren’t going to see another one like this.

I think the truck population may be multiplying, because there sure were a lot of them at this show. I was especially impressed with this ’64 GMC Suburban. This rig looked like it came right off the showroom floor. It also had all the Custom trim inside and out. This would have been the ultimate family wagon in 1964—when a Vista Cruiser just wouldn’t do. Under the hood was the torque-heavy, gas-hungry 305 V6, which would have pulled the family bass boat or camper and not even noticed. Teal Mist was a pretty nice color on one of these. It kind of makes it seem cool even on a hot day. You have to wonder what kind of vacations this truck has been on over the last 52 years.

I’m not always into modified, modernized Corvettes, but there’s no denying that this one is impressive. It’s basically a 1962 Corvette body paired up with a late model Corvette ZR1 drivetrain. There’s not a lot of original ’62 left here. It was definitely done nice, though. There interior really stands out. They retained the waterfall design and the basic shape of the dashboard, but everything else is modern and super high-quality. The custom red leather on everything is gorgeous. The gauges are mostly where they would have bene originally, but everything is reimagined. This car even has special “ZR62” badges throughout.

I took a lot of pictures at the 11th-Annual Goodguys Nashville Nationals. I mean, A LOT. 1,089 to be exact. I told you I got plenty of exercise. You can see them all in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.

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