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By Jan Wagner - syndicated weekly columnist/photojournalist
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2007 Goodguys Del Mar Nationals

 

The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association’s show has become an eagerly anticipated annual event in beautiful Del Mar, California, with the cool blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and tall palm trees serving as the backdrop for its collection of rods, customs and classics.

 
1957 Buick station wagon

While many, if not most, of these vehicles had humble beginnings, the meticulous attention to detail in both their restoration and customization transcends what rolled out onto the showroom floors years ago.

 

 

Some of the street rods present were valued at over one million dollars each, and were brought here from all over the country and beyond.

 

 

This was more than just a car show. Hundreds of vendors were represented here too. Participants and spectators alike were tempted with parts and car care products, automotive art, books, food, music, camaraderie and more. As always, this annual event was fun for the entire family.


1968 Corvette

Goodguys has the resources to put on great car shows. Founded in 1983, the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association’s membership has grown to almost 70,000 auto enthusiasts, supported by a full time staff of about 40 and many enthusiastic volunteers. It has produced over 450 events since then in 17 states.

The first event, held back in 1983, was at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds in Northern California. 400 cars were on display. In contrast, over 2,500 were expected for this year’s Del Mar Nationals.

Since the first one in 1989, 60 of the past events were vintage drag races. That first event was held at Infineon Raceway (formerly Sears Point) – the same motorsports facility that welcomed NASCAR NEXTEL CUP racing recently. The venue shifted to Bakersfield’s Famoso Raceway in 1994. Today the “March Meet” is billed as being the “largest Vintage Drag Race in the World, attracting over 500 race cars and tens of thousands of spectators.”

The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association is a dream come true for founders Gary and Marilyn Meadors. According to Gary, “Marilyn and I are two of the luckiest people in the world to have been able to follow our passion.” That is how I feel about AutoMatters and is what drives me to constantly improve and further develop it.

Their son Marc has followed in their footsteps. He is an avid hot rodder and drag racer, and serves as Goodguys’ Senior Vice President. He was quoted as saying “we all take great pride in the fact that our events have something for the old school rod & custom guys, the hi-end street rodders, the ‘get in it and drive it’ hot rodders, the muscle car aficionados, the street machine set and now the retro rod guys and gals. We see them all at our events and we’re glad they have chosen Goodguys as their Association.”


1923 Ford T-Bucket

Goodguys shows are held in over 20 locations throughout the year, from one end of this country to the other, and from north to south. This summer will keep auto enthusiasts very busy, with national events in Tennessee, Iowa, Ohio, Washington State, Wisconsin, California and Kansas. The 2007 event season is scheduled to wind up on November 16, 17 and 18 in Scottsdale, Arizona. For up-to-date information, visit www.good-guys.com.

Enjoy the full spread of photos from this AutoMatters and others in the column archives at www.AutoMatters.net.  If you would like to share your car, truck, road trip, car art, vacations, racing, car movies, famous people, driving and other automobile-related stories, please send them to AutoMatters@gmail.com. Drive safely and do join me again next time.

Copyright © 2007 Jan R. Wagner – #236r1 AutoMatters 

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