02000-20210930-1003 Goodguys 20th Del Mar Nationals-Goodguys Autocross+Winners Circle awards ceremony w iPh AUDIO of top award nominees+lowriders after event-28-200 w crop-A1


Much more than just a car show

After a long absence due to COVID-19, GOODGUYS Del Mar Nationals returned to the Del Mar Fairgrounds, on a beautiful 3-day October weekend in Southern California.

Arriving on Thursday, the day before the show starts

This mega event is so much more than just a car show. At this year’s event, they pulled out all the stops. Listed on the event program were: a swap meet and “4 Sale Corral,” a model and pedal car show that included a “Free Kids’ Model Make & Take,” a massive indoor car show, a stunning PPG lowrider display, vendors and exhibitors, a featured car club (Der Kleiner Kampfwagens), a Del Mar Cruise, the always thrilling GOODGUYS CPP Autocross, live nostalgia entertainment, the GOODGUYS Nitro Thunderfest presented by Summit Racing (dragsters) and a burn-out competition.

Each participant received a custom dash plaque in the GOODGUYS “Saturday Specialty Parking Areas,” which included: “Trick Truck Corral — All trucks are welcome,” “Homebuilt Heaven — Did you build it yourself? Park here for recognition,” “Ya Gotta Drive ‘Em — Did you drive over 300 miles to get here? — Drivers wanted,” “Deuce Doins — Make Henry Ford proud, show off your ’32 here,” “Builder’s Choice — Going for top awards of the event? This area is for you. Selected by Charley Hutton,” “Lowrider Showcase — Low and slow? Park here!,” “Tri-Five Chevys — All ’55, ’56 & ’57 Chevys welcome,” “Mighty Muscle — Factory correct or modified — show your Muscle here. Muscle Car of the Year finalist selected from this area,” “Camaro Corral — All Camaros welcome,” “The Next Generation — 25 years or younger? Park here!,” “Air Cooled Corral — All air cooled cars welcome!” and last, but certainly not least, “Good Wood — Got wood? Park Here!”

A woodie

My time at the Del Mar Nationals was very limited this year. I covered and took lots of pictures of the “All American Sunday” portion of the GOODGUYS CPP “Duel in Del Mar” autocross, with 1988 and newer muscle cars, hot rods, sportscars and trucks. That was followed by the Wilwood 8-car All American Shootout, where the drivers competed for the top autocross honors.

The Del Mar Nationals autocross course on the Del Mar Fairgrounds
Beginning a timed run on the autocross course
Knocking down or displacing a pylon out of its marked box incurs a time penalty.
Precision driving — getting as close to the apex of this turn as possible — straightens out the turn and saves time.
That spectacularly downed pylon represents a time penalty
Track workers reset downed and/or displaced pylons.

In past years I had also competed in the “All American Sunday” autocross in my 2011 Mustang GT, but I sold that car in order to buy my Racing Orange 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata. That does not qualify as an American car.

After photographing the autocross, I quickly headed over to the “Winners Circle” event where I took more pictures, as car after car (and truck) drove up to the reviewing stand. There, the honored winners were presented with over 100 awards, as spectators sat on the grass, clapped and enjoyed the procession. The selection criteria, which varied by the award, included superior body and paint, engineering, fit & finish, modifications, components, styling, handling and more.

The final, and most prestigious, award of the 2021 Good Guys Del Mar Nationals was the Street Rod D’Elegance award. As reported in a Goodguys “Fuel Curve” news story linked from the primary GOODGUYS website, “one of the oldest and most storied of the Goodguys/Meguiar’s Top 12 ‘Of The Year’ honors, Street Rod d’Elegance is awarded to the most elegant and gorgeous pre-’49 vehicle from among the contenders at the Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals.”

The finalists entered the “Winners Circle” as a group.

After each entrant was interviewed, the recipient of the Street Rod d’Elegance was announced: Gary Devine, for his 1932 Ford Roadster Pickup. Dave Shuten at Galpin Auto Sports was credited for his exquisite detail work on Gary’s roadster.

Gary Devine won the Street Rod d’Elegance award for his 1932 Ford Roadster Pickup
Gary Devine with his Street Rod d’Elegance award for his 1932 Ford Roadster Pickup

For a full photo spread by Damon Lee, editor of the Goodguys Gazette, visit: www.fuelcurve.com/gary-devine-2021-street-rod-delegance/

Even though the weekend’s event was officially over, after the “Winners Circle” presentations I quickly made my way over to the building where the lowriders exhibit had been.

It was outside that building, parked in the late afternoon sun, that I came upon one of the most gorgeous lowriders that I have ever seen.

Guy Russell’s beautiful lowrider is named “Final Judgement.” It began its life as a 1964 Chevrolet Impala. Guy is a member of the Majestics San Diego car club. The detail work on his car is absolutely incredible. The customization process included paint and body, murals, upholstery, engine, brakes, hydraulics, chrome, engraving, exhaust, LED lighting, audio and more.

Going Home…

Leaving the Fairgrounds after the Del Mar Nationals…

Copyright © 2021 by Jan Wagner – AutoMatters & More 712r1

Jan Wagner


  1. Ale Wong on October 8, 2021 at 5:32 am

    Wonderful Work of Wagner as expected

    • Jan Wagner on October 8, 2021 at 11:06 pm

      You are too kind. Thank you!


    • Jan Wagner on January 27, 2022 at 5:06 pm

      Hi Albert,
      I am now working with my web host (GoDaddy) to add functionality and make the website look even better. This week I’ve hopefully added functionality to this website that notifies commenters via email when anyone replies to their comments. Did you receive an automatic notification of this reply?

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