Read the Custom Rodder event coverage of the 8th annual Goodguys PPG Nationals from Columbus.
Customs In Columbus
The 8th Annual Goodguys PPG Nationals
From the July, 2009 issue of Custom Rodder
Author: Damon Lee
Good car shows are not necessarily big, and big car shows are not necessarily good. But the Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, has both qualities and then some.
While many Goodguys events use "Nationals" in their names, and most draw cars from multiple states, there's something a bit more grandiose about Columbus. Geared from the start to be the organization's "big one," Columbus quickly grew in size to become one of the largest car shows in the country. It also quickly gained stature, becoming one of the most prominent outdoor events in the nation.
This year, for the 8th annual Goodguys Nationals held July 8-10, more than 6,000 registered cars rolled through the gates and filled the Ohio Expo Center. And with a 1972 cutoff year, there was as much variety as an enthusiast could want--customs, hot rods, stockers, musclecars, street machines, and trucks. Throw in scores of vendors, a swap meet, and multiple seminars given by some of the top names in the aftermarket, and you have an event that can truly keep a spectator busy for its entire three-day run.
Beyond the size, one of the things that struck us most about the 2005 Nats was the vehicle quality, which just keeps getting better. Not only that, but it seems many car builders are crafting machines specifically to vie for two Goodguys signature awards--Street Rod of the Year and Street Machine of the Year. We took particular notice of the Street Machine of the Year candidates since many now incorporate a lot of street rod and custom car influences. In fact, this year's Street Machine of the Year--Roy Pigford's Texas-based '66 Nova--is a former Custom Rodder Top Ten winner that sports a chopped top, custom grille, relocated wheel openings, and countless other sheetmetal mods.Speaking of metal mods, the King of Kustomizers, George Barris, was even on hand to talk with spectators and participants as part of the Goodguys Hot Rod Heroes program. Goodguys president Gary Meadors called Barris "the great communicator" of the '50s and '60s. "He showed the world how to customize cars through his magazine articles," Meadors said.
Of course, there were also Custom Rodder Top Ten awards handed out, along with Boyd Coddington Pro's Picks and a number of other specialty trophies. In short, there were scores of reasons to check out this massive gathering of four-wheeled insanity. If you live within a day's drive of Columbus, you owe it to yourself to experience the Goodguys Nats firsthand next year.
Richard Stokes trekked up...
Richard Stokes trekked up from Texas with several cool vintage compacts--a '61 Olds Cutlass, a slick black Falcon, and this neat '62 Rambler wagon that was recently purchased by Nancy and Scotty Gray. The longroof shines with bright green paint, sits low over 18- and 20-inch Billet Specialties wheels, and sports small-block Chevy power and a full custom butterscotch vinyl interior.
This '60 Thunderbird used...
This '60 Thunderbird used to be a daily driver for Brandon Glymph. When it needed some minor body repair, he brought it to his father, Richard, a top-shelf custom painter in Silver Spring, MD. It rolled out of Richard's booth looking like this. Obviously inspired by Larry Watson's famous 'Bird, the cool cruiser features pearl white paint with Prowler Orange panels, a custom bullet grille, '59 Bonneville taillights, and T-bird wire wheels. It's mostly stock inside and under the hood.
It was great to see Mike Terzich's...
It was great to see Mike Terzich's former cover car (May '05) '56 Olds 98 out in the sun after so many indoor events. For those who missed the feature, the brawny Olds sports a Morrison chassis, 555ci Chevy big-block with EFI, and subtle body mods like a pie-cut hood, handmade side trim, frenched reverse lights, and House of Kolor paint. Word has it that the 20- and 22-inch Billet Specialties wheels have seen some road time, too.
You might suspect that it...
You might suspect that it took a team of high-paid professionals to perform all the mods on Ed Britz's '49 Cadillac convertible. In reality, Ed built the two-seat custom himself. Highlights on the sectioned body include a '48 grille, '52 taillights, modified '55 rear bumper, handmade fender skirts, and a chopped windshield. A folding GTO top tucks away beneath the custom tonneau cover, complementing the leather '98 Eldorado seats. A 500-inch Cad V-8, TH400, and Gear Vendors overdrive get the 15-inch Colorado Custom wheels turning.
We first spied Mike Legault's...
We first spied Mike Legault's '70 Chevy Impala at the Detroit Autorama, but were thrilled to see its metalflake finish glistening outside in Columbus. Built as a guy might have done one when new, the long 'n' lean cruiser has a flawlessly restored interior and engine, polished Americans with skinny whitewalls, shaved trim, a tube grille, and Plymouth Prowler orange paint with House of Kolor Apricot Flake accents and pinstriping.
We were happy to have two...
We were happy to have two women car owners in our Top Ten, including Judy Henson and her '54 Chrysler convertible. Besides the shaved emblems and bright BMW teal paint, Judy's drop-top Windsor features frenched headlights, frenched '54 Chevy-style taillights, a Mustang II IFS with Air Ride ShockWaves, and a Mopar 360 crate engine backed by a 727 Torqueflite. Tan leather upholstery, Classic Instruments, and Vintage Air keep her comfy inside.
Seth Wagner's '49 Ford coupe...
Seth Wagner's '49 Ford coupe has a definite performance vibe with its supercharged 351 V-8, custom IFS, 9-inch rear, and 17- and 18-inch Billet Specialties wheels. But there's plenty of "custom" there, too, including a chopped top, frenched lights, custom grille, and intricate CNC-machined side trim dividing the PPG orange and champagne-colored paint. Inside there's yards of brown and tan leather.
Tom and Ron Blanton's '55...
Tom and Ron Blanton's '55 Nomad, built by Dale and Stacy Johns, had a certifiable buzz around it all weekend. The ultra-straight body, House of Kolor Kosmos Red paint, 18- and 20-inch Coddington wheels, and Air Ride stance sucked people in. After that, the radical red leather interior with console-mounted gauges kept 'em looking. And under the hood? How about a dual-quad 348 backed by a Borg-Warner six speed?
I gained a lot of appreciation...
I gained a lot of appreciation for Bill Van Sickle's '67 LeMans convertible while riding in it during Tom's Fun Run en route to Columbus. The mildly modified Poncho looks sharp thanks to shaved emblems, custom taillights, air springs, big-inch American Salt Flat wheels, and Ford Bright Amber paint on the outside, complemented by cream-colored vinyl upholstery, Bonspeed gauges, and pearl inlay accents inside. Power comes from a 400ci engine backed by a 200-4R overdrive automatic.
Jan Stepp was our other Top...
Jan Stepp was our other Top Ten gal with her '59 Cadillac four-door hardtop. Powered by a mid-'90s Northstar mill, the big Cad gets down on custom front and rear suspensions with Air Ride Technologies 'bags and 18-inch Budnik Muroc rims. The partially de-chromed body is covered with PPG Candy Tangerine paint, while the expansive interior sports cream-colored leather, Vintage Air, and Alpine tunes.
Mild customs don't get much...
Mild customs don't get much cooler than early '60s Cadillacs. Rob Mlady has his '61 Coupe DeVille looking sharp with shaved door handles and emblems, and custom-mixed pearl yellow paint. An Air Ride Technologies system tucks the wide whitewalls and '57 Cadillac caps up where they belong. A stock 390 keeps the Cleveland-based Cad cruising, while white upholstery and Pioneer tunes keep Rob comfy inside.