Read the Custom Rodder event coverage of the 12th Goodguys southeastern nationals.
Charlotte, North Carolina, Hosts The 12th Goodguys Southeastern Nats
From the August, 2010 issue of Custom Rodder
Author: Damon Lee
Autumn is a great time to visit the southeastern United States. The air is crisp, the evenings are long and cool, and the leaves on the trees are beginning to make their brilliant transition to hues of amber, bronze, and gold.
Driving through the colorful rolling hills of North Carolina, it's hard for any car enthusiast not to think about the moonshiners who sped through them decades ago. It was those outlaws who laid the foundation for what has become one of the nation's biggest sports and one of the region's life bloods: NASCAR. The sport's influence quickly becomes apparent when you see how many race shops dot the area's hillsides, particularly as you head northeast from downtown Charlotte and approach the massive Lowe's Motor Speedway complex in Concord.
It should come as no surprise, then, that there are thousands of car enthusiasts in the region, with interests that run the gamut from race cars to customs, street rods, trucks, and musclecars. The folks at Goodguys learned this long ago when they brought the Southeastern Nationals to Lowe's Speedway. They really made a smart decision a few years later, when they began holding the event in the cooler weather of late October.
The 12th annual Southeastern Nats, held Oct. 28-30, had even more pigment than the autumn hills, plus all the other elements that enthusiasts have come to expect from this and other Goodguys events. Several thousand vehicles--many from as far away as New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and even Canada--made the pilgrimage to Charlotte for what was probably their last big show of the season. Those who wished could even fulfill their circle-track dreams by participating in the Saturday night track cruise, and do a good deed in the process by donating to the Ronald McDonald House charity.
For Custom Rodder, the Southeastern Nats was the third and final stop for the 2005 Top Ten program. True to form, it was tough limiting our choices to 10, as there were many choice rides on the Lowe's infield. Our final list was an interesting study in contrasts. There was a contemporary '49 Ford alongside a sectioned, traditional '50; a '60s-style '55 Chevy contrasted by a smooth modern version; and a mild '52 Buick paired with a hot rod-red '54, both with Cadillac taillights. All in all, we thought it was an interesting, eclectic bunch of cars.
Take a gander at what we've rounded up on the next few pages, and see if you don't agree that Charlotte is a great place for viewing autumn colors of a different nature.
There are a ton of resto rod...
There are a ton of resto rod '50s cars in the Southeast. Darryl and Gladys Rodgers' bright yellow '52 Chevy "steel woodie" wagon is a nice example, and a regular at the Goodguys Charlotte show.
Another neat resto rod was...
Another neat resto rod was Milburn and Joyce Hubbard's Forest Green '54 Plymouth, which has a highly polished small-block Chevy with Street & Performance injection underhood, a Fatman IFS stub guiding the chassis, and 16-inch Billet Specialties wheels at each corner.
Barry Franz brought his slick,...
Barry Franz brought his slick, black '57 Coupe de Ville all the way from New Jersey. The shaved, slammed Cad looks sharp with billet rollers and a contemporary, light beige cabin.
Our Top Ten picks included...
Our Top Ten picks included a quartet of Buicks, led off by Frank Kallam's hot rod-flavored '54 Special. The bright red beauty has shaved trim and handles, frenched '59 Cadillac taillights, and 17- and 18-inch Boyd Coddington wheels. A Fatman IFS frame stub supports the 502ci Chevy big-block, while a 700-R4 sends power to a 9-inch rearend swinging on a four-bar setup. Air Ride springs and Wilwood discs are at each corner. Frank keeps comfortable inside with tan leather seats, Classic Instruments gauges, and an ididit column.
We saw quite a few '61 Buicks...
We saw quite a few '61 Buicks at summer events last year. Jack Moody's was one of the nicest. Shaved smooth and sporting a custom grille, Lexus door handles, and airbrushed portholes, the Stiletto packs a serious punch with a fuel-injected 502 tied to a 4L80E transmission. Four-wheel Baer brakes, Firestone airbags, and 18- and 20-inch Budniks round out the chassis package. The full custom interior features Eldorado seats covered in lobster-colored Ultraleather, which contrasts nicely with the Viper Silver paint.
We could have sworn that Harvey...
We could have sworn that Harvey Bagshaw's New York-based '55 Chevy was sectioned, but he tells us he merely raised the wheel openings and sectioned the hood and grille opening on his just-finished custom. He also frenched in shortened '54 Merc taillights, added shortened '58 Chevy trim, and covered everything in House of Kolor Candy Tangerine with a 'flaked, lace-painted top. There are airbags on the chassis, a 350/four-speed combo under the hood, plus a smoothed dash and parchment-colored rolls 'n' pleats inside.
Linda Boudreaux's husband,...
Linda Boudreaux's husband, Michael, built her this '53 Studebaker, but Linda designed the color scheme comprised of House of Kolor True Blue Pearl and PPG Silver divided by a lime green stripe. American Racing's Hopster wheels (17x7 and 17x8) complement the colors and attach to a 10-bolt Chevy rearend and Mustang II IFS. There's a 430hp 383 small-block under the hood, and dove gray Ultraleather wrapped around '88 Mazda seats inside. The Boudreauxs hail from LaPlace, LA.
You really have to study Clayton...
You really have to study Clayton Moorman's '55 Chevy to catch all the mods performed by Stewart's Rod Shop. Besides the very slight angle-chopped top, there are '53 Studebaker headlights, flipped and tucked bumpers, '57 Chevy reverse lights used as parking lights, and '56 T-bird door handles. Custom inner fenders surround the stroked small-block, while air springs and four-wheel discs help tuck and stop the 16- and 17-inch Colorado Custom wheels. Impala buckets and Classic Instruments gauges are just two of the many features in the full-custom cabin.
Larry Page's Tangelo Pearl...
Larry Page's Tangelo Pearl El Camino is one of the more radical-looking '59 Chevys we've seen in a while. The extensive Bobby Withrow bodywork includes a 2 1/4-inch top chop (employing a '59 Buick Electra windshield), completely shaved trim, rolled pans, a smooth bed, and fuel filler hidden behind the left taillight. Underneath the slick body is a LT1 small-block, 700-R4 automatic, four-wheel discs, and 18-inch Boyd Coddington wheels. Inside the cab you'll find tan leather upholstery and Classic Instruments dials.
Mike and Connie Russell's...
Mike and Connie Russell's '49 Ford was an anniversary present from Connie's mother a few years ago. (Connie's father bought it shortly before he passed away.) It's got a Fatman IFS stub, 350/350 combo, 8-inch rearend, and 17-inch Boyd Coddington rollers. The Volvo Casis Pearl paint covers a smoothed body with frenched headlights, shaved handles, and extended front wheel openings. Two-tone tan synthetic leather covers the bucket seats, while Auto Meter dials and Vintage Air fill the dash.
Ronnie Staples' '50 Ford earned...
Ronnie Staples' '50 Ford earned a Custom Rod of the Year finalist spot from Goodguys earlier in the year, and got a Top Ten award from us at Charlotte. Besides the 5-inch section job, this neat custom sports '55 Chevy headlights, a '57 Vette grille, '49 Buick taillights, and bumperettes made from '50 Pontiac bumper overriders. Turquoise wheels and pearl white upholstery contrast the black body, while a Fatman IFS stub and 350 Chevy (dressed up as a Y-block) tied to a three-speed keep the cruiser on the road.
Allen Warlick's '52 Buick...
Allen Warlick's '52 Buick is a simple, mild custom that's simply cool. Shaved emblems, frenched headlights, custom cruiser skirts, and frenched '59 Cadillac taillights are all highlighted by Sikkens Autumn Orange paint with subtle ghost flames. Powered by a Chevy 350 and TH350 trans, the Buick heads down the road on a lowered stock suspension with wide whites and Cadillac hubcaps. Cream-colored rolls 'n' pleats, meanwhile, fill the cruise-worthy cabin.
Robbie Carroll's Maryland-based...
Robbie Carroll's Maryland-based '64 Riviera is cool enough on its own, but seems even cooler when you learn that Robbie is only 18 and built much of the car himself. Set up with an Air Ride system and 18- and 20-inch Intro wheels, the low-down Riv looks sharp with a '65 center grille, frenched taillights, and House of Kolor Sunset Pearl paint on the shaved body. There's a dual-quad 425ci Nailhead between the fenders, and handmade aluminum dash and door inserts complementing factory-style white upholstery.