A rooftop view of the 2016 Goodguys Nashville Nationals. Photos courtesy Goodguys.
Since 1998, and with a few exceptions, participation at Goodguys car shows and autocross events has been open to American-powered rods, customs, classics, trucks, street machines, and muscle cars built no later than 1972. For 2018, the organization that bills itself as “the world’s largest hot rodding association” has relaxed its rules a bit, opening up participation at most events to American vehicles built as late as 1987.
Founded by Gary Meadows in 1983, Goodguys began as a one-day gathering, open to American cars of any vintage. Later, as the show grew in popularity and expanded to multiple events across the country, a cutoff year of 1959 was adopted to keep the focus on hot rods and customs. Over the years this date was changed to reflect the wishes of the membership, first expanding to 1962, then to 1964, and finally to 1972, a change that took place almost two decades ago.
Revising the year to 1987 will allow participation by a variety of cars popular with street rodders and customizers, including Fox-platform Mustangs, third-generation Camaros and Firebirds, late-production GM G-bodies (such as the Chevy Monte Carlo and the Buick Grand National), Ford Mavericks, and custom vans. Such vehicles were previously allowed to participate only in Goodguys “Get Togethers” and “Super Sundays,” open to American cars of any vintage, but were ineligible to compete for Top-12 “Cars of the Year” awards like Street Machine of the Year, Muscle Machine of the Year, Muscle Car of the Year, Truck of the Year and Autocrosser of the Year.
Though the 2018 Goodguys show schedule is still being developed, spokesman John Drummond tells us that 20 events are anticipated next year, the same as in 2017. The rule changes will go into effect with the Spring Nationals, which typically take place in March in Scottsdale, Arizona. One event, August’s West Coast Nationals in California, will retain the existing cutoff year of 1972, a nod to both the organization’s roots and the focus of the event. As before, Sundays at Goodguys National events will remain open to all years, makes, and models of American-powered vehicles.
John tells us that the change has been in the works for the past two years, and while not all members agree with the decision, nearly 70 percent of those surveyed believed the time was right for a change. Opening Sunday events to cars of all years hasn’t created a massive influx of new members, and Goodguys projects that the rule changes will add between 150 and 300 cars to each event.
With up to 100,000 visitors and participants attending the larger events, even 300 more cars likely won’t be noticed. Still, Goodguys wants its members and fans to know that space won’t be an issue, and event boundaries will be adjusted on an as-needed basis.