Hot rods, classic cars roll into Del Mar Fairgrounds

The first car show the Goodguys put on was a one-day get-together in March 1983, drawing 400 cars to the Pleasanton Fairgrounds in Northern California. Since then, the 70,000-member strong Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has hosted nearly 500 events for car buffs across the country. The Goodguys 10th Del Mar Nationals, April 9 through 11, is slated to fill the Del Mar Fairgrounds with more than 2,000 hot rods, classics, customs, muscle cars and trucks going back to 1972 and earlier. Cars are coming from as far away as Hawaii and New Jersey to vie for the coveted 2010 Street Rod d’Elegance award.

“There’s a lot of variety — that’s the beauty of the show,” said Del Mar resident Mark Strange, who has attended for five years. Last year, Strange brought his 1969 Camaro Z28, a three-time, first-place winner at area shows. Strange had the honor of exhibiting his car inside, which is by invitation only. To display indoors, owners must submit two photos of their car for consideration.

Along with the indoor and outdoor displays showcasing rows of original and modified cars, the weekend event features a street challenge autocross, swap meet, car sale, rock ‘n’ roll show and manufacturers’ exhibit, where car buffs can talk one-on one with vendors. “You can smell the exhaust, see the cars, and there’s something for everyone,” Strange said.

The lineup includes a myriad of makes, models and colors: lil’ deuce coupes, chopped Mercs, customs, hot rods, Hemi ‘Cudas, Mustangs and Camaros.

For those who want to race, there’s the Street Challenge AutoCross, April 9 and 10 from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 4 p.m. Registered event participants over 18 with a valid driver’s license can put their driving to the test racing against the clock. The winner at the end of the event in each class receives an award and gift certificate from AutoCross sponsors.

Cars in the show can win a number of awards, including Muscle Machine of the Year Finalist, Kustom of the Year Finalist, Street Rodder Top 100 Event, Classic Trucks Finest 5, Goodguys Builder’s Choice and PPG Dream Car.

The Street Rod d’Elegance is chosen from the best in the indoor car show. The criteria for the award include fit, form, quality of craftsmanship and an overall design to honor a “gorgeous and elegant street rod.” The winner of the Street Rod d’Elegance award will be crowned during the awards ceremony on April 11.

If you go
- Goodguys 10th Del Mar Nationals car show
- 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 9 and 10; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 11
- Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar
- Adults, $18; children 12 years and under, $6; under 6 years, free. Tickets are available at the Del Mar Fairgrounds all three days or at
- Fairgrounds parking: $9
- or (925) 838-9876 or Del Mar Fairgrounds at (858) 755-1161

Related posts:

  1. SD city council says no to selling cars on certain streets
  2. Sunny day puts gleam on Car Classic in La Jolla
  3. Celebrity Classic starts April 24
  4. Something fishy happened at the fairgrounds
  5. ‘Classic’ moments

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