Goodguys Del Mar Nationals a hot event
Driving down Jimmy Durante Boulevard last weekend, it could have been 1972. Or 1965. Or 1929.
Bright-colored hot rod cars lined up along the gates of the Del Mar Fairgrounds, waiting to get on display at the 10th annual Goodguys Del Mar Nationals.
From little deuce coupes to woodies to roadsters, there was no replacement for displacement and the noise that comes with them where the turf meets the surf. The bright paint jobs glistened in the Southern California sun, where an estimated 2,200 hot rods lined the fairgrounds.
“There’s something for everybody,” event founder Gary Meadors said. “They show up at an event like this and see all these real steel cars painted to look like lollipops, how can you not love it?”
Meadors said cars are cut off at 1972 and older because that was when the muscle car philosophy in the auto industry changed. A hot rod is an American car with a large engine built for straight-line acceleration.
Design engineer Dixie Meadows, of Mission Valley, did not exactly bring a traditional hot rod to the show, but a 1958 Chevrolet Pickup Truck that he estimated investing $100,000 dollars into. Meadows installed a supercharged V8 engine, a high performance automatic transmission and a sleek black paint job. The car gets 3 mpg, but he said it’s totally worth it.
“I love it,” he said of taking his truck for a spin. “It gives me a good feeling that somebody notices. You get people going down the freeway and they’ll come up alongside of you and they’ll back off a bit and then they’ll come up along side you and then they’ll back off a bit and then they’ll come by you and give you a thumbs up.”
Meadors estimated roughly 70,000 people attended the Goodguys show over the weekend. Goodguys travels all over the country inviting hot rod owners to put their cars on display. Meadows said the Del Mar sunshine makes it a very popular stop along the way, especially for convertibles.
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