When it comes to the many Goodguys Rod and Custom Association car shows throughout the year, each event can mean something entirely different to participants. We get to see some of the best builds in the country at some of these events, and it was no different for us at the 19th Goodguys PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, this past weekend.
The three-day event hosts upwards of 6,000 cars and trucks, and literally caters to just about every car nut out there. The grounds at the Ohio Expo Center were filled with people and cruising hot rods and musclecars all weekend, and with the amount of real estate inside the entrance gate it was one of the larger events we’ve attended in recent years.
The main draw for us at this event, however, was the crowning of the Street Machine of the Year. For us, the 18 entries gave us plenty of kid-in-a-candy-store emotions as we walked past each car and saw something we loved about it. Whether you’re a fan of the Blue Oval, Bow Tie, or the not-so-forgotten Pentastar, all three were covered, as well as all three decades from the 1950s through the 1970s.
We spent some time walking about the participants on Friday, and came back Saturday afternoon for the top five finalists, and the eventual winner. With this show, we weren’t quite sure which direction the voting was going to go because just about every entry had the stones to pull off a victory.
Of the 18 entries, 14 of them were GM products (five of which were 1969 Camaros!), three were first gen Mustangs, and a 1971 Barracuda to round out the competition. It was a given that one of the top five spots would be a GM vehicle, and even though there were a total of six Camaros and four Chevelles, each one had us drooling. The lone Mopar, a 1971 Green with Envy Barracuda, was pitted against some stiff competition for the award. We wonder if the six-lug wheels caught anyone’s attention, leading to the discovery of the Viper ACR suspension underneath.
When the first couple of cars were called to pull up to center stage, it still left room for some of our favorites to join them. Then the fourth car was called, and we had a Camaro, two Mustangs, and a Chevelle before us. The fifth finalist was almost anybody’s guess, and the crowd wondered if we’d see one of the non-standard musclecars, like the ’57 Nomad, the ’55 Chevy Wagon, the Olds F85, or the Barracuda.
Alas, the fifth finalist was not another Camaro, Chevelle, or Mustang – it was the Olds and the cheering seemed almost a relief. Not to take anything away from the other Mustangs, Camaros, and Chevelles, but we were almost dying for one of the non-traditional musclecars to join the first four at center stage.
We listened to some stories about the builds, from both owner and builder, and after the five contenders had their moment in the spotlight, it was upon us and the Street Machine of the Year was announced. Which of these five would have been your pick? We’ll start with the winner, and then show you the rest. The remaining in the field of 18 cars can be found in our huge gallery at the end of the article.
Street Machine Of The Year Award – Tim And Cici Spencer’s 1969 Ford Mustang
If you guessed that Tim Spencer’s 1969 Ford Mustang would take the crown, you guessed right. Tim’s Mustang was surely a standout with the custom Goolsby Grey Glasurit finish. The color is named for the shop that built the car, Goolsby Customs, and if you think you’ve seen this wild horse before, you’re absolutely right. It was at the SEMA show last year where the Mustang took home the Mother’s Shine award.
Under the long hood sits a Ford Coyote, which looks right at home in the old girl. Behind that, a six-speed transmission with a Bowler Transmissions shifter. Under the body and keeping the Mustang riding smooth is a full Detroit Speed Engineering AluminFrame and Quadralink suspension, sporting JRi shocks. Putting the power to the rear wheels is a Currie differential.
The DSE headers and Borla exhaust keep the tunes sounding just right, and Nutek 19×10 and 20×12-inch wheels front and rear help maintain the look that this Mustang exudes. Custom trim all around the car, including the 3D printed tail lamps, add to the custom look. Check out the side vents on the fenders and quarters, a very nice touch that just adds to the overall look.
Inside the car, you’ll find Classic Instruments gauges, a Billet Specialties steering wheel attached to an Ididit steering column, and a custom interior by M+M Hot Rod Interiors, done up with Relicate and Alcantara leather. Tim and Cici hail from Alabama, and this was their first car with DSE, which states “This Mustang was actually used as an early prototype for the development of some of the Mustang products you will see in this build.”
The Runners Up Also Sponsored by PPG
James Jackson’s 1961 Oldsmobile F85
James’ F85 was one of the square peg cars in the group, and it was nice to see something different make it to the top five. We caught him cruising the grounds with his Olds the next day, and it was definitely a cool cruiser to see.
The F85 is the cousin to the Pontiac Tempest, on a short wheelbase and unibody construction. The build was completed by the Greening Auto Company, where the ’61 Olds body was set down onto a Roadster Shop chassis. Under the hood, a Mast Motorsports 700 HP LS pumped the ponies to a Bowler Transmission. Stopping power is applied with Baer Brakes, and inside you’ll find an Ididit steering column, Classic Instruments, and Vintage Air.
Tom Denrovsky’s 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle
This exceptionally clean 1967 Chevelle owned by Tom Denrovsky was built by the Roadster Shop. Nicknamed Onyx, the car looks more like a very clean cruiser, but under the hood lies a supercharged LS3 backed by a Tremec T-56 transmission. It’s rolling on a set of Forgeline Heritage Series RS6 wheels finished with titanium centers, polished outers, and custom knock-off style center nut. The interior is finished in all red – which matches the custom-finished blower, making this black on red Chevelle a favorite.
Ike Taylor’s 1968 Ford Mustang
The other Mustang in the top five belonged to Ike Taylor, and it’s also got Coyote power under the hood, adding some boost thanks to D1 ProCharger. The car was built by Customs by Kilkeary. Nuteck custom wheels help make this pony stand out, and the gold Wilwood brakes at all four corners help bring this beast to halt, which helped out in the mandatory two-lap autocross portion of the event.
Alex Short’s 1969 Chevrolet Camaro
There were five 1969 Chevrolet Camaros in the 18 entries, but this white entry owned by Alex Short was about as custom as you could get. If it wasn’t for the wild grey and gold graphics, the engine compartment would surely draw you in. Throughout the car we saw a lot of custom touches, from the modular door trim panels to the dash and console, this was one beautifully built Camaro.
“Under Pressure” was built by the guys at HS Customs, and it always had a crowd around it. Power comes from a Nelson Racing twin-turbo 427 LSX backed by a Hughes Performance 4L80E transmission. Check out the matching wheels and steering wheel – very trick! If it looks familiar, you might have seen it at the Detroit Autorama earlier this year.
More photos from the top five finalists, as well as the remaining 13 entries are in the gallery below. Overall, it was a great show and lots of awesome builds, and more cars than you can possibly photograph in a three-day weekend. But if you get a chance to hit Goodguys‘ 20th PPG Nationals in Columbus, Ohio, next year, you won’t regret it. We can’t wait to get back and see who takes home the win for the next Street Machine of the Year!