With over 2,000 hot rods, classics, muscle cars, and customs on tap, the 2016 Goodguys Colorado Nationals kicked off September in the Centennial State with a bang. With chilly whether a possibility right around the corner, local automotive enthusiasts and car owners alike were eager to spend the beautiful weekend hanging out with fellow enthusiasts, enjoying the rumble of engines and taking in cars and trucks from both near and far.
The Ranch complex, which hosts the annual event, had more out-of-state cars than in years past. This turnout treated enthusiasts to an even larger variety of vehicles they’d never seen before. Several of them caught our eye for sure (both local and from out of state) and we’ll be bringing you special features on many here in the coming months.
As usual, the event ran for three days with Saturday, September 10th, being the busiest of all. Since the event’s move to September, more people seem to be attending, giving Goodguys a good reason to keep it in the later months. Not only does this time slot work well with other Goodguys shows, it also means better weather and lower temperatures for show goers and car owners.
With Friday being the first day of the show, traditionally the Kickoff Party at local shop Pinkee’s Rod Shop has always been on Thursday evening. This year, that changed up a bit with the party kicking off right after the show gates closed on Friday night.
Rockabilly music, adult beverages and a hot meal were on the menu as usual, as crowds of people toured the ever-changing Pinkee’s facility and checking out the mass of hot rods and classics enthusiasts from all over brought to the event. Cars were parked for blocks, so a little more walking for the day was necessary to check everything out, but with show cars and local favorites on site, the extra mileage was worth the work.
Hot Rods, Customs and Classics
There’s no denying that the annual Goodguys Colorado Nationals brings out more hot rods, classic cars and customs than any other automotive event in Northern Colorado. This year, there were even more new builds, fresh customs and unique rides we’d never seen before on display.
Part of this came from the the area’s hot-bed of classic car enthusiasts building new cars and trucks. But part of it also came from the over a dozen states that were represented at the fall show. Just in walking around the grounds on Friday alone, we saw vehicles from North and South Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico, California, Arizona, Texas, Oregon, Utah, Montana, Nebraska, Iowa and Illinois. We even came across a classic second-generation Corvette all the way from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
With the out-of-state representation ever increasing at the Colorado Nationals, the array of styling cues, design ideas and interesting concepts seen in the vehicles on display has widened as well. There’s not much cooler than old-school traditional hot rods interspersed with factory-correct muscle cars, performance-built pro-touring machines, unconventional customs, slammed beasts, tricked-out COEs and high-horsepower street/strip machines all in one place!
All weekend long, the AutoCross course was hopping with performance vehicles of all sorts, from factory-correct to highly modified. With a bigger and trickier course than at the 2015 Colorado Nationals, even veterans of the Colorado Nationals AutoCross competition took a few rounds to get in the groove.
Standouts from the AutoCross course included pro Bob Gawlik in his freshly built 1968 AMC AMX, Street Machine competitors Wes Drelleshak in his 1965 Shelby Datona, Rich Gregory in his 1969 Camaro, and Andrew Chenoweth in his 1970 Dodge Challenger.
Other standouts included the only Hot Rod Class entry, BJ Penrod with his 1933 Factory Five hot rod, and the two Truck Class entries, Guy Taylor and Shelton Reed, both with 1969 C-10 pickups. Robby Unser of the famed Unser racing family was also on hand, racing in the Pro Class and proving to all of the other competitors just how fast the course could be conquered.
Fittingly, Unser laid down the quickest raw time during Saturday’s shootout, beating out fellow Pro-Class competitor Bob Gawlik with a time of 42.162 seconds. Wes Drelleshak finished first in the Street Machine Class with a time of 42.426 seconds (a 35.171-second course time with a PAX handicap), while BJ Penrod finished the Shootout with a time of 49.193 seconds. Guy Taylor took first in the Truck Class with a time of 52.420 seconds.
Three top accolades were awarded at the 19th Colorado Nationals in addition to dozens of other prime awards, ranging from Builder’s Choice Top 10 awards to awards like Best Wide Whites, One Fine Deuce, and Meguiar’s Magnificent Masterpiece. Top honors included Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year Finalist, MSD Muscle Car of the Year Finalist and Scott’s Hot Rods Truck of the Year Early Finalist.
For the Custom Rod of the Year Finalist, Goodguys staff chose Jerry Logan’s 1960 Cadillac Coupe De Ville, otherwise known as “Copper Caddy.” Built by Kindig-It Design for a 2015 SEMA Show reveal, the Copper Caddy features custom modifications from bumper to bumper, from small copper bullet details and trim pieces, to a full 4-inch chop and completely custom body lines. Performance components on the Caddy include an Art Morrison chassis with a 4-link rear suspension system, 3.73 rearend gears, a 4L80e automatic transmission, and a completely custom-dressed GM Performance ZL1 454 Ram Jet V8.
The Muscle Car of the Year Finalist designation went to Larry Christensen’s 1969 Camaro Z28. Fully restored to “as ordered” condition, this particular car is virtually brand new with every high-end option intact, including the Cross Ram intake. This option, which was ordered but never installed on the car, displayed in the trunk. This played to the myth that the cross ram intakes were never installed at the factory but just tossed in the trunk for delivery to the new owner.
The final top designation, Truck of the Year Finalist, was awarded to Scott and Kathi Muse’s 1949 Chevy 3100 pickup. Built by Classic Customs, this custom truck features the perfect mix of factory components and custom modifications. A chopped top, suicide doors, DeSoto taillights and exhaust tips, and a fully custom bed with a Maple bed floor featuring hand-routed flames done by Scott himself.
You can view the rest of the 2016 Goodguys Colorado Nationals award winners here!
With another year in the books and winter knocking on Colorado’s door, we have until next September to ponder what the 2017 event will bring, but if it’s anything like this year’s show, we’re certainly in for a treat!
Check out the Rod Authority Photo Gallery below for even more amazing sights from the 2016 event!