Being part of a car or truck club goes hand-in-hand with being rooted in the custom automotive world. Whether it’s a small-town outfit or a national organization, car clubs represent just about every genre of vehicle out there and without them, the automotive scene would be a very different place. Now, don’t get us wrong, there’s certainly nothing wrong with “rolling solo” but part of enjoying our love for custom cars is to share them with fellow enthusiasts, the community, and help out wherever we can through charities, events, donations, and more.
Photos & Words: Lindsey Fisher
This particular “car club” is certainly quite a bit more than just a club and hosts a nationwide show series, autocross circuit, magazine, and more has made its mark in the automotive world and continues to give back to the custom automotive community. Goodguys Rod and Custom Association is over 70,000 active members strong, produces 20 national automotive events each year, and has become a mainstay representing the best classic street rods, hot rods, customs, trucks, pro-touring muscle cars, and more. So of course at this year’s 18th Goodguys Colorado Nationals, we saw it all and more!
Held later in the season than in previous years (previously held in June), the Colorado Nationals stormed into Loveland, Colorado full force this September. Jumping off with the annual Kickoff Party held at Pinkee’s Rod Shop in Windsor, the show promised to be a bit different, yet just as welcoming as previous years.
Thursday, September 10th at the annual Kickoff Party, dozens of rodders and their unique rides came out to enjoy the traditional sounds of rockabilly music while touring Pinkee’s Rod Shop, one of Colorado’s premiere hot rod shops and donor of the Colorado Nationals’ Builder’s Choice awards. Enjoying barbeque and beer, and of course, perusing the side streets filled with classic cars and trucks that were in town just for the weekend’s events, it was like a mini-show in itself. With the party officially ending around 8 p.m., car owners and enthusiasts retired to area hotels for a good night’s sleep before the official show kickoff Friday morning, also leaving the hotel parking lots looking more like car show fields rather than parking areas for hotel guests.
Friday started off bright and early for many, with a number of show-goers lining up in the early hours to get their pick of parking spots. But unlike in years past, the early-morning push was more of a steady crawl than a free-for-all when the gates opened, leaving rodders and fans alike wondering if the change in dates would pan out for one of the biggest Colorado events yet.
Fortunately, just as the early morning clouds started to part and the threat of rain waned, The Ranch Complex became the bustling car show scene enjoyed in previous years, welcoming a couple thousand cars and even more enthusiasts than originally expected. On Saturday, the crowds only grew, numbering well over what we had come to expect for showgoers based on previous years numbers. It seemed that the change to an autumn event date served the event quite well, with fewer conflicting activities for most to attend.
The turnout this year was not only noteworthy because of how many spectators hit the grounds of The Ranch Events Complex over the weekend, but also because of the caliber of vehicles that made appearances at the show. More so than before we saw the Slam’d scene represented quite well in Colorado, from your standard Mercurys, ’50s trucks and classic Tri-Fives to the less popular but still notable Gremlins, wagons and VWs. In all, it was a great turnout of people and vehicles alike, making for one heck of a show!
And of course the 2015 event featured more than just the standard car show, pulling enthusiasts in all directions to hit up the Vendor Midway, AutoCross competition, swap meet, and even a Cackle Fest with vintage nitro drag cars putting on a show a few times throughout the weekend. More and more people seemed intrigued by the “moving parts” of the show as the weekend went on, resulting in crowds five and six people deep for the Cackle Fest and plenty of fans lining the bleachers and fences set up around the AutoCross area.
Sunday, September played host to all years of American-powered vehicles rather than just the standard pre-1973 crowd of Friday and Saturday, as well as over a dozen special guests that left the show in parade around noon on to take part in the Goodguys Hall of Fame Road Tour destined for the 4th Nostalgia Nationals in Bowling Green, Kentucky the following weekend. At the close of the weekend, over 80 awards were handed out to vehicles being honored with Builder’s Choice awards, general awards and even three Finalist awards, including the 2015 Rocket Racing Wheels Muscle Car of the Year Finalist Award (John Farleich’s 1971 Plymouth GTX), 2015 Street Rod Headquarters Truck of the Year Early Finalist Award (Ted Davis’ 1931 Ford pickup), and the 2015 Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year Finalist Award (Ron Meis’ 1959 Buick Invicta).
If you like what you see here and haven’t yet had the chance to attend the Colorado Nats leg of the Goodguys tour, well you’re in luck as the 19th Goodguys Colorado Nationals is scheduled once again for mid-September next year and we can’t wait to see what impressive vehicles it brings out! Until then, enjoy the photo gallery from this year’s event below.