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Jul
11
2022 Goodguys Heartland Nationals

1963 Ford Country Squire wagon

So much has changed in American culture over the past decade or so, but there’s at least one time-honored tradition that appears to be holding on just fine: the classic car show. From low-key summertime cruise nights to high-profile concours gatherings, people young and old love to get together and enjoy special-interest vehicles of all stripes. And some car shows, such as those produced by the Goodguys Rod and Custom Association, get big—really big. Goodguys bills itself as “America’s Favorite Car Show,” and every year the company produces an ambitious nationwide schedule of large-scale car shows that take over fairgrounds-sized venues. The events are two- or three-day extravaganzas that typically attract 3500 to 6500 vehicles and 35,000 to 100,000 spectators per show. Put on your walking shoes!

Jul
07
1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon, Clean Classics

1975 Chevrolet Caprice Estate wagon

After a year of cancelled car shows due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s lots of pent-up energy and interest around the 2021 car-event season—car lovers are anxious to get out of the garage and back to their favorite shows and cruise nights. One of our favorite summer “super shows” is the Goodguys Heartland Nationals at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, IA. One of the longest-running events on the Goodguys schedule (this year’s edition was the 30th annual), the Heartland Nats always takes place on the weekend closest to the 4th of July, and regularly draws more than 4000 vehicles. This year’s show enjoyed record-breaking participation: almost 5000 registered vehicles filled the spacious fairgrounds facility.

Jul
10
Goodguys

1979 Chrysler LeBaron coupe

Among the seemingly countless tragedies and hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought upon the world this year, the upending of the normal American summertime car-show season ranks relatively low on the list. Still, it hurts to have so many car shows, car races, cruise nights, and other automotive gatherings either cancelled outright or postponed.

Jul
17
1972 Plymouth Satellite four-door sedan

1972 Plymouth Satellite four-door sedan

Summertime is car-show season, and we always try to take in as many automotive get-togethers as we can. Local cruise nights, marque-specific dealership-lot shows, fancy concours gatherings, or what have you… it’s all good. Our Chicagoland home base has plenty of these kinds of events to offer, and in the upper Midwest, car folks know to take advantage when the weather is warm (or, let’s face it—flat-out hot), because it won’t be long before summer’s over and the cold and snow come again.

Jul
05
Goodguys Heartland Gallery

Fairly ordinary then, far from ordinary now: a 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 two-door hardtop.

Every summer, the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association stages about 20 annual street rod and custom car events at fairgrounds and other large venues across the country. These are sprawling, weekend-long gatherings that include attractions such as swap meets, manufacturer midways, live music, autocross competitions, and plenty of on-premises cruising. They draw huge numbers of participant vehicles and spectators—the larger events regularly surpass 4000 registered show cars.

Jul
10
2013 Goodguys Heartland Nationals

“Barn finds” are all the rage these days in the vintage-car world. This 1969 Camaro SS 396 was on display in “as-found” condition, accumulated grime and all.

It’s a summer tradition of mine to attend the Goodguys Heartland Nationals show at the Iowa State Fairgrounds every Fourth of July weekend. I haven’t missed a single show yet, and this year’s edition was the 22nd annual. Goodguys shows are street rod, custom, street machine, and muscle-car events first and foremost, but every year I’m surprised at the number of interesting stock (or at least “stock-ish”) vehicles I find mixed in with the expected T-buckets, ’32 Fords, Tri-Five Chevys, Mustangs, Camaros, and Chevelles. Most Goodguys events draw huge numbers of cars (this year’s Heartland Nats reached a record-breaking 4,300 vehicles), more than any one person can see in a weekend. With that kind of volume, chances are good you’ll find something that’s right up your alley. I decided to chronicle some of the more unusual “non-custom” vehicles I came across. Have a look . . .

Jul
15
What Makes Electric-Vehicle Tires Different?

Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast

Whether you drive a car, need a car, or just occasionally bum a ride with friends, you’ve come to the right place. Join the editors of Consumer Guide Automotive as they break down everything that’s going on in the auto world. New-car reviews, shopping tips, driving green, electric cars, classic cars, and plenty of great guests. This is the Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast.

Jan
05
Chrysler Airflow Concept

Chrysler Airflow Concept

CES

Chrysler officially unveiled its previously teased Airflow Concept pure-electric vehicle at CES 2022 in Las Vegas today. At the same time, the division announced a commitment to introduce the brand’s first battery-electric production vehicle by 2025 and offer an all-electric lineup by 2028.

Jul
09
Mustang versus Mach-E

Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast

Whether you drive a car, need a car, or just occasionally bum a ride with friends, you’ve come to the right place. Join the editors of Consumer Guide Automotive as they break down everything that’s going on in the auto world. New-car reviews, shopping tips, driving green, electric cars, classic cars, and plenty of great guests. This is the Consumer Guide Car Stuff Podcast.

Oct
22
1970 SuperBee

1970 Dodge Coronet Super Bee Hardtop Coupe

Note: The following story was excerpted from the December 2016 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine

Collector cars can turn up in odd places. A 1925 Bugatti was found at the bottom of a Swiss lake. A 1957 Plymouth was buried in a time capsule in Oklahoma. The elements took their toll on both.