Posts from ‘Goodguys’
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
For the last 20 years, my annual Fourth of July weekend activities have included a pilgrimage to the Goodguys Heartland Nationals at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines. Goodguys is a Northern California-based car-show event promoter that puts on a full summer schedule of street-rod/custom/muscle-car-centric events at venues across the nation.