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 . . .

Highlights from the Muscle Car and Corvette Nationals


2013 Goodguys Heartland Nationals

The 1949-51 Mercurys are the quintessential chopped-top “leadsled” customs, but there are still stock examples out there that have escaped the customizer’s torch. This one is a 1950.

Naked Aggression: A Gallery of Stripped-Down Muscle Cars


2013 Goodguys Heartland Nationals

Not your ordinary grocery getter. . . . According to its show placard, this ’70 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser is 1 of 6 converted by Hurst Performance to W30 muscle-car specs, with a 370-hp 455. Look closely, and you can see the 442-style twin-scoop hood.


2013 Goodguys Heartland Nationals

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 1960 Opel Rekord at a car show before, but there was an immaculate one at the Heartland Nats.


2013 Goodguys Heartland Nationals

Even micro cars come out of the woodwork for this event. How about a 1956 Messerschmitt KR-200? It has a one-cylinder, 10-horsepower engine.


With its unibody construction and radically streamlined body, the 1934 DeSoto Airflow was way ahead of its time.


2013 Goodguys Heartland Nationals

This beautiful 1964 Chevrolet Bel Air two-door sedan was striking in its simplicity. . . . Funny how the “plain Jane” cars get a lot more interesting as they age.


2013 Goodguys Heartland Nationals

When was the last time you saw a 1967 Oldsmobile Delmont 88 two-door hardtop?


2013 Goodguys Heartland Nationals

This nicely restored 1960 Chevrolet Corvair was parked in the swap meet area with an asking price of $8,500. The roof rack is a nice touch.

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