It’s hard to believe it but 26 years ago Goodguys first set foot on the historic Dutchess County Fairgrounds for our inaugural East Coast Nationals. It’s the farthest east we go on our annual tour and in that light, it’s always refreshing to come back to Rhinebeck, New York for a few reasons; we get to see cars we’ve never seen before and the scenery is breathtaking up here! Beautiful rides from all over the eastern sea board flock here to the Hudson River Valley.
While the lush, charming fairgrounds looks the same as it did for the 1919 fair (99 years ago!), the face of hot rodding has changed. Resto rods, fat fendered street rods adorned in pastels, Continental kits (for the most part) and other 1990s calling cards have faded. Today’s seen is all about LS power, traditional colors, tight suspension, muted tones, brushed wheels and phenomenal build quality. These tenants were reflected here today as we kicked off the event under perfect skies and temps in the upper 70s.
This year’s format, like the Nashville Nationals a few weeks ago, is a two day bonanza packing three days’ worth of fun into two giant days of revelry and festivities. Today’s car count was healthy and what stood out as we made out rounds was the inclusion of next generation cars and trucks. Never before have those vehicles graced the fairgrounds here adding as nice touch.
With today being a loose “park where you want to” day, tomorrow features our special parking areas including the Builder’s Choice where Creative Rod & Custom’s Mark Giambalvo will select the top 10. Other favorites like Speedway Motors Homebuilt Heaven, Ya Gotta Drive ‘Em, Goolsby Customs Young Guys and more. Of course the swap meet, vendors and entertainment stage were kicked into gear too!
Enjoy the first glimpse of the 16th East Coast Nationals and we hope to see you here at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds tomorrow! Gates are open from 8am to 8pm. Come on down!