Our dedication and commitment to thousands of Goodguys and gals that attend our show can sometimes be a thankless job. Not today. The following is an email we received from an appreciative fan after the Del Mar Nationals show and is a positive reminder that the customer is always our number one priority.
I’m not sure if you run editorials or human interest stories, or just comment sections in your media area. In any case, I’d like to tell you a bit of back story so when I thank Harry and the Goodguys staff, you’ll understand the sincerity of those simple words, “thank you”.
I have always known that my husband had a passion for the classic car. When we met in 2000, most dates consisted of the weekend car swap meets, local car shows, and restoring cars and trucks from what I called “junkyard” condition. We spent our first anniversary at the Del Mar Goodguys event in 2004, and have made this our “tradition” ever since. We got it down to a science – Friday we spent going room to room taking photos then enjoying a wonderful anniversary dinner. Saturday we’d place our chairs along the main drag to watch the cars driving in and out. Every year, my husband voiced his dream of one day bringing a car to the show.
I myself, am very sentimental so when he “found” a 1950 – 5 window Chevy truck, “exactly like the one my dad had and I learned to drive”, he said, well I thought he finally had the vehicle to bring to Del Mar. Shortly after that, a 1955 Chevy Sedan Delivery was “the car”. As I’m sure you’ve heard before, six years of life seemed to get in the way of finishing these restorations – neither of which I had to admit, were my favorites. Fast forward to October, 2016. Ron scoured the internet in search of a car, I too could be passionate about. He called me over to peek at a beautiful, 1937 Ford Roadster. Nope. Not a project! Being from Wisconsin, he asked if I ever heard of a town called Mukwonago? My heart started to race. My small hometown. Seriously? He did his due diligence, sent an Inspector, and had it shipped to Laughlin, NV where we just moved months earlier. He cemented my passion and dream of finally having a show car by arranging to have a big red bow attached at delivery! We were set! 2017 was our 14th Del Mar show, our anniversary, and our 1st show bringing a car. A lot of emotions riding in the open trailer behind us.
Not knowing a whole lot about being a participant, the one thing we did know was it was an honor to be allowed to park in a building, and the spots were given on a first come basis. We left early Thursday morning so we could secure such a spot. Fate set in. Midway through the drive, heavy winds sprayed dirt and dust all over the newly detailed car. A large gust hit us, and took the Carson top right off – sending it down the highway behind us. We were crushed. We have had several discussions about showing the car with or without the top. It was obviously not an issue now.
Some might think, as we did at first, of the tragedy of the situation. What happened afterwards was so uplifting and positive, it’s impossible to call this a tragedy or bad luck at all.
As we got out to survey the damage, a pickup truck pulled up behind us. A guy jumps out, points down the road and asks, “Hey, is that your top down there?” Really? How many other cars are without the top in the middle of nowhere? The levity of the situation got the best of us, and we couldn’t help but laugh. He immediately offered to retrieve it, jumped in and backed up the quarter mile. We watched as the wind got a hold of him and the top – almost tossing him into the desert. At that point, we realized all the bullets we missed. The top came off clean – no damage to the car itself. The top wasn’t smashed into bits by the semis and it didn’t hit another car or truck behind us. Other than some minor damage to the edges and material rips, the top was in remarkable shape.
After seven hours of an anticipated five, we pulled up to the Del Mar Fairgrounds. My task while Ron waited in line with the car was to find the registration desk and information about trailer storage. I immediately went to the main hall, saw the two cars pull in that were ahead of ours in line, and waited. Waited some more. I finally asked a staff member the whereabouts of our car. I was directed to a gentleman in charge, I now know was Harry. “Oh, the ’37 is in the third building”, he said. What? I looked around at several open spots, and the two cars right before us coming in the roll up door. I explained my “first come” understanding. In turn, Harry explained the main room was for invited guests. As he said those words, emotion got the best of me again. Tears came to my eyes and I went into the highlights of our journey to get there. And with one simple gesture by Harry our whole weekend changed. He got on his walkie-talkie. “Bring the ’37 to the main roll up.” That was it.
We got a spot in the main hall amongst the Most Beautiful, the Ridler winner, the best of the best. How humbling an experience. I think we held our own and was proud of our car. Each time a spectator took a picture of the car and remark about its’ beauty, another tear welled up. Just like Ron had done in previous years, I envisioned those photos becoming someone else’s screensaver. As if this needs icing on top, turns out we were right in front of the Tucker booth, Cody being a friend of ours. We met some absolutely fantastic people and are making plans to join up again in Scottsdale!
A simple thank you to Harry Daviess. You are the best!