The number 32 has always held a special significance in hot rodding and it proved to be a winning digit combination at the 32nd Goodguys West Coast Nationals presented by BASF.
Three days of sunny skies, cool cars, perfect temperatures, and fun-filled crusin’ at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, California, demonstrated yet again why the West Coast Nationals is the Crown Jewel on the Goodguys calendar – and one of the top gearhead destinations anywhere. This event is a sort of homecoming for the Goodguys team after venturing around the country for the summer, as well as being the longest-running national event on the Goodguys schedule.
True to its digits, the 32nd West Coast Nationals saw plenty of Deuces in attendance, not to mention a few thousand pre-’73 hot rods, customs, trucks, muscle cars, and classics. A highlight of the event was the competition for America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod, which always draws some heavy hitters. Winning the crown this year was Robert Anderson’s ’36 Pontiac, dubbed “Pindian,” built by Legens Hot Rod Shop. The win wraps up a rewarding year for the sleek sedan, which earned a Great 8 award in Ridler competition at the Detroit Autorama, as well as a Top Five finalist spot for the Goodguys Street Rod of the Year title.
Other noteworthy winners this weekend included Jessee Emmett, who picked up the Truck of the Year Early finalist nod at the debut event for his ’56 Chevy Cameo, and Robert Schaaf taking the Muscle Car of the Year finalist award with his low-mileage ’70 Challenger. Hector Zuniga got his ’56 Nomad photographed for a feature by winning the PPG Dream Car Pick; Richard Morec got the same honor by getting the Fuel Curve Pick for his ’59 Chevy Apache.
We also had number of West Coast Nationals memorial awards. The Gary “Goodguy” Meadors Memorial Award went to Rich Guasco and his ’41 Ford pickup, while Bill Reis earned the Stroker McGurk Award in his Deuce roadster. Sue and OJ Good’s ’29 Model A roadster was an appropriate choice for the Bill Burnham Memorial Award; the same can be said for Kevin Carroll’s ’34 Ford coupe getting the Jim Ewing Memorial Award. The Bruce Olson Memorial Award went to Steven and Beddie Pistoroe in their Deuce coupe, while the Nathan Strube Memorial Award was earned by Ryan Davis and his ’72 Nova.
For the first time ever, the West Coast Nationals hosted a Goodguys AutoCross competition, where dozens of lead-footed racers attacked a long, narrow cone course in a quest to compete in Saturday’s West Coast Shootout presented by FiTech. Longtime Pleasanton racer Tom Smiley took the shootout win – as well as Street Machine class honors – in his ’65 Corvette, while class wins went to Mike Maier (PRO), Jeff Schwartz (Truck), and Larry Sharp (All American Sunday).
There were a number of other firsts for this year’s West Coast Nats. We held our first Burnout Competition here and had our first-ever West Coast Nats Spectre Performance All-American Sunday, too. On top of that, we helped the renowned Bay Area car club Early Wheels celebrate its 50th anniversary by welcoming them as our Featured Car Club.
With some of the best-ever West Coast Nationals weather, it’s no surprise the fairgrounds were packed. Participants and spectators alike had plenty of attractions to keep them occupied, from energetic live music, to specialty indoor displays of race cars and Cushman scooters. We also welcomed back the Bay Area Engine Modelers display, the Pinstripers’ Brush Bash, Goodgals Gallery, Pinot’s Palette Paint & Sip, Kids Zone, Nitro Thunderfest, and many more activities to keep the weekend busy, lively, and fun-filled.
After 32 memorable years, the shine just seems to get brighter on Goodguys’ Crown Jewel event. We can’t wait to see what the 33rd West Coast Nationals brings – and invite you all to come experience it with us next year.