During the summer months, the Puget Sound region more than lives up its nickname as the Majestic Northwest. Towering pines, brilliant sunshine and crystal blue water stretches in all directions. In Puyallup, the quaint town streets have filled up with fine American iron the last weekend of July for three decades now. With Mount Rainier towering in the distance, the Washington State Fair and Events Center came alive during last weekend’s 30th annual Goodguys Pacific Northwest Nationals, attracting over 2,500 ’72 & earlier American show cars from all over the Northwest and Canada.
The weather couldn’t have been scripted any better. Three straight days of 80 degree temperatures and bright sun made it fun for everyone. Nothing makes hot rodders and eager fans happier than a clear forecast during event week. That excitement spilled over on Saturday as we saw one of the biggest crowds this event has ever seen. They know how to party up in this corner of the country. They also know how to build incredible machines up here. Wicked Fabrication, J-Rod & Custom, Divers Street Rods, Chris Holstrom Concepts, Rushforth Design, Street Rods by Denny, Kenny’s Rod Shop and others fielded exceptional entries.
While the days are all about sunglasses, shiny metal and cold brew, the evening’s here are all about cruising! Both Friday and Saturday night, the fairground lights kick on, the bands take the stage and the cruising commences until the wee hours. It’s the most fun you can have if hot rods are your thing!
A deep and attraction-rich event, the Pacific Northwest Nationals houses the largest indoor car show of the Goodguys event season inside the MattressFirm Showplex. Over 75 killer cars all of genres filled the aisles. While the cars were sparkling under the lights, hundreds of vendor booths, the food courts and the always entertaining Pin Striper’s Brush Bash.
Back in the zone they call “Sillyville”, the Saturday Special Parking areas filled up with the Builder’s Choice hopefuls, as well as the Mighty Muscle, Trick Truck Corral, Younguys, Homebuilt Heaven and the Canadian Corral. Speaking of Young Guys, the SEMA Young Guns competition featured 17 year-old Rilee Scott’s ’58 VW Beetle against 21 year-old Austin Phipps ’68 Camaro. When the Facebook votes were tallied, it was Austin driving off as the winner.
Winners were everywhere. Art and Craig Morrison selected their Top 10 Builder’s Choice cars coming up with a rich variety of dazzling drivers. Phil Mitchell’s 1968 Yenko Camaro was selected as the Goodguys 2017 MSD Muscle Car of the Year finalist and Kevin Raiche’s straight 6 powered 1968 Ford Mustang was selected as the PPG Dream Car award winner.
With no Goodguys AutoCross in Puyallup, the racing action was confined to the dragstrip. The Goodguys Northwest Nitro Shootout was held Friday Night at nearby Pacific Raceways bringing a healthy field of nitro burners to the famous drag strip. Local hero Bucky Austin and driver Bobby Cottrell ruled the evening running an astounding 5.51 at nearly 260mph in the Bardahl 1969 Camaro Nitro Funny Car. Stay tuned for a full Friday Night Vintage Drags recap by our friends at Fuel Curve which will be posted Tuesday.
After a three week break, the Goodguys summer season tour makes a stop in Spokane, Washington for the 16th Great Northwest Nationals.
Thanks for coming out to party in Puyallup!