What a finale! Goodguys wrapped up its 2017 season in spectacular, sun-soaked style in Scottsdale, Arizona this weekend at the 20th Southwest Nationals. The WestWorld events facility was rockin’ for three straight days with killer hot rods, bitchin’ customs, mighty muscle cars, trick trucks, and just about every other type of fine vintage American ride you can imagine.
The Southwest Nationals is special, as our Top 12 award winners from throughout the season – the prestigious “of the year” awards – are showcased front and center – the top cars in the country, all in one place! Winners received their personalized Snap-On tool chests, as well as RaceDeck flooring to put under their rides. This special display started the weekend with just 10 vehicles, as Truck of the Year Early and AutoCrosser of the Year were decided right here in Scottsdale on Saturday.
For the Scott’s Hot Rods Truck of the Year Early award, all seven regional finalists made the trek to Scottsdale to display their hot haulers and take part in the Saturday awards ceremony. The group included two Great 8 finalists from the Detroit Autorama, plus an AMBR contender. It was a fantastic field, to be sure. When the envelope was opened, Ed Sears’ fabulous Flathead-powered ’41 Ford came away with the title and took its display spot with the other Top 12 winners.
On the AutoCross track, the Duel in the Desert ran hard and heavy Friday and Saturday, with tires screaming and engines roaring as cone-dodging competitors pushed their driving skills to the limit in a quest for Goodguys glory. Pre-qualified candidates were joined by a select few who raced their way in to the field of 32. Eliminations began Saturday afternoon and when the fogbank of smoke cleared, Robby Unser emerged as the Goodguys 2017 FAST AutoCrosser of the Year. Unser piloted the radical Team Speedway ’67 Camaro and defeated Mike Maier’s ’72 Corvette in the final round, earning the Camaro the final spot in the Top 12 lineup.
Another special treat in Scottsdale was the scores of squarebody trucks on display, invited by Goodguys and Squarebody Syndicate to serve as a bit of a preview for the new 1987-and-earlier year break at Goodguys events beginning in 2018. It was cool to see these ’72-’87 Chevy and GMC trucks cruisin’ the grounds among the earlier American iron, and they were welcomed with open arms by enthusiasts throughout the show.
It’s been another wonderful year for Goodguys, and the Southwest Nationals was a perfect representation of the fun we’ve had. More than 3300 vehicles made this event a true spectacle, with added attractions ranging from the Nitro Thunderfest, to a spectacular swap meet, to live music and fun kids activities. Sunshine, fine rides, and fellowship with thousands of fellow gearheads – what better sendoff to 2017 could you ask for?