May 1, 2017 -- The 3rd annual Goodguys North Carolina Nationals made some noise and created a lot of cool custom excitement at the Tar Heel State Fairgrounds over the weekend. An estimated 1,500 hot rods and vintage vehicles filled the show field for the three day event. The first two days of the show are open to 1972 and older classics, but on the final day (All-American Sunday), all US born or powered vehicles joined in the fun. It doesn’t matter what you’re driving, just find a parking spot, pull out the lawn chairs, and watch the motor parade of classics cruise by.
This year’s show featured a swap meet, Car Corral, Manufactured Midway, indoor display of race cars, a Saturday Night Demolition Derby, and lots of Autocross action. There was plenty of bling and craftsmanship on the show field, making it a tough job for the judges to pick the top rides. Two amazing custom vehicles were a 1941 Ford Pickup and a 1954 Corvette. Both were 2017 “Great 8” finalists for the coveted Rider award. Another standout of the show was the “Hero Car” from the movie, “Tokyo Drift,” a 1967 Mustang GT500. Here’s a look at these and many more of the special machines spotted over the weekend.
There were four very special vehicles on the show field that we've spotlighted below. The first, owned by Ed Sears of Annapolis, Maryland, is a 1941 Ford pickup, which was selected as a Goodguys Truck of the Year finalist and won a Builders Choice award. Nicknamed “Gold Standard,” it is a 2017 “Great 8” Ridler star. A second over-the-top build at the North Carolina Nationals is a 1954 Corvette, owned by Larry and Robbie Griffey of Powell, Tennessee. This Vette was selected as a Goodguys Custom Rod of the Year Finalist and also picked up a Builders Choice award. It too was a 2017 Great 8 Ridler star. A third standout is a 1969 Mustang, owned by Matt Pfister of Baton Rouge, LA, which received a Builders Choice award. This Stang, which had been completed just days before the Goodguys show, had even some Bowtie fans giving it thumbs up. The fourth car in our spotlight group, a real celebrity, is a 1967 Mustang GT500 that was the hero car in the movie “Toyko Drift." Anyone who is a Fast and Furious fan would recognize this car.
Special thanks to Ed Sears for describing his award winning Ford Pickup, which was built by the team at One Off Rods & Custom, Middletown Delaware. Ed told us he plans to take his truck to shows all summer. With a vehicle like "Gold Standard," he definitely has a ticket to any event he wants to enter.
In Autocross racing it's all about split second reactions and staying in control through a maze of orange cones. Of course, a fast car doesn’t hurt either. This year, there was only a few tenths of a second betwen the three top cars. In a repeat of last year's win, Ryan Matthews, in Detroit Speed's 1972 Corvette, took home the honors as the quickest racer to carve up the course. Here are some of the competitors on the track and an interview with Ryan describing his Vette and his winning strategy.