The general characteristics of the Goodguys West Coast Nationals are somewhat predictable. The editorial clich of bigger and better is a given. The fairgrounds will be crowded and shade will be protected like a mama hen herding her newborn baby chicks. The warmer August temperatures in Pleasanton are also expected-with more than a little perspiration anticipated. We hope you'll forgive us, but the Goodguys West Coast Nationals 2005 was all of these things and more.
What was the more, you ask? We've been kicking off our enjoyable West Coast Nationals experience with the Danville Dukes car club for the past decade. Thursday we arrive in Danville around noon to visit the train museum and several dozen of the quaint shops lining Main Street. Around 2:30 p.m. we grab some late lunch on the street and watch with amusement as the forgetful locals moan and gripe about the parking citations they find on their windshields. Soon thereafter, several hundred street rods and custom creations cruise down Danville's main corridor and park face-out from the curb. For hours we wander up and down Main Street examining a neat variety of vintage iron from as far North as British Columbia and as far South as the Land of LA.
Friday is a busy work/play day; we get to the Alameda County fairgrounds a bit excited to see what's new and unusual. We're looking for good magazine feature material, and for the first time this year, to select 10 vintage trucks for Custom Classic's Top Ten Trucks awards. It was a distinct pleasure to meet each of the owners we selected for an award. One neat pleasure was seeing the red '33 Ford roadster pickup from Oregon that was a Street Rodder magazine project from 1982. Now owned by Brad and Tamera Miller of Springfield, Oregon, the smooth red roadster pickup was originally built by Bob Schoonoven and his friends. Seeing this pickup was like seeing a high school classmate that you were (and still are) fond of.
Saturday the fairgrounds were jumping. Did I see a Buick-like smile on the Goodguys face? Even the Alameda fairgrounds become a little crowded when thousands of spectators begin ooohing and aaahing over the colorful field of modified vehicles. Lots of vintage rock 'n' roll music was pumped out over the decidedly mature crowd. On the positive side, we're encouraged to have witnessed plenty of younger car lovers who'll undoubtedly carry on our passion for vintage tin.
At the host hotel Saturday evening, my wife and I joined several hundred of Andy Brizio's faithful friends for dinner and to roast Andy. Brizios' buddies partied as they enjoyed an evening of humorous anecdotes on the subject of growing up a Brizio and topless traveling with "The Rodfather." Andy is limiting his cross-country touring only slightly for 2006, but is still happy to jump in his famous flamed roadster and attend street rod events anywhere in America. To join Andy, simply provide him a valid credit card number and he'll gladly serve as tour host, making all the travel and hotel arrangements.
Sunday morning the fairgrounds were still buzzing with activity, but there were slightly fewer spectators and more space to park as a number of vehicles returned home to avoid traveling in the midday heat. As we'd completed most of our editorial tasks, we took the opportunity to examine the 70-plus award winners and later joined them at the 2:30 drive-through awards ceremony (the winners drive through).
Shortly after the last Goodguys award was presented we drove east toward Interstate 5 South with warm and provocative thoughts of the past four days. Besides the approximately 2,500 vintage rods, there was the record-setting model-car contest, the swap meet plus cars for sale and arts & crafts exhibit, commercial toy town USA, and three buildings full of industry- oriented commercial vendors to consider.
About 80 participants were...
About 80 participants were fortunate enough to be selected for an award. Winners were presented with a nifty plaque or custom-created trophy. Ron and Patty Nelson of Thousand Oaks, CA, own one of the CCT Top Ten Trucks. Here Ron pilots his exceptionally neat '40 Ford pickup through the Alameda Fairgrounds grandstand driveway.
Someone in the John Cortese...
Someone in the John Cortese family of San Jose, CA, has owned this bright red '32 Ford closed-cab pickup since it was new. It now has every modern convenience including a Brizio-built body and chassis, plus a Sid Chavers leather interior. John says it's a lifelong project.