The Goodguys 12th Southeastern Nationals, held October 28-30, 2005, in Charlotte, North Carolina, was one of the last events in the long and glorious show season. Lowes Motor Speedway is a fitting setting for the show. NASCAR started in North Carolina and is huge throughout the Southeast. Richard Petty has his corporation at the Speedway. Jeff Gordon's driving school is there. Stock car fans are in their element. Goodguys gave show participants the opportunity to drive their vehicles on the Speedway Saturday night, proceeds benefiting the Ronald McDonald's House Charities.

Unlike other three-day shows, Friday's festivities were well attended by participants and spectators. The venue provided an immense backdrop to house every hot rod hauler, in addition to street rods and muscle machines through '72. Within the swap-meet section we found vintage parts from the '20s, restomoded haulers from the '30s to the '70s, and even admired a '05 Ford GT with less than 3,000 miles on the odometer. The vendor area was filled with components that could complete every vintage truck and car project we have in our garages. If we only had the money in our wallets to buy the parts, we'd be in business.

Seeing registration cards in the high 2,000s, we suspect there were well over 3,000 vehicles registered for the event. On Friday and Saturday the weather was uncommonly cool, but welcome, as the temperature still reached the low 60s with low humidity. Sunday, we appreciated sunny, cloudless skies, with the thermometer climbing to the mid-70s.

For CCT's feature editor, visiting North Carolina is a homecoming of sorts, as many of his relatives live there. As if seeing and hearing some of the coolest vintage trucks and cars isn't enough of a lure, there's Southern hospitality, North Carolina BBQ, and visiting with family to attract him to The Southeastern Nats. It's an event he'd like to come home to every year. Check out the custom vintage haulers that stood out most and think about driving or flying out for next year's show. For more information on all the Goodguys events, visit the website: www.good-guys.com. CCT