Eye Candy: Goodguys ends 2014 season with huge Southwest Nationals

Photos by Bob Golfen and Larry Edsall

The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association ended its 2014 car-show season last weekend with a massive turnout for the 17th annual Southwest Nationals at WestWorld in Scottsdale.

The colorful swarm of hot rods, customs, muscle cars, trucks and classics totaled 3,423, more than a 10-percent increase compared with the same event a year ago, according to Goodguys, and attendance topped 70,000 for the three-day extravaganza.

’57 Chevy pickup named Truck of the Year | Goodguys
’57 Chevy pickup named Truck of the Year | Goodguys

While much of the nation shivered under unseasonably cold weather, the crowd at WestWorld enjoyed balmy Arizona sunshine and temperatures in the 70s.

The sea of vehicles was a nearly overwhelming bonanza of terrific rides, primarily customized performance rods boasting tweaked V8 engines for drag-strip acceleration. Row after row of beautiful and imaginative cars filled the Scottsdale venue’s famous polo field and most of the adjacent acres of blacktop. More than 400 ’32 Ford street rods showed for Saturday’s Deuce Doins display.

The automotive swap meet and cars-for-sale corral also was crowded with vendors selling everything from hubcaps to complete engines.

Autocrosser Brian Hobaugh races in his ’65 Corvette | Goodguys
Autocrosser Brian Hobaugh races in his ’65 Corvette | Goodguys

The impressive collection of Goodguys’ award-winning cars and trucks for 2014 were shown in a special Champions Arena. These included the 10 national award winners from Goodguys’ previous 18 hot rod events this year, plus the Truck of the Year-Late-(model) that was picked during the Southwest Nationals: A splendid black 1957 Chevy stepside pickup.

Rounding out the Top 12 awards for 2014 was the winner of the Duel in the Desert autocross finals shootout. The 32-car competition was topped by veteran autocrosser Brian Hobaugh of San Ramon, California, driving a 1965 Chevrolet Corvette coupe with a final time of 70.376 seconds for the day’s runs. Hobaugh earned the title of Goodguys AutoCrosser of the Year.

Goodguys starts up its 2015 season of 19 nationwide shows in March with the event returning to WestWorld for the fifth annual Spring Nationals.

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