The Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has been putting on massive car shows and events for nearly 30 years, with thousands of hot rods, customs, classics, muscle cars and tricked out trucks descending on national events each year. But the rodding scene is changing these days, with more and more young rodders getting into the scene with newer and newer vehicles. In the last couple years, Goodguys has included these enthusiasts at a few of their events with the introduction of Super Sunday.
This year, rodders with post-1972 American-made or American-powered cars are being encouraged to bring their cars out and participate in these special Sunday get-togethers at nearly all of the Goodguys events.
I had the pleasure of experiencing this meshing of modern and classic vehicles at this year’s Colorado Nationals, and to say it was a hot rodder’s dream would be an understatement.
Having spent hours perusing the hundreds and hundreds of cars at the Colorado Nationals at The Ranch complex on Saturday, I didn’t think my first trip to a Goodguys event could get any better. I was wrong. Sunday brought several decades of cars that I was well acquainted with, and with them came enthusiasts of all kinds.
The Gist of Super Sunday
While I don’t know that 1980s muscle cars or modern diesel trucks will ever be considered hot rods per say, Goodguys wants to recognize the direction rodding culture is moving in, and that’s why they created Super Sunday. “The younger generation can’t afford a ‘33 Ford,” Goodguys’ Harry Daviess told me. “But the 80s or 90s Camaros, for example, are inexpensive.”
Super Sunday gives the younger generations of rodders a place to show off what they’re doing as far as modifying and customizing cars, and Daviess said that this is “accepted by the core hot rod guys.”
While Daviess said he doesn’t think the traditional hot rods will ever totally go away as hot rodding changes, he thinks we’re going to be seeing more and more modern vehicles in hot rod culture. “Twenty to thirty years seems to be the hot thing,” said Daviess of the trend to build and customize older cars. “Fifteen years from now we’ll still see the traditional hot rods but a lot more 60s, 70s and 80s cars.”
Modern and Classic All Mixed in One
After making a brief stop to talk to the AMC group who had gotten a killer placement for their cars Sunday morning (ok, I admit, I’m into strange and unique “odd ball” cars), I honed in on a gorgeous 1977 Pontiac Firebird that caught my eye from halfway across the show grounds. It’s jet black paint looked so clear and almost wet from yards away, as if it had just been sprayed, and the clarity of the finish only got better the closer I got. Black cars are hard to maintain, but boy did this Firebird represent everything we love about them and then some.
Nestled under the hood of the Pontiac was an LS7 V8 matched with a 6-speed transmission. According to the identification card, the car had been built by Pinkee’s Rod Shop, the nationally known Colorado hot rod shop that chose the coveted Goodguys Builder’s Choice Award winners for the weekend. The craftsmanship and exquisite execution of design and power on this car were impeccable and had I had the tens of thousands of dollars I’m sure it would’ve taken to own it, I would have made owner Ron Jones an offer right then and there.
Next to the Firebird, I found a car that screamed Super Sunday. Owned by John Heermann of Loveland, the 2011 Mustang was a blending of both modern and classic looks. Although it was designed to look like a 1968 Mustang by actually using classic Mustang body panels, the pony car still maintained its modern powerplant and I’m sure it would give any other Mustang owner quite a race, classic digs and all.
Making my way around the show, I saw plenty of modern Camaros, Corvettes and Mustangs, with a few Mopars thrown in for good measure, like the Super Sunday Award winning 2009 Challenger owned by Greg Orr. There were also a few trucks on display, like the 1979 Little Red Express truck owned by Orlando Salas. “My brother used to own one, but it burnt to the ground,” Salas told me. As it turns out, these old Dodges had a bad habit of melting the temperature gauge to the plastic and starting the trucks on fire. Luckily, Salas’ model is in fine shape and is even still sporting its original wood on the truck bed.
Every car that entered the grounds at the Colorado Nationals last weekend was special in some way, whether it was the work that was put into them, the way they looked, or how original they were. But nothing is quite like a factory Special Edition vehicle and Super Sunday brought out a few of these limited-run vehicles for fans to ogle over.
In addition to the 1978 Trans Am Special Edition I found lounging in the lawn (or Smokey and the Bandit Trans Am depending on who you talk to), I also found a 1997 30th Anniversary Z28 still sporting its original sales information sheets. While these two F-bodies were fun to look at, the real surprise of the day was coming across a 2012 45th Anniversary Callaway Camaro. You don’t see very many of the 45th Anniversary Camaros here in Colorado, in fact, I’ve never seen one in person, and to see one built by Callaway was an unexpected treat.
Hitting the Course
Modern performance cars are expected to handle, at least better than classics, and the guys competing in the Goodguys AutoCross on Sunday were determined to prove their cars belonged on the course right along side the pro-touring beasts that were hashing it out all weekend.
Attempting to break the 33.747 event record that was laid down by the Summit Racing-backed 1970 Camaro on Saturday were a modern Camaro, made up to look like Bumblebee from the original Transformers movie, a G8, WS6 Trans Am, Mustang GT, and others. While the competition was hot, the Camaro prevailed, taking the Super Sunday AutoCross win with a 38.378-second run.
Spending both Saturday and Sunday at the Colorado Nationals was a blast and I can’t wait to do it again. Maybe next year, I’ll have my late-model Trans Am up and running to participate in Super Sunday. Watch out autocross course, here I come!
Goodguys AutoCross – Super Sunday Winner
Andy Mc Mahon, Cheyenne, WY- 10 Camaro- 38.378
Super Sunday Award
John Heermann, Loveland, CO- 2011 Mustang
Super Sunday Award
Luke & Denise Langren, Littleton, CO- 78 Trans AM
Super Sunday Award
Greg Orr, Pueblo, CO- 2009 Challenger
Super Sunday Award
Tony Priborski, Lyons, CO- 06 GT Ford