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Goodguys 6th Spring Nationals

The Goodguys hosted their 5th Spring Nationals at the North Florida Fairgrounds for the second year in a row on March 26th thru 28th, 2004. This location became the new home for the event last year, and likely made it an easier journey for those attending from northern bordering states compared to the previous Orlando location. This year about a thousand 1972 and older vehicles showed up for the fun, with a wide diversity of styles represented.

Thing actually got started on Thursday, with the Tallahassee Street Rods hosting their Hot Rod Cruise from 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm. Then a Kick-Off Party was held at the Ramada Inn to celebrate the arrival of those who participated in the “Toolin’ ta Tallahassee” Cruise, which included three starting points within Florida (Ft. Lauderdale, Ocala and Panama City), plus routes originating from Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Participants could join anywhere along the way, led by Goodguys Rodders Reps for a fun trek with fellow enthusiasts. This was a really neat idea, and while we weren’t able to participate I’m sure it made the journey as much fun as the destination. On Friday a TGIF Party was held in the Ramada Inn host hotel’s parking lot from 6:00-10:00 pm where more folks took the opportunity to make more friends and have fun.

The event settled back in nicely at the Fairgrounds on Saturday, with the vintage style buildings along the main street again making for a nice backdrop and cruising route. As with all the Goodguys events participants were free to park wherever, or if their vehicle fit into certain categories they could join special featured areas. These included Homebuilt Heaven, the Classic Chevy Corral, Muscle Car Reunion for 1960-72 vehicles, YoungGuys for the 25 and younger crowd, and Roadster Roundup for those wild and woolly topless rides. In addition to Rockin’ DJ Dave spinning the golden oldies there was also live entertainment at 12:00 noon and 2:00 pm. Besides checking out all the great cars and trucks participants and spectators enjoyed the vendor and manufacturer exhibits, swap meet, car corral, plus the arts and crafts show. To keep the little tykes happy there was also face painting, puppets, clowns and games for the kids. As they say, time flies when you’re having fun....and soon it was time to go back to the Ramada Inn for the Hot Rod Beach Party. Keeping with the theme there was a Hawaiian shirt contest, and plenty of good ole “bench racing” and stories being swapped - you know, the stuff that rounds out any good gathering of motor heads once the sun goes down.

On Sunday everyone returned to the Fairgrounds for another full day of activities, and the various award winners found their place in the Winner’s Circle. They were picked by various celebrities, plus various industry and magazine representatives. The Christian Rodders Association held their Rodders Church Service in one of the buildings at 10:00 am, there was more live entertainment on the stage, music by Rockin’ DJ Dave, and soon everyone was looking forward to the awards presentation that commenced at 2:22 pm. I’ve always liked the way the Goodguys hand them out, with each recipients driving their vehicle in front of the crowd one at a time. That way you can not only see the beautiful lines and glimmering exteriors, but also see it in motion and hear the rumble of the engine as a total package. For a complete list of the more than 80 award winners click here.

Lots of parts and services were given away as door prizes, and after dropping in their Sunday Lucky Ticket at the awards show stage one lucky participant had their ticket drawn, which qualified them for the year end giveaways of a Boydster III street rod and a Hot Rods & Horsepower turnkey steel ‘32 Roadster.

Weather wise the Goodguys have been lucky when they have come to the sunshine state, and this year was no exception. Maybe Mother Nature is an auto enthusiast after all! For more info on any of the 20+ Goodguys events that happen every year, online registration, news, merchandise and more visit CN