Baptism by fire! That's exactly what it was for me at this year's 8th Annual Goodguys Southwest Nationals in Scottsdale, Arizona. No, it wasn't boiling hot-in fact the weather was perfect. This was my first Goodguys show in the 10 years since I dove into the world of "old cars." I have often heard about how spectacular the Goodguys shows are, and I live close to a few, so I'm not quite sure why it's taken so long for me to experience one.

Experience is just what I got with it, too. With a late start, from flying in Saturday morning, I hit the ground running making my way through the thousands of glistening cars and trucks. Not only was I just trying to take in the show in general, but I had to pick the CLASSIC TRUCKS Top Ten awards as well as put together coverage for all of you. Now, at a lesser show this may have been an easier task, but with people migrating from far and wide, and culminating in Arizona to show their stuff, I had my work cut out for me. I armed myself with my trusty Canon, water, Top Ten forms, and put more miles on a pair of Converse shoes than should be allowed.

More than filling the field at WESTWORLD was a plethora of way-cool hot rods, customs, and musclecars that suited just about any taste or style. Of course, there were the heavy-hitters on hand, like Boyd and Foose who were rubbin' shoulders with the fans, as they wandered wide-eyed amongst the vendors all weekend. On the perimeter of the field, in the swap meet area, there were tons of cars, trucks, parts, people, and what have you. When I first walked up to it, I thought I was still in the show, as I was surrounded by a bunch of clean trucks for sale that had caught my eye. If you had enough cash, you could have gone to the swap meet, bought a truck, and spent the rest of the time with it in the show.

Saturday night I was invited to an open house/BBQ at Industrial Chassis in nearby Phoenix. Owner Steve Szymanski showed me around the shop, which was so big I almost cried. They had their hands full of all kinds of projects, not to mention their recent venture in dropping I-beam axles. I soon forgot about the trucks when I saw all the food waiting. It was just what the doctor ordered after a long day of beatin' my feet. I love good hospitality!

With the baptism now over, I feel like a better person for attending. Don't wait 10 years like I did to go to a Goodguys show. Thanks to all the classic truck owners for showing up. We hope to see even more of you in Scottsdale next year on November 18 & 19th! For more info go to www.good-guys.com