As part of our jobs here at CLASSIC TRUCKS we have to-or get to rather-travel across the country to cover events to share with all of you. It seems that we rarely have a chance to go all the way across the country with so many of the shows being located in the Midwest. Well, this time I got to fly practically all the way to the other side of our fair continent late last October to the 14th Annual Goodguys Southeastern Nationals at the Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina-my first trip this far South.
It's hard to realize sometimes that in a mere five hours on a plane you can be 2,500 miles away in a "whole other world", so to speak, especially coming from the hustle and bustle/concrete jungle of Southern California, but it's nice to get away! I enjoy visiting parts of the country I've yet to traverse as well as checking out the landscape, the culture, meeting new people, and of course, the food!
Goodguys shows always manage to pull in plenty of entries from surrounding areas as well as droves of spectators, rain or shine, thanks to their reputation. Unfortunately, Friday put this to the test with plenty of late October rain soaking the Lowes Motor Speedway, but that didn't stop the crowd armed with umbrellas and ponchos, in both storebought and improvised versions.
I did make use of the rainy weather later on to go visit a few nearby shops. First stop was Fatman Fabrications where at long last I had a chance to meet everyone who holds down the fort that I've only talked to on the phone, while Brent, aka The Fat Man, is out on the road as a vendor at large shows like Goodguys. I also talked my way into a tour of the grounds and checked out firsthand how all their products are made and engineered.
My next stop was to Dennis Carpenter Reproductions and it was a good thing I had my walking shoes on! Reading any of Dennis' catalogs gives you a pretty good idea that they know their stuff and make quality products-enough so that Ford gives them licensing for many of them. Actually seeing in person what goes into making this possible; however, is astounding. From all the weather stripping machinery to the building where huge multi-ton presses bang out things like stainless hubcaps, using the original Ford machines no less, the tour was eye opening. To top it all off, Dennis has his own museum on the property that's open to the public and is filled with more cool stuff than you can shake a stick at. From vintage Fords, motorcycles, pedal cars, signs, scooters, and plenty of stuff I missed I'm sure, it's a must for anyone in the area.
The rain cleared out by the time the show started on Saturday and soon there were around 2,000 entries filling the center of the Speedway along with a pretty decent swap meet. There was also the ever-popular Air Ride Autocross track where you run-what-ya-brung through a course outlined in cones, you are timed, and have the whole weekend to best yourself, a friend, or maybe even a friendly stranger.
All in all, the show was a success and a good opportunity for me to meet many of our readers on "that" side of the country as well as see lots of "new to us" iron. Get ready for the Goodguys '08 show season by logging onto www.goodguys.com to find out about event locations, dates, as well as past award winners and more. See you out on the road!
In Charlotte there were a few "surprise" trucks there like Randy Carter's '47 Dodge Canopy
Building a clean '67-72 C-10 is almost effortless, thanks to GM. Richard and Anna Brown's