The Goodguys Rod and Custom Association brought out the best of the best in the Buckeye state for their 18th Annual PPG Nationals. This event held at the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus, Ohio, has a massive turnout with over 6,000 outstanding rides on display for the 75,000 visitors to drool over. The PPG Nationals literally has it all from auto cross action, drag racing insanity, and the crowning of the top Hot Rod and Street Machines of the year.
At the PPG Nationals there is more than enough to see and do for every type of gearhead out there. Spread throughout the Expo Center there are over 300 vendors selling everything from fully built cars to the nuts and bolts you need to put a car, truck, or hot rod back together. The PPG Nationals also has one of the largest swap meets and car corrals of any Goodguys event.
Every year at the PPG Nationals, Goodguys gives away a totally awesome custom built hot rod or street machine to a lucky winner. This year the prize was an amazing looking C-10 called the “G-10” built by Scott’s Hot Rods. Rick Lingen was the man who heard his name called to be the winner of this stunning truck and is sure to get many years of happy hot rodding out of it.
Out at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, Ohio, the Goodguys Friday Night Drags went off without a hitch after a slight rail delay. Various classes of race cars took to the 1320 to show who was the boss of the strip.
During the night racers from the Ohio Outlaw Gassers duked it out while the always entertaining nitro powered fuel altereds put on a show for the crowd. Class winners included Dennis Meade, Rick Newmeyer, Scott Weisend, John Callen, Ray Kasicki, and Ken Morris.
Racing action was not limited to the quarter mile, some killer rides made some laps all weekend on the Goodguys Autocross course at the Expo Center. Not even mother-nature could stop Danny Popp, who doubled up on the weekend by winning the 6th annual Sponsor Shootout and the overall PRO Class title behind the wheel of his 1972 Corvette. Also bringing home Goodguys Gold on the autocross was Ken Hiebert, Alex Giesey, Todd Holdren, and Bryan Johnson.
One of the best represented companies out on the Goodguys autocross course was RideTech with Chris Smith, Todd Green, and company owner Bret Voelkel all wheeling their RideTech equipped machines around in the PRO class. Chris Smith was able to put his 48 Hour Corvette with over 650 hp under the hood in the top ten with a ninth place finish. Todd Green took his Turnology sponsored Camaro and raced to a respectable 10th place finish.
Bret Voelkel jumped behind the wheel of the “Barn Find” 1964 Corvette and decided to show everybody in at the Ohio Expo Center you don’t need giant horsepower or loads of tire to get around the autocross quickly. The Barn Find would be considered seriously outgunned by most for PRO class competition with the small tires and power plant, but the RideTech suspension mixed with Voelkel’s driving closes that gap.
Goodguys 2015 Optima Batteries Street Machine of the Year
The competition for Goodguys Street Machine of The Year at the PPG Nationals was sponsored by OPTIMA Batteries, and can only be described in one word: ridiculous. Just making the top five with such high level of builds is an honor, but there could only be one and the Mike Goldman Customs built 1967 Corvette owned by Sonny & Debbie Freeman scaled the mountain and took home the top prize.
Mike Goldman Customs is a small shop based in Meridian Mississippi, but don’t let that fool you for one second, this shop cranks out some weapons grade hot rods and customs that continue to win awards. The newest hardware for Street Machine of The Year shows just how important quality is to this team.
The ‘67 corvette convertible now rests on a Roadster Shop chassis and that is just the base of this killer ride. “We cut the whole floor out of the car and raised it to channel over the chassis about 1 1/2 inches” says Talbert Goldman about just one of the many changes they made to the car. There is all kinds of glass work done throughout the car, including the rear tubs being modified to fit the massive 19×10 wheels and tires.
That’s not all the body modifications that have been done to this corvette explains Goldman, “The rockers have been made full to the car with a brushed nickel inlay, rear ground effects were made to complete the car’s rear so it would flow with the rockers. All four bumpers have been sliced and diced up to fit up real nice to the body and looking streamline where the originals would catch you as you walk around it.”
Adding to the amazing and subtle details, Goldman and his team did something different with the trim and other parts. “Every piece of trim on the car and engine components including bumpers grille and all interior pieces are brushed nickel by Advanced Plating” explains Goldman about their choice in materials for the parts.
Under the hood of the corvette the shop kept things clean to help highlight the menacing Mast Motorsports 427 cubic inch LS7 that wears a killer looking Hilborn injection system. Talbot and the shop went beyond the extra mile to get this look, “we made the engine bay ledge around the hood and inner fenders along with a false fire wall to conceal the wiring and plumbing.”
Adding to the detail under the hood is the custom hood hinges and geometry that open over the nose and eliminates the big hole you see on a stock vette of this era. The shop also did some stunning aluminum panel work under the hood to compliment the rest of the clean looking work they did.
Inside the corvette Paul Atkins created a masterpiece of an interior that matches the outside of the car so well. The leather wrapped dash houses the Classic Instruments gauges that provide such a great touch to the car and match the aluminum shifter handle that goes to a six speed magnum t56 transmission.
The suspension on the corvette is absolutely no joke, with a fast track independent parts and NASCAR style sway bars. Wilwood six-piston 14-inch calipers with giant rotors at all four corners help the car stop. Riding on some gorgeous Forgeline wheels that are 18×8-inch up front and 19×10-inch in the rear; wearing Continental tires, the corvette has an amazing stance.
Now, this car looks fast sitting still and it backs the look up when Goldman mashed the loud pedal on the Goodguys Autocross. Roaring through the three-inch custom exhaust the corvette laid down a respectable low 41 second lap time on the course with Talbert putting on a show for the crowd earing the loudest cheers of the weekend.
Mike Goldman Customs built this car specifically to contend for Street Machine of the Year, not only did they call their shot, they hit a grand slam winning the competition impressively. The understated, yet bold styling of this custom corvette shows how keen the eye of the crew at Mike Goldman Customs is and their attention to detail is razor sharp.
The Goodguys 18th PPG Nationals did not disappoint even with some slight challenges from Mother Nature. The quality level of everything on the property was a real treat for the spectators to see and the Street Machine of The Year competition could be impossible to top in the future. There is no doubt about it, when you go to any Goodguys show you will have a great time. Enjoy the huge gallery from the show, from racing to spectating, and all the beauty that makes the Goodguys shows spectacular. You can find a list of all the winners from each category on the Goodguys’ website.