Hot Rods & Horsepower


COLUMBUS — The landscape of Columbus is about to explode with hot rods, custom cars and horsepower the weekend of July 6-8 as the Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals rolls into the Ohio Expo Center.

This event, the 9th stop on a 19 national event series brings to automotive enthusiasts the full gear-head weekend experience! The “Big One” on the Goodguys 2018 schedule has become a tradition and pilgrimage for some and continues to showcase the love of the American automobile. Over 6,000 hot rods, customs and classic cars gather at the Ohio Expo Center for a three-day celebration of the American automobile.

What started 35 years ago in March of 1983 as a one day “Get-Together” for California hot rodders has blossomed into a worldwide association of car enthusiasts born out of one man’s passion. The Goodguys message and methodology proved so popular it launched the Northern California based company into the lexicon of America’s most widely recognized show promoters. Twenty-one years later, the PPG Nationals showcases hot rods, custom cars, and all the trends that make this hobby so special.

At the Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals, fans will get a close-up glimpse of just how eclectic the modern day hot rodding scene is in spirit – the Goodguys core message is unchanged after 35 years – having fun with cars. For the first time in over 22 years, Goodguys has expanded the cut off year for vehicles to 1987. Previously the cut off year was 1972 but the expansion has allowed a new era of cars and trucks to enter the events. This cutoff year expansion extends to all the 2018 events, except for the 32nd West Coast Nationals in August in California.

Two of the Top 12 Awards for the 2018 season will be awarded at this event—the Goodguys PPG Street Machine of the Year and the Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year. The vehicles competing for the Street Machine of the year must be from 1954 to 1987. This award is designed for a cutting-edge Street Machine which combines masterful build quality with extreme performance. Quality of craftsmanship, body & paint, overall engineering, the three F’s (fit, form & functionality) stance and overall creativity in design and concept is what the selection committee will seek when they select the winner of this award. The Street Rod of the Year will be awarded to a street through 1948. This award is designed for a true modern masterpiece. Quality of craftsmanship, body and paint, overall engineering, the three F’s (fit, form and functionality) stance and overall creativity in design and concept is what the selection committee will seek when they are selecting this award. Each year the field of cars that the committee must select from is amazing and this year will be no different. These two prestigious awards will be crowned on Saturday evening, July 7 at 5:30 pm in the Celeste Building.

The Goodguys AutoCross racing continues to provide thrill seekers with that true racing experience! The shrill sound of rubber meeting pavement will fill the air with excitement as competitors in the Goodguys AutoCross, a hi-adrenaline electronically timed vehicle speed & agility course, battle it out in a weekend long fastest-car-wins contest of speed & skill. The AutoCross course will be alive with competition all weekend, hosting the Street Machine of the Year and Street Rod of the Year competitors on Friday, plus the Sponsor Shootout and then on Saturday the track comes to life with the Summer Shootout presented by Forgeline. The Summer Shootout will be a 16-car field, based on the fastest 16 cars from qualifying on Friday and Saturday morning. The winner and runner up will punch their ticket into the Duel in the Desert in November in Scottsdale, AZ.

For those die-hard racing fans, we have some great talented and very well-known drivers in the PRO class. 9 Time Pikes Peak Hill Climb champ and Goodguys F.A.S.T 2017 AutoCrosser of the Year, Robby Unser, will be racing for Team Speedway throughout the weekend. Robby will be available to meet and greet fans as well in the AutoCross pits. Robby hails from one of the most storied racing families in the US racing history and is a great competitor on the track.

Added to the mix again this year in Columbus is the Nitro Thunderfest Dragster Exhibition at the event on Friday and Saturday! Bring your earplugs and join us for the sights and sounds of good ol’ vintage drag racing and we fire up some of the coolest vintage dragsters and race cars around. Nitro Thunderfest will be held at 1 pm on Friday and noon and 2 pm on Saturday.

We have some great entertainment on stage this year! Ashley Wineland, CMT Country Music artist brings her “Back to the Simple Life” Tour to the Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals, on Saturday and Sunday. Wineland, an Arizona native, kicked off her national Back to the Simple Life tour in California and has been logging some serious miles since we saw her perform at our Goodguys Spring event in Texas. If you haven’t seen her perform live in concert, this is one you don’t want to miss. She has a captivating and powerful voice that is enthralling audiences all over the US. Ashely will perform Saturday night before the fireworks show and then again Sunday afternoon at the event. Also performing on Saturday is Riley Biederer a rising star and recent contestant on the TV show, the Voice. These are two gals you don’t want to miss!

For those who need their quarter mile fix of drag racing excitement, the Goodguys Friday Nite Vintage drags will take place on Friday, July 6 at National Trail Raceway in Hebron. Watch the quarter mile side by competition of the exhibition cars, such as Fuel Altereds Nanook vs. Rat Trap, plus Supercharged Thunder and an exhibition run by two top fuel dragsters!! Gates open at 2 pm, Time trials at 4pm and eliminations are at 7 pm. General admission spectator tickets for the drags are $20 and are available at National Trail Raceway.

Then there’s the midway featuring multi-million-dollar custom big rig tractor trailers (a show in and of themselves) offering hi-performance parts and accessories to budding hot rodders and do-it-yourselfers. Having the chance to interact directly with manufacturers has long been an appealing aspect of Goodguys events. Throw in a giant used car parts swap meet and the car corral (turn-key classic cars for sale) and it’s literally auto-utopia for any red-blooded American with motor oil in their veins. For the gals, there is the Goodgals arts & crafts in the Ag/Hort building with many crafters showing off their hand made goods. It’s a shopper’s paradise!

Goodguys will also host a schedule of industry “how to” seminars in the newly constructed Cardinal Hall during the event. These seminars, given by leading hot rod manufacturers, offer participants helpful information on the latest products and trends in hot rodding today. Seminars will be held on Saturday, July 7 from 9:00 am to 4 pm. The lineup of companies participating in the seminars includes, Ride Tech, Griot’s Garage, Classic Instruments, Mother’s, Vintage, Air, and PPG to name a few.

Goodguys takes their car-lovin’ customers so serious there’s even a model car program sponsored by Revell that sends the little one’s home with their very own model kit forging big dreams to one day come back to the show with a life-sized version. The make n’ take model car sessions will be on Saturday at 1 pm and then again on Sunday at 11 am.

Rounding it all out is the Spectre Performance All American Sunday where owners of American made or powered show cars and trucks of all years can come inside the event to show off next to the 1987 and earlier iron. Registration for All American Sunday will open at 7 am and offers to the Sunday participant the chance to be a part of the largest Goodguys national event and be eligible for awards. Goodguys philosophy is “car guys are car guys.” Bring out those late models and enjoy the day!

Sunday afternoon, we will close out the event with an awards ceremony in the Celeste Building at 2:22 pm. This is a great way to see the best of the best from the event. Plus, the Goodguys 67 Camaro giveaway will take place right after the awards ceremony on Sunday. One lucky finalist will go home with an amazing Camaro built by Goolsby Customs. We will also debut the 2018-2019 giveaway truck as well on Sunday!

And this, all of it, started on a spring day in March 1983 in Northern California. The feeling of this event personified in a simple company slogan. “Goodguys…Where timeless traditions meet new school trends.”

The Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals event gates are open Friday and Saturday from 8am to 5pm and Sunday 8am to 3pm. General admission is $20, kids 7-12 $6, 6 and under are free. There is a $7 parking fee charged by the Ohio Expo Center. Tickets can be purchased at the Ohio Expo Center all three days of the event. Or you can visit to purchase tickets $17 discounted general admission tickets by 11:59 on 7/5. Call Goodguys at (925) 838-9876 for event information or vehicle registration information.

About Goodguys

Based in Pleasanton, CA – Goodguys Rod & Custom Association promotes and produces the world’s most dynamic automotive events. Founded by lifelong hot rodder Gary Meadors and his wife, Marilyn, in 1983, Goodguys is the world’s largest hot-rodding association with over 70,000 active members worldwide. Goodguys events feature thousands of hot rods and customs, tricked out trucks, mighty muscle cars and classics sprawled throughout venues such as lush fairgrounds, super speedways and large outdoor stadiums. The cars, vendor exhibits, the Goodguys AutoCross, live entertainment and colorful people create a festive atmosphere charged with electricity. In 2015, Goodguys celebrates 30+ years of producing events across America. Goodguys events range from two-day affairs attended by 30,000 to 40,000 people to three-day extravaganza’s attracting over 100,000 auto enthusiasts. In addition to events Goodguys publishes the award winning Goodguys Gazette – a 250-page all-color monthly tabloid size magazine. For more, visit To find us on Facebook, visit:!/goodguysrodandcustom