Custom Rod of the Year, custom rod, vintage air

Goodguys’ 2021 Custom Rod of the Year Competition Almost Underway!

Goodguys 2019 Custom Rod of the Year winner shown above – Randy Wilcox’s 1959 Cadillac Coupe deVille – Built by Rad Rides by Troy

Custom Rod of the Year, custom rod, vintage airThat’s right! Each year, Goodguys heads out on the road in search of America’s coolest 1949-1972 Custom Rod that tastefully blends customizing techniques with modern performance and engineering. And when we find it, we crown it, honor it, and give it the title of Goodguys / Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year! It’s all part of our annual Goodguys “Top 12” cars and trucks of the year campaign and it’s one of the hottest awards programs in the country!

So how can you get involved and get your truck on the radar for this prestigious award? Well here’s the lowdown…

1. First off, your car has to meet the following criteria to be considered for the award:

  • Custom Rods 1949 through 1972 vintage are eligible
  • Attend any of the events listed below with your custom rod and park in either the Builder’s Choice area or Indoor display area (where applicable) and you’ll have a chance to be selected as a finalist! One finalist will be chosen from each of the five events listed.
  • A custom rod is defined as a custom car that tastefully blends customizing techniques or factory stock bodies with modern day performance, engineering, components, and styling.

2. So how are “Regional Finalists” selected?

  • (1) “Regional Finalist” that fits the award criteria will be selected from each of the events listed below will be selected by the Goodguys awards staff. This method benefits participants from all regions of the country – east to west, north to south – instead of limiting the award to a certain region and certain event.


3. What events can I compete to be a “Regional Finalist” at in 2021?

goodguys 2020 top 12 update

Bradley Ranweiler’s 1963 Chevy Wagon – selected at 2020 Heartland Nationals

4. And how about the overall winner? How is it selected?

  • Once all (8) “Regional Finalists” are selected, a team of Goodguys staff and select non-partisan builders and manufacturers from across the country will vote on and select the overall winner of the award.
  • Overall Winner will be announced on Friday, October 8th, 2021

5. What does the winner receive for having the coolest Custom Rod in the country?

  • National bragging rights
  • Beautiful billet aluminum award from Goodguys
  • RaceDeck garage flooring
  • Car Care products from Meguiar’s
  • 10×10 E-Z UP canopy
  • Full color feature in the Goodguys Magazine and Yearbook
  • Special feature on FuelCurve.com
  • Exclusive invitation and travel accommodations to the season-ending Goodguys 24th Southwest Nationals in Scottsdale, AZ where all of the “Top 12” cars and trucks of the year will be on display
Associate Editor

A lifelong car kid, Steven grew up around drag strips – his name may sound familiar because his grandfather is Bob Bunker, a Pro Mod pioneer who piloted the “Folsom Flash” ’55 Chevy from the ’70s through the ’90s. Steven’s father, Bob Bunker Jr., heads up Bunker Motorsports and is a regular in the West Coast racing scene, building chassis and race cars for more than 30 years. With genetics like that, it’s no wonder Steven has a passion for both cars and motorsports. In addition to helping his father and honing his fabrication skills at Bunker Motorsports, Steven began shooting photos at the drag strip and capturing the action with his Canon camera. He is now artfully crafting stories around the awesome machines at the shows, as well as the men and women behind them. When he's is not on the road covering events, he spends his downtime out on the water fishing, building his 1962 Chevy Nova, or cruising his 1987 GMC Suburban.