Goodguys Nationals, Columbus, Fuel Curve

Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals – Hot Cars in Columbus!

The Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals blew the lid off the Ohio Expo Center in Columbus last weekend filling the massive complex with the best the hot rod industry has to offer. The best cars, the best vendors, the best racing and the best weather this event has ever seen made it hot rod mecca.

Goodguys Nationals, Columbus, Fuel Curve

Goodguys Nationals, Columbus, Fuel Curve

The local hotels started filling up as early as Wednesday evening with eager entrants. The parking lot scene between the two host hotels here is insane but not even close to the sheer size and scope of the event. Consider this – the Ohio Expo Center runs at least three quarters of a mile north to south and nearly that east and west. Six thousand cars are on hand from all over the US, Canada and overseas. The Goodguys Nationals is the summer destination for the hot rodding industry. Some call it the “Summer Time SEMA Show.”

Goodguys Nationals, Columbus, Fuel Curve

Goodguys Nationals, Columbus, Fuel Curve

Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals, Fuel Curve


If competition is your thing, the Goodguys Nationals has it in spades. Leading the way is the heated battle for Goodguys 2018 Street Machine of the Year with the equally potent Goodguys 2018 Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year. While the Street Machine Division is open to 1955-1987 vintage cars, the Street Rods must be pre-’49. Trust us, the best of the best are here from the entries to the shops that built them.

Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals, Fuel Curve

When the votes were tallied, it was Stuart Adams’ black ’69 Camaro by Detroit Speed taking home Street Machine of the Year while Dennis and Mark Mariani’s radical ’29 Ford Model A Tudor took home Street Machine of the Year. The entire field of entrants was a spectacular collection of the best the hot rodding industry has to offer.

Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals, Fuel Curve

The Goodguys Nationals AutoCross racing is hi-winding action from dawn ‘til dusk. With four divisions (PRO, Street Machine, Trucks and Fun Runs) doing cone-to-cone battle the track is busy. We had ourselves a rooting interest as Detroit Speed’s Kyle Tucker repped Fuel Curve behind the wheel of his third gen Camaro. Unfortunately for Kyle (and us) his second gen DSE Camaro bumped the third gen! But let us tell ya – that third gen’s 723 rwhp LS7 winds out to 9,000 rpm. It’s crazy. In the end, Speedway Motors driver Robby Unser (son of Indy 500 legend) made it a clean sweet by winning Friday’s “Sponsor Shootout” then came back Saturday and won the prestigious ‘Summer Shootout” title behind of the wheel of Speedway’s radical ’69 Camaro race car.

Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals, Fuel Curve

Goodguys Nationals, Columbus, Fuel CurveGoodguys Nationals, Columbus, Fuel CurveIf all that wasn’t enough, Goodguys held the Friday Night Nostalgia Drags at nearby National Trail Raceway stacking the pits with an endless procession of muscle cars, hot rods, nitro burning rail jobs, fuel altereds and nitrous-huffing Camaros.

Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals, Fuel Curve

Nowhere on planet earth will you find a more frenetic 72-hour stretch of burned rubber, spent petrol and sunburned hot rodders. The Goodguys PPG Nationals is an experience in sound, speed and mechanical mayhem. We were lucky to have joined this year’s party.

Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals, Fuel Curve

Photos by the author and Robert McCarter

Goodguys Nationals Photo Extra!

Senior Editor, Digital Media

With three decades of automotive journalism under his belt, John Drummond serves as Senior Editor – Digital Media for Fuel Curve and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association where he has worked since 1990. Drummond got his start in motorsports reporting by making a fake press pass to gain starting line access. The ruse worked and he began covering auto races as far back as 1986 in Northern California, eventually getting his stories published worldwide. He has owned and driven everything from a 1957 Plymouth Belvedere to a ridiculously modded Subaru WRX as well as a string of Mercedes AMG’s, most of which had the warranties voided the day after leaving the dealership.

Share With: