Goodguys Del Mar Nationals – Palm Trees and Hi Performance

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals – Palm Trees and Hi Performance

For our money, the Goodguys Del Mar Nationals is one of the top five car events in the western United States. The seaside village erupts with color, chrome, sunshine and excitement each April bringing car crazy gear heads of all ages together at the scenic Del Mar Fairgrounds.

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals – Palm Trees and Hi Performance

Being 90 miles south of the Los Angeles Basin, the Del Mar region has a relaxed vibe, less traffic and when you’re here it really does feel like a vacation. But the horsepower and thunder generated by over 2,500 classic cars and hot rods cut through that chill vibe to energize the whole town. Locals, visitors and scenesters flock to the fairgrounds. Lots of them!

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals – Palm Trees and Hi Performance

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals – Palm Trees and Hi PerformanceIt kind of ironic that all these ponies are on hand at one of horse racing’s premier facilities. It’s a spectacular event grounds with a giant two way “main street” running right down the center of the event which makes it ideal for cruising. And cruise they do.

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals – Palm Trees and Hi Performance

More than other Goodguys shows, the Del Mar Nationals has numerous specialty exhibits and event attractions that set it apart. Inside the main building is the competition for Goodguys Street Rod d’ Elegance awards where the country’s top 1949 and earlier cars square off for the title. But the Goodguys/PPG Lowrider Palace sucked us in deep. Over 75 custom lowriders laid out for the crowd with clubs from all over San Diego in the house.

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals – Palm Trees and Hi PerformanceGoodguys Del Mar Nationals – Palm Trees and Hi Performance

Out on the west lot, things get hot and heavy with the Goodguys AutoCross in full swing. Bruce Cambern’s original AC Cobra, RideTech’s new Track One ’70 Camaro, David Carroll’s LS3 powered Datsun Z car, Rob Phillips’ C-10 and the list goes on. They were throwing it down hard out there and the crowd was digging it.

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals – Palm Trees and Hi Performance

Fans of the sweet smell of nitro methane were in luck too. The Goodguys “Nitro Thunderfest” brought together seven era-correct front engine top fuel dragsters to pound the ground. Tommy Allen’s “Watchdog”, the “Poison Ivy” and other iconic So-Cal tire fryers gave the fans a full dose.

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals – Palm Trees and Hi Performance

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals – Palm Trees and Hi Performance

This event really does have it all. And after they leave the show, the quaint village of Del Mar offers all the nightlife you could ask for. Not only that, you’re literally walking distance to the beach and Pacific Ocean from the fairgrounds.

Goodguys Del Mar Nationals – Palm Trees and Hi Performance

Through these pictures you can clearly see why Goodguys calls the Del Mar Nationals “The Best in the West.” We couldn’t agree more.

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.

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