When it comes to Goodguys shows, the Colorado Nationals is one of the organization’s smaller events. But don’t let that fool you into thinking there are any less impressive rides there than at other shows across the country. Not only can you find some impressive home builds and magazine feature cars, you’ll also find SEMA Show rides and coachbuilt wonders among the masses of classic American rides.
This year, the Goodguys Colorado Nationals offered all of that and more, with an impressive Vendor Midway, tons of worthy Builder’s Choice Award contenders, a happening swap meet and a highly competitive AutoCross course to boot. Check out some of the highlights of the show below.
Kicked off on Friday, September 8th, the 20th Goodguys Colorado Nationals started out with hundreds of impressive rides already on The Ranch property in Loveland, Colorado, by the time gates opened to spectators at 8:00 a.m. Though the work day and the chance of rain later on in the day kept some rodders away, yet the increased showing of top-notch rides was definitely noticeable.
Throughout the weekend, this proved to be an ongoing theme, as more first-rate builds than we’ve seen at the show in years past competed for Builders Choice awards, Custom Rod of the Year Finalist, Truck of the Year Early Finalist, and Muscle Car of the Year Finalist, along with over four dozen other awards.
Having expanded their Vendor Midway this year, the Colorado Nationals played host to many big-name vendors like K&N, Griot’s Garage, PPG, Classic Instruments and many more. If you were looking for something for your ride, chances were it was available on-site or able to be ordered by visiting one of the dozens of exhibiting companies. If it was something antique, original or just old-school cool you were looking for, the swap meet and cars for sale areas were ripe with pickings.
Another popular area of this year’s Colorado Nationals was the AutoCross competition. With practice rounds on Friday, time competitions on Saturday, and All American Sunday fun runs on Sunday, the squealing of tires, roaring of engines and smell of hot brakes, race gas and spent clutches certainly attracted a crowd all three days.
Of course, being the Colorado Nationals, there was also the TGIF Pinkee’s Rod Shop Party to be noted. With live music, local food trucks, great beer from Mash Labs (the on-site brewery in the rod shop’s building) and an open shop for all to explore, the famous kickoff party was a hit as always.
Our Top 5
While we’re used to seeing some pretty sweet rides at the Colorado Nationals, there were just too many impressive builds to narrow them down to our Top 3. So instead, we decided to feature five of our favorites!
Nick Fraser’s 1936 Ford Roadster “Time Bomb”
One incredible custom, Nick Fraser’s 1936 Ford Roadster was a fan favorite all weekend long and ended up winning one of the Builder’s Choice Top 10 Awards. Coachbuilt by John St. Germain, this amazing car features so many unique and custom details that we just can’t list them all. However, some of the highlights are a ’41 Packard grille, a custom hood, chopped windshield, custom laid back pillars, handmade skirts, custom rear section and trunk lid, lengthened rear fenders, custom taillights with ’39 Hudson lenses, custom lower valance with a sectioned ’37 Plymouth bumper grafted in, and ’57 Oldsmobile dash clock bezel exhaust tips.
Inside, the ’36 is just as custom, featuring Oxblood leather upholstery, a modified ’40 Mercury dash with ’39 Ford dash knobs and stock ’36 Ford gauges, a ’51 Ford Crestliner Deluxe steering wheel and custom pedals, to name just a few details. Powered by a Len Hurley 8BA Flathead featuring a Navarro intake, race camshaft, Edelbrock heads and Fenton headers, and backed by a classic 4-speed, the Time Bomb is the full package when it comes to alluring street rods.
Bob Kuehn’s 1954 Mercury Convertible
Another impressive build, this 1954 Mercury Convertible owned by Bob Kuehn won the “Ford in a Ford Pick” award, and for good reason. Built atop a Heinzman Street Rod Shop chassis, this beautiful Merc is powered by a modern 5.0 Coyote engine, which is backed by a 4R70 transmission. Other performance features on the Merc include 18-inch Billet Specialties wheels and disc brakes.
While the Merc definitely gets some credit for having a Ford under the hood, it was truly the aesthetics of the car that initially drew us in. From the sleek low slung body smoothed and massaged by Kuehn himself and topped with a glassy PPG Black paint scheme, to the full custom Fawn-colored leather interior done by Doug’s Auto Trim, this Mercury sets the standard for five-star builds.
Adam Rice’s 1931 Ford Model A Coupe
Our Top 5 rides from the 2017 Colorado Nationals wouldn’t be complete without at least one Model A, and this 1931 coupe certainly takes the cake.
Owned and built by Adam Rice, this beautiful custom is chopped 6-inches, channeled 4-inches and smoothed all over. Powering the street rod is a 292ci Ford Y block with 3 deuces and an Isky Racing camshaft, among other things, with the block painted a sweet copper color that goes just perfectly with the Axalta Brown paint scheme Rice chose for his car.
Other distinguishing features of Rice’s ’31 include a custom modified Riley Auto chassis, ’35 Ford wire wheels wrapped in Firestone wide whites, and a custom interior in King Ranch Brown.
Mike Chrisinger’s 1931 Ford Model A Coupe
This perfectly proportionate ’31 Ford Coupe owned by Mike Chrisinger was crawling with attention every time we saw it, and it’s easy to see why. Done in bare metal, the car is the epitome of balanced, from the smoothed grille shell to the pinstriped trunk lid. Inside, the simple black and bare metal custom interior only adds to the car’s appeal.
Powered by a 327ci V8 tied to a 5-speed manual gearbox, Chrisinger’s ’31 isn’t built just for good looks, however. And with those massive Firestones in the rear, we have a feeling that this bad little Ford can certainly pack a punch.
Awarded the “Hottest Hot Rod” award at this weekend’s show, we’re sure this is only the beginning of awards to come for this impressive rod!
Bryan Corah’s 1938 Chevy Coupe
The only Chevy in our Top 5, Bryan Corah’s 1938 Chevy Coupe caught our eye immediately thanks to its unique side cutouts that put its Small Block Chevy powerplant on full display. But the more we got to looking at the car, the more we fell in love.
Built atop a stock chassis, this gorgeous coupe was described as “chopped, dropped, bopped and hopped” by Corah on the information sheet he filled out to compete for the Builder’s Choice Top 10 Awards. Fittingly, the car has an epic stance, curves in all the right places and just enough flair to tell you this build is no joke.
Among the other details, Billet Specialties wheels, Yokohama tires, two-tone PPG paint and a custom Ranch Tan interior done by Rob Penna set this car up for securing plenty of attention in the future. Though the car didn’t win a Builder’s Choice Award this time around, it certainly stands to win plenty of awards in the future.
We had an awesome time at the Goodguys Colorado Nationals, as usual, and can’t wait until the show returns to the Front Range next year! Until then, be sure to check out all the award winners HERE, and scan through the colossal photo gallery we created from the event below!