This year marked the 30th anniversary of the GoodGuys West Coast Nationals By Flowmaster car show where attendees from all over the nation descend upon Pleasanton, CA to enjoy a weekend full of cool rides, camaraderie and excitement. The show for 2016 was well attended with over 3,500 hot rods, customs, muscle cars, and trucks taking over the sleepy Nor-Cal town.
It was a full house but there was more that just cars as attractions. Vendors, T-shirts, car parts, and good eats ensured there was something for everyone and never a dull moment. There was much to see, and tough call to pick the stand-outs, but someone had to it. So, without any further ado, here are five of our favorites in no particular order.
Check out Emmanuel Zendejas’ very cool, barely used 1961 Corvette. The old saying “They’re only original once,” certainly applies here. Not only is this ‘Vette ultra-low mile with 14k original clicks on the clock, but almost every part on this Roman Red roadster is original or NOS. The color combo resonated with Emmanuel because his Dad had one just like it.
Emmanuel really had to persuade the former owner of the car to sell it to him and had to assure him that the car would fall into the hands of a true aficionado who would appreciate the heritage and provenance of the vehicle.
It was Emmanuel’s sincerity, delivered in a letter, which convinced the seller that his precious Corvette would not be sold off or end up as another feather in a collector’s cap, hidden away from the world. Emmanuel’s deep love of the Corvette clinched the deal even though there were other buyers with more enticing offers lined up to buy this rare, mid-century masterpiece.
This little red ‘Vette is running a 270 horsepower 283 c.i. small block with dual four-barrel carbs, solid lifters, and a high-lift cam hooked up to a 3-speed transmission. The interior is an exercise in red, mid-century modern bling that only Harley Earl could’ve pull off.
If you like fat fendered Ford’s you’re in for a treat. Dan Wathor rolled in to Pleasanton and nabbed the 2016 Good Guys America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod Award in his metallic gold 1937 Ford. He’s been entering cars for years now and after five Top Finalist placings, he finally grabbed the gold.
Hailing from Rio Linda, California, Wathor’s Ford Coupe was an exercise in refinement, attention to detail and painstaking perfection. Built by Kenny’s Rod Shop in Boise, Idaho, it sports a fuel injected 351 Ford V8 (natch) and Arias Ford Hemi heads and wild intake imprinted with $100 dollar bills. In return, this beast belts out 750hp and gives meaning to the term “Iron fist in velvet glove…”
The body features laser straight panels and body gaps sprayed out in a PPG Envirobase gold metallic. Look closely at the fabricated inner fender wells — front and back — in addition tot he one-off, custom running boards.
Boise’s Interior Revolutions crafted the dark toffee leather interior and mohair headliner while the instrument panel is fitted with Classic Instruments gauges, Juliano’s ’39 Banjo steering wheel, Flaming River steering column and Lokar shifter.
The smoothy body rides on top of a Chromoly tube chassis fitted with modified Heidt’s IFS and IRS and sprung with Ridetech air shocks. When the bellows are bled out, it’s a low slung beauty to behold. The solid wheels offer a retro look but are anything but. Measuring 8×18-inches and 10×20-inches, they were machined from solid aluminum with custom made “Deluxe 37” hubcaps.
If you’re looking for exquisite custom cruisers, Goodguys Pleasanton never disappoints. And if you have a soft spot for Vigil Exner Mopars, this impeccable, one-off 1955 Imperial convertible owned by Wayne Davis of Southlake, Texas is breathtaking.
The kicker here is that Chrysler never produced a ragtop Imperial. So what your seeing here is an example of “one of none.” Davis is a dyed-in-the-wool Mopar guy so this is as close as factory fresh original as you’ll ever find.
Lovingly built using a low-mileage, rust-free, 1955 Imperial 2-door hardtop and a convertible top and bows from a rare New Yorker convertible, Davis’s custom Imperial is built to be driven.
Riding on a stock Imperial frame reinforced for the convertible duty, a custom Art Morrison front clip with JRI coil overs and a Flaming River power steering rack, are all lovingly screwed together by resto shop Rutterz Rodz. Out back, a leaf spring suspension anchors a Dana 60 rearend with 3.70 gears.
Hot Rod trucks rule. Especially if they aren’t Ford but a rare 1934 Dodge owned by Denny Olson of Enumclaw, Washington. The gang over at Street Rods by Denny hit a home run with this highly buffed and polished Dodge Brothers pickup. This project was a long time in the making and took about 10 years to finish.
This was a road-worthy vehicle the day it was purchased, but it rode like an apple cart. The very next day it was disassembled and then sat for 9 years. Only recently did the thing get back on the road.
Denny liked the styling of the cab and front end, but he didn’t like the ugly box on the back. He said, “It just didn’t look right to me.”
A wooden buck was built and the late Ryan Butler designed and built a bed out of sheetmetal. Denny wanted a bed that actually “worked” and flowed with the lines of the rest of the truck. During the design of the bed, it was decided to integrate it into the cab and follow its contours from every angle.
To keep the proportions looking good, Denny chose to extend the hood, but didn’t chop the top. The cowl vent was filled and the top of the firewall was raised and extended to make room for uncreased cab comfort and electronics.
Be sure and check out the big ‘ol 392 Hemi. Denny loved the “Imperial” stamped valve covers, so he noodled in reliefs to clear the adjustable rockers. power is delivered by an overdrive transmission and its all bolted to an Art Morrison chassis.
If you like perfection in every aspect of a build, you gotta see this 1954 Mercury hardtop. Built by sheetmetal maestro Brandon Penersini of Altissimo Restoration in Napa, CA., this is how you achieve timeless, everlasting beauty in a custom car that will never go out of style.
Chopped, nosed, decked and shaved, the Merc absolutely kills in “Chile Verde” green by Penserini. It features a color matched interior by Chris Plante Interiors as well and a color matched 292 Ford Y-block V8 engine.
Congratulations to owners Scott & Holly Roberts of Moorpark, California! Their stunning 1954 Mercury was named Goodguys 2016 Street Rod Headquarters Custom of the Year.
Thanks Goodguys for all you do! Get plans in place for next years show folks, and we’ll see you there!