Although the GoodGuys Southwest Nationals was celebrating its 18th year in Scottsdale, this was my first time ever attending the three-day event. The show was held at WestWorld, the same venue that hosts the famous Barrett-Jackson auction every year in January. With so many classic cars in one place, it was easy to draw parallels between the two events.
However, GoodGuys is not an auction – nor is it “just a car show.” It has a car show, autocross event, swap meet, vendor exhibits, model and pedal car show, and much more!
What impressed me about the show was how much BIGGER it was than Barrett-Jackson. That event typically has about 1,200 to 1,500 cars to see during a week-long event. GoodGuys had over 3,000 cars on display! They had them parked on the grass, which I liked. The weather was 80 degrees with clear, sunny skies – perfect for a car show.
I spent a full day wandering around the various sections of cars and exhibitor booths. There were just too many cars to possibly see them all!
I liked that these were real hot rods and customs, not show cars. While Barrett-Jackson is a lot of fun, there are also a lot of money-no-object builds where people dump $200 or $300k into a Camaro or Chevelle with wild custom sheet metal, LED lamps, and modern pro-touring suspensions and wheels. Those are fun to fantasize about, but the reality is that they are completely unattainable to most car guys. If the cars at Barrett-Jackson were women, they would be Playboy models. If the cars at GoodGuys were women, they would be the girl next door. They both have their time and place, and these are cars that were built by owners in their garages – cars I can relate to.
These cars had personal touches that reflected the personality of the owners, something you wouldn’t see at a judged show or an auction where the cars are intended to appeal to as many people as possible.
The atmosphere was also great, there were very few cars with 20″ deep dish wheels and no lifted trucks or light bars or people blasting train horns. Just a bunch of car guys coming together to share a love of automobiles.
My first experience at GoodGuys was overwhelmingly positive and I am looking forward to going again next year!