Retro Rumblings – 1071 Serpentine Lane
You know that feeling when you’re leaving the driveway for the last time? You go through that emotional look back at a home or office that you spent so much time in. The blood, sweat, joy, and tears of the past tug at the heartstrings, but those emotions are tempered by the anticipation of a fresh journey and new horizons.
That happened recently. Goodguys has officially left the building. The Pleasanton building, that is. On August 1 we moved out the last office furniture of 1071 Serpentine Lane. Our business offices have officially taken up residency at the Texas Motor Speedway near Fort Worth. We are perched high above turn two and are loving every minute of it. It was a big move.
Looking back on our Pleasanton stay, it was a great facility at which we resided the last two decades. We moved into the building in 2002 after a 10-year stint in nearby Alamo. It was our first large-scale facility as a company. It held our business offices, our graphics and marketing departments, and the large, attached warehouse for cars and event supplies. The 1071 Serpentine Lane building signified the growth of a dream that grew out of the Meadors family living room back in the 1980s. If those halls could talk!
I thought it would be a good idea to reflect on some of the developments that took place during our residency at 1071 Serpentine Lane.
From 2002 to 2022, Goodguys experienced the largest period of growth in company history. The event series expanded, association membership expanded, our staff expanded, and Goodguys AutoCross was born all while located in that office. The Gazette went to digital format as well as continuing in print. The first ever Goodguys Road Tour launched from 1071 Serpentine Lane, bound for Texas back in 2012.
A lot of milestones and meetings happened in those halls and offices.
We had lunch meetings every Tuesday in Pleasanton around a huge wooden conference table. Delicious meals were catered in every week and we would sit for two hours in a think-tank coming up with new ideas, promotions, and programs during those lunch meetings.
One year, we conjured up an idea to present to Gary Goodguy. We wanted a four-tens type work week. We were so excited to pitch him on the idea and were confident he would say “Whatever you guys want to do.”
We all sat down at that big table, started eating and made our pitch. It went like this: “Gary, we as a staff would like to present a four-ten work week proposal to you. What do you think?”
Gary put down his fork, looked at us and said, “I actually like the idea of five tens better.”
The Four Ten plan never materialized.
The Dragster Incident
During the first summer at 1071, we probably pissed off a few neighbors. But not all. We had some loud cars in the building. Our offices occupied about 5,000 sq. ft. of the 23,000 sq. ft. facility. The warehouse measured 18,000 sq. ft. and was filled with event supplies, two dozen hot rods, and a replica of the legendary Speed Sport roadster. We had a blown 426c.i. fuel hemi in the frame rails and were just starting to tinker with it. We called in Rich Guasco to help with the tune-up.
Once it got dialed in, we lit it off in the back lot while it was off the jack stands. It sounded so good. Our president and pro drag racer Marc Meadors decided it sounded so good, he drove around the building and started idling toward the street. He hit the street, turned right and tried to make a U-turn in the cul de sac. He got stuck. A fellow office park resident out taking a walk spotted the issue and sprinted toward the dragster to help push it back. Here’s some random guy sprinting toward a 4,000-horsepower fuel Hemi cackling furiously! Once we all got him turned around, Marc took it a ways down the street, made the turn back into the parking lot and shut it off.
About 20 minutes later, the cops came to the office. The dragster was still in the parking lot. The officer got out of his squad car and said, “What is that thing?” “A dragster,” we shouted enthusiastically. The officer then said, “Where does it belong?” “On the drag strip,” we said heads bowed. He lectured us, then took off. Welcome to the neighborhood!
Along with the good times came some sad, devastating times. During our stay in Pleasanton, we experienced significant losses. On December 27, 2015 we lost our founder Gary Goodguys Meadors who died suddenly of a heart attack. It was a shocking blow which rattled our very foundation. As everyone who experiences a devastating loss can tell you, after the grieving and healing process starts to evolve, there’s nothing left to do but pick up the pieces and forge ahead. Gary would have smacked us in the head (and probably would have made us work 60-hour weeks) had we not stepped up to continue his dream and vision.
We did continue. We did evolve and now the next step is to operate in a more strategic position in the middle of the United States. We love our Texas friends and are proud to now call the Lone Star State our home.
Our time in Pleasanton isn’t finished, however. Many Goodguys team members will continue to work from Pleasanton and the Bay Area. The P-Town events will continue, the fun will continue, and we will continue to give our fellow members and Western U.S. car friends great events to attend. We will just rack up a few more frequent flier miles getting there.
A quick question for our new Texas neighbors. When is it supposed to cool off?