Youth Movement – Celebrating the 2022 Goolsby Customs Next Generation Award Winners
For decades, hot rodding was perceived as a young person’s pursuit – those kids and their fast, noisy cars! In recent years, however, if you mention the term “hot rod” to a casual observer, they’re likely to envision a middle-aged man driving a ’32 Ford, ’55 Chevy, or ’69 Mustang. The rising cost of the hobby – coupled with scores of other pastimes luring in young people – has definitely raised the average age of enthusiasts.
Goodguys and Goolsby Customs want to change that. The Goodguys Next Generation Award presented by Goolsby Customs encourages young enthusiasts by celebrating and showcasing the accomplishments of car and truck builders age 25 and under. This award is presented at Goodguys events throughout the year to enthusiasts who have played an integral part in building their car or truck. At each event, two Next Generation finalists are selected from a special parking area on Saturday and photos of both vehicles are posted online for social media voting to help determine an event winner on Sunday. At the end of the season, these Next Generation award winners are evaluated to determine a National Champion, who is invited to attend the season-ending Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals in Scottsdale to be celebrated with a prime display spot and special recognition.
Beyond the awards, Jonathan Goolsby of Goolsby Customs regularly gets to know these young builders, offering advice on their builds and input on how to pursue building cars as a career. It’s this sort of encouragement and support that will keep our hobby thriving, and we encourage all of you to offer positive words to these young builders when you see them at Goodguys events. Who knows, one of them might build your next car!
Even though many of the Next Generation winners have already been recognized with photos in event coverage through the season, we thought it made sense to turn the spotlight on these young rodders yet again to reinforce how many fine rides are being built by talented up-and-comers. The cars and trucks showcased here represent the diversity of interests in today’s young rodders and give us an optimistic outlook for the future of our hobby.
Logan Adkins, who was the Next Generation National Champion for 2021 with his ’5X F100, already had another cool truck out on the road before the end of the 2021 season! He brought this ’61 F100 to the Colorado Nationals that year and had it dropped down over a Crown Victoria chassis for an improved suspension, stance, and drivetrain. The patina paint looked right at home on this hauler!
Avery Albright was just 18 years old when his ’67 F100 won its Next Generation award in the fall of 2021, and he had already owned the truck for three years! Moderate lowering over Detroit Steel wheels improves the appearance, while it runs strong with 302c.i. small block for power. TMI upholstery and Dakota Digital instruments inside complement the patina’d exterior. “No, I’m not painting it!” Avery says!
One segment of the hobby where youth involvement seems especially strong is in the lowrider community. That was apparent at the 2021 Del Mar Nationals (which was postponed to October that year) when Juan Landin’s bright and beautiful ’64 Buick Riviera won the Next Generation award. Running the original 425c.i. Nailhead V8, the Riv looks great with bright red paint over a mostly stock body and straight-laced wired wheels wrapped in skinny whitewalls tucked up nicely thanks to a hydraulic suspension.
With strong aftermarket support and a big following, early Mustangs make great project vehicles for young enthusiasts. Alvic Manzano is in his early-20s and in the two years he has owned this ’68 Mustang he’s swapped out the 289 for a Blueprint 302 crate engine and replaced the floor pan and dash. New brakes and fresh paint were still in the works when he won his Next Generation award in late-2021.
Even at just 20 years old, Tyler Adams knew how to make a statement with a classic truck when he won the Next Generation award at the Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals in 2021! His ’72 GMC looks extra sharp thanks to Toyota Cement Gray and white paint, a great stance achieved with CPP suspension parts, and Rev 20-inch wheels. With a 450hp LS crate engine from Summit Racing under the hood and TMI upholstery inside, it’s one clean cruiser.
Talk about youthful enthusiasm! Alan Johnson was just 17 years old when he brought his ’79 C10 to the LMC Truck Spring Lone Star Nationals in Fort Worth. He built the truck in just a year by working 9-to-5 every day on it when his school shut down due to Covid. Some of the updates include a 350c.i. V8, lowered suspension, Coys 20-inch wheels, PPG black paint, and Carmine Red upholstery from LMC Truck.
Bright House of Kolor Tangelo Pearl paint helped Nate Collard captured the Next Generation award at the FiTech Fuel Injection Spring Nationals in Scottsdale with his beautiful ’69 Chevy C10. The truck flaunts its bold color with a lowered stance and polished American Racing wheels. Power comes from a simple 350/700R4 combo, and there’s custom upholstery covering the 1990 C1500 seat inside.
A fastback Mustang is a cool car for a young guy, especially when it’s a GT350 model like this ’67 belonging to Thomas Dickerson, who won the Next Generation award at the Griot’s Garage North Carolina Nationals in Raleigh. The classic pony looks great in original blue and white colors augmented by American Racing wheels. It’s got a 289c.i. small block under the hood and custom upholstery inside.
It was so cool to see 22-year-old Travis Wall and his buddy show up at the BASF Nashville Nationals in a T-bucket – and even cooler that they participated in the Friday Hot Rod of the Year reliability run! Travis bought three weeks prior to the event and worked 16-hour days on it to prepare for the weekend. The small-block-powered ’bucket is low-buck, back-to-basics rodding at its best and we’d love to see more young guys building fun rides like it!
Danny DeMattei was born well after the song “Little Red Corvette” came out, but he still gets the thrill of being able to cruise in one! His ’72 model captured the Next Generation award at the Summer Get-Together in Pleasanton thanks in part to bright Mille Miglia red paint, rally wheels, and small-block power, it’s one hot sports car!
We know there’s a lot of timber in Washington, but it was still a surprise to see a custom truck at the CPP Great Northwest nationals in Spokane with a body made entirely of wood. Derek Sanders is the 19-year-old enthusiast behind the custom creation that features a custom-made wood body on an ’89 S-10 chassis with small-block V8 power.
“Frankenford” is the name Mike Fiala gave his ’52 Ford F1 pickup, which won the Next Generation award at the Speedway Motors Heartland Nationals in Des Moines. He bought the truck back in 2013 when he was just 13 years old and built it into what he says is “some rat rod, some restomod, and a big helping of angry!” It’s got a healthy 347c.i. stroker Ford small block backed by a T5 five-speed for power, while the bare metal body rides low over a custom chassis and wears mods like a fabricated front air dam and visor.
Kyle Kaiser wondered what might have happened if Pontiac had jumped into the mini sport truck scene in the early-’90s, and the result is this Trans Am-inspired “Sioux” pickup built from a ’94 GMC Sonoma. A Shaker hood, T/A-style striping, PMD-style wheels, Pontiac G6 seats, and many other cool details help make a convincing “prototype” and earn Kyle the Next Generation award at the Summit Racing Nationals in Columbus.
For the first time ever, we had a tie for the Next Generation Award at the Griot’s Garage Pacific Northwest nationals in Puyallup. One of those winners was 18-year-old Gage Linzbach and his ’71 Dodge Demon. This cool little Mopar A-body muscle car is powered by a tried-and-true 318c.i. small block backed by a Torqueflite automatic transmission and 8.75-inch rearend. It’s been upgraded to four-wheel disc brakes, and fresh upholstery from Legendary complements the B7 blue paint on the body.
Giovanni Minnite knows all about “business in front, party in the back” with his ’68 El Camino that claimed the Next Generation award at the RaceDeck West Coast Nationals in Pleasanton. There’s big block power under the hood of this blue beauty and plus-size sport wheels adding a little modern flair to the classic lines of this car/truck hybrid.
There’s a lot more to Garrett Smith’s ’73 Chevy C30 Camper Special crew cab truck than initially meets the eye. For starters, it’s got a Cummins 24-valve turbo diesel drivetrain swapped in to make it a true brute when it comes to towing and venturing through rough terrain when the four-wheel drive is engaged. Beautiful paint and comfortable brown leather upholstery helped it earn the Next Generation award at the Grundy Collector Car Insurance Colorado Nationals.
We see plenty of patina’d trucks in Texas and they just seem to fit in there. Jordan Bruun’s ’60 Ford F100 earned plenty of admirers at during the Summit Racing Lone Star Nationals, where it picked up its Next Generation award. A great stance over wide whites and steel wheels, plus power from a 5.3-liter Vortec engine and tasteful custom mods like ’53 Pontiac taillights all add to the appeal of this hauler.
21-year-old Colin Duffy has to feel pretty good about cruising around Southern California in a ’79 Jeep Wagoneer, as these vintage SUVs are hot commodities right now. Colin’s example has QuadraTrac four-wheel drive, a 360c.i. AMC V8 backed by a TH400 automatic transmission, and tasteful black-and-gray two-tone paint. Colin nabbed the Next Generation award at the Meguiar’s SoCal Nationals in October.
Special Feature! 2022 Goolsby Customs Next Generation Overall Winner!
Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.