Goodguys 1995 Lone Star Nationals – Time Capsule
Long before Texas Motor Speedway was built, Goodguys Rod and Custom was holding the Lone Star Nationals down in the great state of Texas. First held at Southfork Ranch in Dallas, it was moved to the Dallas Fair Park before heading back to Southfork Ranch where it stayed until it was moved to its permanent and current location at TMS. These images are from the 1995 event over Memorial Day Weekend. Were you there? Recognize anyone or any of the cars in this piece?
The Southfork Ranch was made famous by the hit TV Show “Dallas” starring Larry Hagman (J.R.), Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing), Charlene Tilton (Lucy Ewing) and sultry brunette Victoria Principal (Pam Ewing). The sprawling white ranch enjoyed icon status in American pop culture.
After the TV series concluded in 1991, the ranch served as an events center and still does today. Goodguys founder Gary Meadors was smitten by the joint and loved going to the city of Plano to stage a Goodguys mega show. The events manager was a hi-energy gal named Joy and she was the best damn hostess you could ever imagine. She made it all happen for the Goodguys Rod and Custom gang as hot rods from all over the Southwest rolled up the iconic Southfork Ranch driveway.
The facility was built by a local rancher where he lived with his family. Fate came knockin’ in 1978, when Lorimar Productions chose the North Texas showplace as the site for the CBS TV series Dallas. In all, 356 episodes of the TV show were created at the ranch etching into the annals of television history. In 1985, the Ranch opened for private events, eventually gaining enough steam to develop a 63,000 square foot conference and event center. The grounds were made more event-friendly and in 1990 the Goodguys came a callin’.
Support was good right from the start. By the time a decade had passed, the event was attracting at least 1,500 cars and plenty of vendors. Goodguys Rod and Custom booked out the conference center for concerts which were a big hit while vendors filled other buildings and a midway.
Rods and customs filled the driveway area, fields, paddocks around the ranch and any other place they could park. The front entrance was really cool with multiple flagpoles flying different colors from around the world. It made for great pictures.
Gary Goodguy talked Sachse Rod Shop into hosting a kickoff party in ’95, serving up beans, weenies and Texas barbecue to the hungry hot rod masses. In fact, Sachse is still in business! Sachse opened its doors in 1982 and is the oldest full-service rod shop in the Dallas metroplex area. As you can see by the Viper engine swap on the chassis jig, they were ahead of their time!
While the 1990s street rod styling left a lot to be desired, you can still find some classic and traditional cars in this gallery. Caddy hubcap-adorned Merc Customs, hi-boy roadsters with steelies, a bitchin’ 1933 Willys with Halibrands and a few others stood out to us as we dug through the images.
Today, the Goodguys Rod and Custom Lone Star Nationals is a Texas sized festival of chrome and flames, blanketing Texas Motor Speedway with chrome and candy paint. The event is one of the most popular stops on the annual Goodguys event tour but as you can see here, it had humble beginnings.