Goodguys Awards, chevy muscle pick

Good Recognition – A General Guide to Goodguys Awards and Picks

One of the most common questions we get prior to and during Goodguys events is, “How do I win an award?” Simply put, a lot of enthusiasts like to be evaluated, ranked, and considered for the many awards Goodguys gives out at every event. And while there are no sure strategies on winning, there are many steps you can take to ensure that your car or truck gets consideration for Goodguys Awards or Picks.

Goodguys AwardsBefore we dive too deep into awards eligibility, however, we invite you to read this month’s Retro Rumblings column, Buddy Buddy, by John Drummond, which talks a little about the history of the Goodguys awards selection process. Simply put, most Goodguys awards are not determined by a strict points system or a committee of judges. Our team of selectors makes choices based on whether the vehicle fits the awards description, whether the car or truck grabs their attention with stance, color, or other cool features, and how well the modifications work together. For some awards, it can be a subjective process – many of them are called “Picks” for that very reason.

With that said, if it’s important for you to be considered for an award at a Goodguys event, the following pages provide advice on where to park, what to expect, and some of the specialty parking areas from which certain awards are selected. The Goodguys team distributes dozens of awards at each event, ranging from Best Bitchin’ and Cool Camaro, to Way Cool Wagon and Ya Gotta Drive ’Em. And while many awards are selected from specific parking areas, all registered participants are eligible to win an award. The Goodguys team works hard to select a diverse variety of cars and trucks to recognize at each event, making the Sunday afternoon awards a parade of wide-ranging style.

We’ll cover a lot of bases in this article, but we also suggest visiting for more details, specifics, and updates on Goodguys awards. It’s a great resource for this rewarding aspect of participating in Goodguys events.


You often hear us reference the Meguiar’s Top 12. These elite “Of The Year” awards are in a category of their own and recognize the country’s top vehicles in a dozen different categories representing different genres and build styles. Competition for some of these awards is done at specific events, while others are determined by selecting regional finalists at certain events, and then determining an overall winner at the end of the season. We published a detailed guide to these awards in the March Gazette (page 98), and the criteria and event location details can be found online at


The Builder’s Choice Top 10 are the premier awards at each Goodguys National event and are selected by the nation’s top hot rod and custom car builders. There’s a special Builder’s Choice parking area on Saturdays sponsored by Chevrolet Performance where you need to park to be considered for these awards. Most of the professional builders selecting these Top 10 awards create hand-built, one-off trophies, so it’s no wonder they’re coveted honors. At events with indoor displays, vehicles in the indoor areas will also be eligible for Builder’s Choice awards. The Goodguys team also scouts the Builder’s Choice parking area for other awards, so it’s a good place to be if you’re hoping to come away from the weekend with some hardware.

Goodguys Awards, builders choice


Are you a professional custom car builder who wants to be considered for the Chevrolet Performance GM Iron or GM Retro Iron Builder of the Year honor? If so, the Builder’s Choice parking area is the place to be for you, too. Be sure to ask for a Builder of the Year entry form to be considered. We select one GM Iron finalist and one GM Retro Iron finalist (for a non-GM vehicle with GM power) at events throughout the season, and then evaluate all finalists in October to determine the Builder of the Year for each award.

Goodguys Awards, builders choice, chevrolet performance builder of the year


Beyond the Builder’s Choice parking area, Goodguys hosts a variety of Saturday Specialty Parking Areas from which many awards are selected. These are great places to park for awards consideration, or just to hang out with like-minded car or truck enthusiasts. You’ll want your car or truck to be there between 8am and noon on Saturday to be reviewed for award consideration. It’s also worth noting that several of our regional Meguiar’s Top 12 finalists are selected from these specialty parking areas.

Goodguys Awards, goodguys special parking areas

Camaro Corral – All Camaros are welcome in this area sponsored by Metal Brothers, and it’s a great place to be considered for the Cool Camaro award.

Corvette Corral – America’s Sports Car is celebrated in this special parking area sponsored by the Corvette experts at Van Steel.

Deuce Doins – We all dig ’32 Fords, and the immortal Deuce is celebrated in the Deuce Doins area sponsored by Affordable Street Rods. It’s also where the Deuce Doins Pick is selected.

Homebuilt Heaven – Did you build it – or most of it – yourself? Park in this area sponsored by Speedway Motors for recognition and consideration for the Homebuilt Heaven and Traditional Homebuilt Heaven awards.

Mighty Muscle – Whether restored original or modified, the Mighty Muscle area welcomes all muscle cars and is the area where we look for the Snap-on Muscle Car of the Year finalist.

Mighty Mustang – Ford’s famous pony car is celebrated in this special area, which is sponsored by the Mustang experts at Big Daddy’s Motor Cars.

The Next Generation – Calling all young rodders! If you’re 25 or younger and had a significant part in building or improving your ride, you’re invited to park in The Next Generation area sponsored by Goolsby Customs. Two vehicles are selected from this area at each event to vie for The Next Generation award.

Tri-Five Chevy Corral – Classic 1955-57 Chevys are perennial favorites and owners enjoy joining together in the Tri-Five Chevy Corral sponsored by Designer Street Rods.

Trick Truck Corral – Got a trick truck? Sponsor LMC Truck hosts the Trick Truck Corral just for you, and we also frequently select the LMC-sponsored Chevy Truck Pick, Ford Truck Pick, and Dodge Truck Pick from this area, as well as the Trick Truck Corral Pick.

Ya Gotta Drive ’Em – Drivers wanted! This area sponsored by LeCarra Steering Wheels welcomes vehicles that drove more than 300 miles to attend the event and is where we select the Ya Gotta Drive ’Em award.

All American – The All American area sponsored by Meguiar’s welcomes post-1997 American-made and American-powered vehicles during Meguiar’s All American Sunday, and is also where many All American picks are selected.


In addition to the many sponsored awards referenced on the previous pages, which are based on or selected from the Saturday Specialty Parking Areas, Goodguys is happy to have a host of other sponsored awards presented by some of the top companies in the hot rod and automotive aftermarket. Some of these awards are selected from the Builder’s Choice and Saturday Specialty Parking Areas and others are found elsewhere on the grounds. Here are some of the special sponsored honors you can expect to see at events this season.

Best LS Classic – Lots of vintage vehicles are getting LS swap these days and LS Classic sponsors this award recognizing a well-executed and well-presented LS engine swap.

Best Use of Color – From colorful graphics and flames, to deep and rich candies and metalflakes, the paint experts at PPG look for cars and trucks that use color in a compelling way to make a visual impact.

Chevy Muscle Pick – The team at Bowler Performance is familiar with equipping Chevy muscle cars with transmissions that can take serious punishment, and they look for great Bow-tie muscle cars with thoughtful mods and upgrades for this award.

Chevy Truck Pick, Ford Truck Pick, Dodge Truck Pick – Let’s hear it for the custom pickups and vintage haulers! LMC Truck sponsors these awards recognizing standout pickups and commercial vehicles.

Custom Chevelle – Chevy’s mid-size muscle car has always been a favorite platform for street machines and Creative Rods & Restorations recognizes standout examples with this new-for-2022 award.

Deuce Doins Pick – One of two awards specifically honoring the iconic ’32 Ford, this one is sponsored by Affordable Street Rods and selected from the Deuce Doins parking area.

Homebuilt Heaven, Traditional Homebuilt Heaven – In addition to sponsoring the Homebuilt Heaven parking area, Speedway Motors sponsors these awards highlighting standout examples of owner-built rides.

Innovation Award – Hot rodders have always been innovative and Designer Street Rods celebrates that spirit with this award presented to modified vehicles showcasing new, clever, and thoughtful modifications.

Meguiar’s Magnificent Masterpiece – Our friends at Meguiar’s know great paint, paint care, and presentation when they see it, which is why the company has been a longtime sponsor of these sought-after honors.

One Fine Deuce – The hot rod experts at Lokar love ’32 Fords and sponsor this signature award celebrating the quintessential hot rod – the Deuce!

Square Body Truck Pick – It’s hip to be square! These 1973-87 Chevy and GMC trucks have been extremely popular in recent years and the team at Scott’s Hotrods thought they deserved special recognition and a specially designed trophy.

Trophy Dash – Chosen at select events, the Classic Instruments Trophy Dash goes to a standout car or truck sporting Classic Instruments in the dash.


Do you think the awards and picks mentioned on the last few pages are all Goodguys has to offer? No way! Goodguys selects dozens of picks beyond the Builder’s Choice and sponsored awards. These include fun selections like Best Bitchin’ and the Sooo Low Pick, to the G-Body Pick (for GM G-body vehicles) and Gary’s Pick, an honor named after our founder, Gary Meadors.

All of these awards and more are presented during the Sunday afternoon awards ceremony, which begins at National events at 2:22pm. Why 2:22? It’s a tradition started by our founder, Gary Meadors, who had to decide on an awards time and thought it sounded fun. With a nod to “American Graffiti,” he’d say, “where were you at 2:22?” We hope to see you some Sunday afternoon soon!

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

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.