Weekend Rewind! Goodguys 9th Griot’s Garage North Carolina Nationals Presented by Tremec

Looking fine for number nine! We had a great time in Raleigh this weekend for the ninth running of the Griot’s Garage North Carolina Nationals Presented by Tremec! Goodguys brought the Good Times east as we helped kick off the springtime cruising season in the Tarheel State with three days of cool cars, trick trucks, and fun-loving gearheads at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds.

We’ve always loved the welcoming attitude and laid-back feel of the Raleigh area and the North Carolina State Fairgrounds facility, and we enjoy coming back each April to hang out with our automotive friends in this region. We had thousands of them gathered together this weekend, along with an equal number of great vehicles to help us celebrate the great American tradition of hot rods, performance, and the personal freedom we experience with our favorite cars and trucks.

Friday and Saturday welcomed us with ideal conditions for a car show – warm weather and a mix of clouds and sun that kept things comfortable. The facility quickly filled up on Friday for a fantastic first day, which was capped off by a fun-filled TGIF party thrown by our friends at L&S Customs at their new shop nearby.

Saturday saw an even bigger crowd at the fairgrounds, with cars and trucks packed in and thousands of spectators soaking it all in. The Builder’s Choice parking area was filled with choice rides, presenting Jonathan Goolsby of Goolsby Customs a bit of a challenge as he narrowed his selections down for the Builder’s Choice Top 10 awards. His final lineup was certainly on point!

The Goodguys awards team was tasked with choosing a full roster of finalists for our regional Top 12 awards and was able to deliver a strong lineup, too. It included Kenny Dillon’s ’70 Mustang as the Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine of the Year finalist; the ’68 Hemi Road Runner belonging to David Clinkscales as the Snap-on Muscle Car of the Year finalist; Larry Debevec’s ’57 Buick Caballero wagon as the Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year finalist; Joe Siclari’s ’61 Olds as the FuelCurve.com Custom of the Year finalist; John Bottger’s ’50 Suburban as the LMC Truck of the Year Early finalist; and John Lamb’s ’61 F100 as the Dakota Digital Truck of the Year Late finalist. Rutterz Rodz earned the Chevrolet Performance GM Iron Builder of the Year finalist award for the ’79 Chevy crew cab built for Rodney Harris, and Adams Hot Rod Shop became the Chevrolet Performance GM Retro Iron Builder of the Year finalist for the ’32 Ford coupe built by Billy Tilley. The Goodguys media team selected Mike Crawford’s survivor-style ’71 Nova for the Goodguys Feature Pick.

The Goodguys CPP AutoCross Series returned to Raleigh for some high-rpm action on the northeast corner of the fairgrounds. It was a small but energetic field that kept the crowds entertained for two straight days of class racing and the No Limit Engineering Rumble in Raleigh Shootout on Saturday. All winners were double class-and-shootout victors, with Randy Asbury topping the Speedtech Performance PRO-X class in his ’74 Datsun 260Z, Ron Scott Jr. winning the Summit Racing PRO class in his ’63 Corvette, Ryan Mathews securing the Sports Car class in his ’94 Corvette, Chris Mulberry winning the Forgeline Street Machine class in his ’73 Corvette, Rob MacGregor hauling home the No Limit Engineering Truck class victory in his ’84 Blazer, and Beth Conaway winning the Challenger class in a ’87 Corvette.

There was plenty of action elsewhere, too, as participants cruised the grounds all weekend long and a pair of vintage front-engine dragsters fired up multiple times for ground-shaking Summit Racing Nitro Thunderfest exhibitions. There were also dozens of vendors showcasing products and services, and an expansive Indoor Car Show filled with even more fine rides. Throw in some live music, activities for kids, a spacious swap meet, and good times hanging out with friends, and it made for a fantastic springtime hot rod hangout. We even had a Saturday night Demolition Derby presented by LMC Truck to finish things off in smashing style!

While persistent rain made for a soggy Sunday and an early awards ceremony to complete the weekend, it couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm for this great event. We’re excited to have had nine fine years in Raleigh and look forward to coming back for more Goodguys Good Times in the years ahead. Thanks to all of you who came out and made it a great show!

Photos by Damon Lee, Todd Ryden





Todd Ryden is first and foremost a car guy and admits to how lucky he is to have been able to build a career out of a hobby that he enjoys so much. He’s owned muscle cars and classics, raced a bit and has cruised across the country. With over 25 years in the industry from the manufacturing and marketing side to writing books and articles, he just gets it.