New Season Brings Changes to Goodguys Top 12 Awards

Goodguys has made several changes to its elite Top 12 “Of The Year” awards for the 2024 season. These updates include a name change for one award, the removal and addition of others, and venue and qualification updates for one award.

Simply Bitchin’

David Pilgrim 1952 Chevy Suburban, Johnsons Hot Rod Shop Suburban, Goodguys 2023 Americas Most Beautiful winnerThe first change is to the BASF America’s Most Beautiful award, which is being rechristened as BASF Goodguys Most Bitchin’. The name change takes the emphasis off a car or truck being “pretty” and focuses more on what makes it cool, innovative, or creative. In other words, what makes it bitchin’! The basic criteria will be as follows:

“This award is designed to honor a truly bitchin’ modified vehicle, anything from a traditional-style hot rod or custom to a modern cutting-edge truck or street machine. The selection committee will look for innovation, attitude, and compelling design, in addition to quality of craftsmanship, body and paint, overall engineering, the three Fs (fit, form, and functionality), stance, and overall creativity in concept.”

This award will still be open to virtually any type of vehicle allowed at Goodguys National events – street rods, trucks, customs, and muscle cars through 1999. We will continue to host the BASF Goodguys Most Bitchin’ competition at the 31st Summit Racing Lone Star Nationals presented by BASF event. Finalists from other Goodguys Top 12 awards will automatically be invited to come to Texas to compete for this honor.

Muscle Machine Movement

John Spanos 1967 Chevy Chevelle, BBT Fabrications 67 chevelle, BBT Fab chevelleAnother significant Top 12 change is an adjustment to the Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine of the Year award to help distinguish this honor and emphasize its performance component. The award will remain a regional Top 12 honor, with finalists selected at various Goodguys events around the country. Consistent with previous years, candidates will also need to make three laps on the AutoCross track at their qualifying event to contend for a finalist spot.

The big change this year is that all Muscle Machine finalists must then attend the 31st Summit Racing Lone Star Nationals presented by BASF September 27- 29, where they will participate in a Friday reliability run that will include two AutoCross laps and a drag strip burnout and 1/8-mile pass. Overall times will not determine the winner, but style points will be considered by the Goodguys judging committee. The overall winner will be announced at the Lone Star Nationals event.

In a related Top 12 change, contenders for PPG Street Machine of the Year at the Summit Racing Nationals in Columbus will no longer be required to make AutoCross laps, but will be paraded through the event before parking inside the Celeste Building.

Setting Trends

Goodguys 2023 Trendsetter, 2023 Goodguys Trendsetter, Bill Ganahl, South City Rod & CustomFor 25 years, Goodguys has named a Trendsetter Award winner during the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Targeted at younger builders who are making an impact in the hot rod industry, the list of Trendsetters has included some of the most significant names in rodding, including Chip Foose, Alan Johnson, Dave Kindig, and most recently, Bill Ganahl.

Beginning this year, the Goodguys Trendsetter honor will become part of the esteemed Top 12. This means our Trendsetter will be invited to bring a build of their choice to the 27th Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals in Scottsdale November 22-24 to be part of the Top 12 display.

Of course, by adding one award to the Top 12, we need to take one away, which brings us to our next update.

Desert Kings

The Classic Performance Products King of the Desert award will no longer be part of the Goodguys Top 12. Instead, Goodguys and Classic Performance Products will be awarding five King of the Desert titles – one for each eligible AutoCross class – as part of a reconfigured King of the Desert shootout format during the 27th Speedway Motors Southwest Nationals. Each King of the Desert winner will receive a special trophy designed specifically for the competition, in addition to an award payout.

For more information on all these changes – and details on all the Goodguys Top 12 Awards – be sure to visit

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.