next gen gems, next-gen gems, squarebody

Next-Gen Gems – Shining a Light on Cool 1973-87-Model Machines

It’s been a few years now since Goodguys made a significant change and opened up our national events to 1987-and-earlier vehicles. There were plenty of skeptics who argued against the move, and one of their biggest protests was the notion that there weren’t very many cool post-’73 vehicles out there. Based on the amazing later-model rides we’ve seen attending events the past few seasons, we’d like to think we’ve proven the naysayers wrong.

next gen gems, next-gen gems, trans am

next gen gems, next-gen gems

Many of these “newer” rides are vehicles that have always attracted enthusiasts – like late-’70s Trans Ams, Fox Body Mustangs, and third-gen Camaros. But it has also been interesting to see participants entering vehicles that many of us might have previously overlooked – everything from Pacers and Gremlins, to Aspens and Pintos. It proves the point yet again that, given the right attitude, hot rodders can make anything cool.

next gen gems, next-gen gems, squarebody

In terms of sheer numbers, squarebody GM pickups are probably the most-popular ’73-’87 vehicles we’ve seen at Goodguys events the past few years. But there have also been plenty of late-’70s GM F-bodies, plus Fox-body Mustangs and a healthy dose of GM G-bodies like Monte Carlos and Grand Nationals. We have also seen some later-’70s Ford pickups, as well.

We’ve combed through our photo files from recent seasons and will republish some features from that we felt represent this era well and were worth another look.

9/3 – Larry Poggio’s 1980 Z28 Camaro
9/4 – Sam Castronova’s 1979 Chevy C10
9/7 – Bob Stahl’s 1978 AMC Pacer
9/8 – Detroit Speed’s 1987 IROC Camaro
9/9 – Bobby Wood’s 1986 Buick Grand National
9/10 – Bill Ball’s 1985 Mustang SVO

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.