Weekend Rewind! 19th Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals

Beautiful cars and beachside breezes came together to create a fantastic hot rod weekend at the 19th Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals! The weather was great, the cars were even better, and the hot rodders came out in full force to make this springtime tradition one for the record books!

The picturesque Del Mar Fairgrounds has a rich history of hosting the rich and famous for horse racing and leisure activities, making it a natural home for the Goodguys March Performance Street Rod d’Elegance competition. The field was strong, making it a challenge to narrow it down to five finalists. The top contenders ended up being Tim Kerrigan’s ’33 Ford roadster, Clifford Mattis’ ’32 Boydster, Jim Bridgewater’s ’37 Ford coupe, Amie Angelo’s ’36 Ford coupe, and Tom Agostino’s ’34 Ford Tudor. When the winner was announced Sunday afternoon, Tim Kerrigan’s ’33 Ford roadster built by Dominator Street Rods took the crown. Watch for a closer look at this beauty Monday at good-guys.com.

There were many other honors handed out throughout the weekend, starting with the Builder’s Choice Top 10 selected by painter extraordinaire Charley Hutton. The Goodguys team also selected finalists for each of its regional Top 12 awards: Wayne Ferrandino’s ’70 Olds 442 for Goodguys Muscle Car of the Year; Aaron Clippinger ’68 Camaro for Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine of the Year; Scott and Sherrie Cooper’s ’70 El Camino for LMC Truck of the Year Late; Greg Weld’s ’40 Ford for Scott’s Hot Rods Truck of the Year Early; and Dave Eckert’s ’49 Hudson for Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year. There was also Albert Fletes’ ’63 Impala wagon being selected for the PPG Dream Car, and Robert and Becky Paparella’s Model A roadster chosen for the Fuel Curve Pick.

It wasn’t all show queens – cars and trucks were being flogged on over at the AutoCross track as competitors hit the gas and dodged cones in a quest to make it into Saturday’s Duel in Del Mar Shootout presented by Classic Performance Products. We saw some familiar SoCal names in the class winner’s circle, with Tom Smiley’s Corvette winning the PRO-X class, Eric Sheeley nabbing the PRO class win, Richard Trujillo topping the Street Machine class, Bill Kineman picking up the Truck class win in his topless Bronco, and Dennis Russell scooping the Hot Rod class win. The Duel in Del Mar Shootouts were won by Tom Kamman (PRO-X/PRO) and Mike Hogate (Street Machine, Truck, Hot Rod) on Saturday. Eric Sheeley pulled out his fastest run of the day to beat his dad, Pat, in the All American Sunday Shootout.

There’s a huge lowrider community in Southern California, one that we celebrated with a special PPG Lowrider Palace inside the Exhibit Hall. Three other buildings on the grounds also had indoor car show displays, bringing a different vibe and dynamic to the event.

There was plenty of beachside action happening throughout the rest of the weekend, from three rockin’ Nitro Thunderfest exhibitions, to a rowdy Burnout Competition, to nonstop cruising through the fairgrounds. Add in a full swap meet, kids’ activities, special parking areas, and a huge array of vendor displays, and you had a beachside hot rod bash that was tough to beat. We’ve come to expect no less from Del Mar, and we were happy to see this scenic spot deliver once again.

Photos by Damon Lee, John Jackson & Steven Bunker

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.