Weekend Rewind! 6th Griot’s Garage North Carolina Nationals

North Carolina may be famous for being “First in Flight,” but the real action was on the ground this weekend as the Goodguys 6th Griot’s Garage North Carolina Nationals rolled into Raleigh to kick off the East Coast cruising season. Car enthusiasts in this region have been eager to get their cool cars and trick trucks out of hibernation and do some springtime cruisin’ and Goodguys gave them a perfect opportunity by bringing our special brand of automotive good times to town.

After priming for the weekend with a Thursday evening party at Raleigh Speed Shop, we had a fantastic Friday at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds to kick off the event in style. You could tell that rodders were ready for a fun weekend, as there was a tremendous turnout of cool cars and trick trucks, plus thousands of excited enthusiasts turning out to see the spectacle of gathered steel.

We kept the momentum up on Saturday, grouping hundreds of great rides into our Specialty Parking Areas and selecting dozens of award winners from those areas and beyond. We also had a full slate of activities, from the CPP AutoCross Series action, to the tire-smokin’ Burnout Competition and Nitro Thunderfest dragster exhibition. Add in a great vendor midway, sizeable swap meet, and expansive indoor car show, and we were able to keep the needle pegged even as afternoon rain showers settled in.

Jonathan Goolsby of Goolsby Customs made the trek from Alabama to select some of his favorite rides for the Builder’s Choice Top 10 Awards. With so many fresh builds coming out this spring, it was a challenge narrowing it down to just ten. Jonathan gave his choices careful consideration, though, and we think you’ll agree he came up with some great selections.

The Goodguys team made a number of picks, as well, selecting four Of the Year finalists. The Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year finalist spot went to Kenny Williams and his ’61 Impala; the Scott’s Hotrods Truck of the Year Early finalist nod went to Tom and LouAnn Patterson’s ’59 Chevy Apache; Mark Shaw picked up the Billet Specialties Muscle Car of the Year finalist award with his ’68 Dart GTS convertible; and Joseph Weber earned Griot’s Garage Muscle Machine finalist honors with his ’63 Corvette.

The second weekend of selecting Chevrolet Performance Builder of the Year finalists included Goolsby Customs as the finalist for a GM-bodied and GM-powered vehicle with the ’60 Impala built for George Poteet. The ’41 Willys built by Eddie’s Rod & Custom for Lon Clouse was chosen as the Builder of the Year finalist for Chevy engine in a non-GM vehicle. The Willys also picked up our Gazette Feature Pick honor, while Chad Durham’s ’73 International Scout II was the Fuel Curve Pick.

East Coast AutoCrossers were happy to be back on course racing in the CPP AutoCross Series, and they kept the engines revvin’ and tires squealing throughout the weekend. There were some familiar faces capturing class wins, including Bob Bertelsen and his “Green Mamba” ’68 Corvette in PRO; Bill Graves Sr. and his ’66 Corvette in the Forgeline Street Machine class; Patrick McGinnis in his ’65 Ranchero taking the LMC Truck class win; and Christopher Haigeler in his Factory Five roadster winning the FiTech Challenger class. Most of them doubled up on their wins, with Bertelsen winning the PRO portion of the Rumble in Raleigh Shootout on Saturday, Graves capturing the Street Machine Shootout win, and Haigler topping the ladder in the Truck/Challenger portion of the Rumble. Teddy Collier added to the list of double-up winners claiming the Wilwood Disc Brakes All American Sunday class win and the 8-car All American Shootout victory driving his 2016 Shelby Mustang.

We wrapped up the weekend with a sunny, picture-perfect day that was perfect for Meguiar’s All American Sunday and the cool late-model iron it attracted. By the time we got to the mid-afternoon awards ceremony, it was clear that the East Coast springtime cruising season was in full bloom and got a big-time boost from Goodguys. We know the rodders around Raleigh were happy to experience it, and we look forward to bringing the good times to Salt Lake City in just a few weeks.

Photos by Damon Lee & Todd Ryden

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.