Weekend Rewind! Goodguys 15th BASF Nashville Nationals

Goodguys rocked Tennessee this weekend as we brought three days of mechanical music and thousands of fine rides to the 15th BASF Nashville Nationals! After two years away, car and truck enthusiasts in Music City and beyond were eager and excited to get back to Nissan Stadium for some Goodguys-style good times!

This is one of our favorite hot rod cities and it’s a region that’s chock full of great shops, world-class builders, and extremely active enthusiasts. Hot rods, customs, vintage trucks, and classic cars from all over the area could already be seen cruising the city in the days leading up to the event and quickly filled the south side of the stadium property on Friday, despite some morning rain.

One of the most-anticipated portions of the event is the Tanks, Inc. Hot Rod of the Year competition, which kicked off with a Friday reliability run – one of the most intense in memory thanks to the rain. By midday Saturday, a Top Five had been selected from the more than 15 original contenders (check out the Hot Rod of the Year full recap HERE), with participants and spectators alike speculating on which car might take the top prize. Each car represented a slightly different take on the hot rod concept, and all were more than worthy of representing the genre. The winner was finally revealed during the Sunday afternoon awards ceremony, when John Hornbrook‘s Murray Kustom Rods-built ’32 Ford three-window coupe was officially crowned the 2021 Tanks, Inc. Hot Rod of the Year!

The Saturday Specialty Parking areas were bursting with rides vying for awards – especially the Builder’s Choice parking lot. The turnout of new and incredible builds was amazing – enough so that Builder’s Choice selector Bobby Alloway said he easily could have chosen 30 worthy vehicles. He managed to whittle it down to 10, though, and it was an especially impressive group.

The awards lineup extended to several Goodguys Top 12 Of The Year Finalists, too. Keith Lane’s ’50 Chevy pickup went home with the Scott’s Hotrods Truck of the Year Early finalist spot; Jason Graham’s ’63 Galaxie took the Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year finalist nod; the Billet Specialties Muscle Car of the Year finalist spot went to Chet Biggers and his ’70 AAR ’Cuda; and Charles Malone took the Griot’s Garage Muscle Car of the Year finalist award in his ’66 Chevelle after an active weekend on the CPP AutoCross track. Rounding out the selections were two Chevrolet Performance Builder of the Year finalists: Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop took the GM Iron award for the ’70 Chevelle he built, while Customs and Hot Rods of Andice nabbed the GM Retro Iron award for the Willys Gasser coupe they just finished restoring.

The Goodguys media team made some selections, as well. We liked the low, streamlined lines of Steve VanMorkhoven’s chopped ’39 LaSalle for the Goodguys Feature Pick, while Jimmy Shaw’s ’70 GMC pickup took home the Fuel Curve Pick.

The Nashville CPP AutoCross Series course welcomed the largest contingent of racers to date this season, with fast and furious action throughout the weekend and many new faces and cars on the track. Josh Leisinger topped the PRO-X class and doubled up by running quicker than the always-fast Robby Unser to claim the Wilwood Music City Mayhem Shootout win. In PRO, Jason Brady won the class, but Ryan Mathews came back from third place and won the shootout. The Forgeline Street Machine class saw a double-up class and shootout win from Mike Goodman, as did the LMC Truck class with Danny Cartwright, while Stacy Herman took the FiTech Fuel Injection Challenger class victory. When the dust had settled after the Wilwood Disc Brakes All American Sunday action, Gary Farless emerged as the victor in both the class and shootout in his LS-swapped Nissan.

Of course, you needn’t be an award winner or champion racer to have fun at a Goodguys event – all three days offered a wealth of automotive fun. Beyond checking out the rides and catching up with friends, there was plenty of cruising to be done, not to mention multiple Nitro Thunderfest exhibitions and a smokin’ Burnout Competition. Live music kept things lively on the Hunter’s Customs entertainment stage, while a massive turnout of vendors and exhibitors provided opportunities to browse and shop for parts. Add in an expansive swap meet and Sunday fun with Meguiar’s All American Sunday, and there was enough mechanical music to keep rodders rockin’ and rollin’ all weekend long. Check out the Weekend Rewind gallery to get a sample of what had us in tune.

Photos by Damon Lee, Steven Bunker & John Jackson

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.