Weekend Rewind! Goodguys 24th Grundy Insurance Colorado Nationals Presented by Griot’s Garage
Goodguys took the 2022 season to a new level this weekend with some high-altitude hot rod fun on the front range of the Rocky Mountains at the 24th Grundy Insurance Colorado Nationals presented by Griot’s Garage! The Ranch Events Complex in Loveland came to life with an incredible array of hot rods, customs, muscle cars, and vintage iron, bringing a rainbow of hues to Colorful Colorado!
This early-September event also experienced wide swings in weather, as a record-breaking heat wave earlier in the week gave way to cooler temperatures and gray skies on Friday and a soggy Saturday before the sun and warmth returned on Sunday. Rodders are resilient, though, and we were happy with how many diehards showed up and made the most of the weekend despite less-than-perfect conditions on Saturday.
After a fun-filled opening Friday, hundreds of rodders took part in of the most enjoyable traditions of this colorful event – the TGIF party hosted by Eric Peratt and his crew at Pinkee’s Rod Shop and Mash Lab Brewing. It’s always an exciting evening at this unique space, which combines an impeccable and ultra-clean hot rod shop with a microbrewery and adjoining restaurant. Add in a parking lot full of cars, delicious food, live music, and a laid-back vibe, and you’d got an ideal way to kick off a hot rod weekend.
Peratt and his team were back out at The Ranch Events Complex on Saturday morning to select the Builder’s Choice Top 10. They take these selections seriously and evaluate cars and trucks closely, looking for innovation, execution, detail, quality, and style. By mid-day they had come up with a great lineup, one that showcased a diverse range of vehicle genres and build styles.
The Goodguys awards team made some choice selections, too, choosing several finalists for Meguiar’s Top 12 Of the Year awards. Recipients included David Gruthoff’s ’73 Trans Am for the Snap-on Muscle Car of the Year finalist; Bud Wolfe’s ’57 Thunderbird for the Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year finalist; and Tommy Dora’s ’57 Chevy pickup for the Scott’s Hotrods Truck of the Year Early finalist. Dora’s truck doubled up, winning the Chevrolet Performance GM Iron Builder of the Year finalist spot for Hill’s Hot Rods, while Kenny’s Rod Shop earned the GM Retro Iron Builder of the Year finalist for Bob Cunningham’s ’46 Hudson pickup. The Goodguys media team, meanwhile, picked Steve and Marge Spang’s ’55 Chevy Bel Air convertible for the Goodguys Feature Pick.
The Goodguys CPP AutoCross Series attracted dozens of racers to the front range to compete for class bragging rights and a chance to race in the Western States Shootout presented by LMC Truck on Saturday. After a full day of racing on Friday, a contingent of dedicated racers waited out the drizzle and rain on Saturday to run in the shootout late Saturday afternoon. There were lots of double winners, with Josh Leisinger winning both the Speedtech Performance PRO-X class and PRO-X portion of the shootout in his ’64 Corvette; Kurt Chenoweth winning the Summit Racing PRO class and PRO shootout in his ’70 Dodge Challenger; and Roger Burman winning the Forgeline Street Machine class and Street Machine shootout in the Summit Racing-sponsored ’85 Corvette. Tim Molzen won the Gearstar Sports Car class and Sports Car shootout in the Summit Racing ’97 Corvette, while Keenan Smith won both the LMC Truck class and Truck portion of the shootout in his ’63 Ranchero. The Tremec All American class was claimed by Jack Haberman in a 2022 Corvette, and he also topped the All American Shootout.
There was much more to keep enthusiasts engaged throughout the event. Fans of Bitchin’ Rides lined up all weekend long at the Kindig It Design booth to meet Dave Kindig, get autographs, and check out some of the latest creations to come out of the shop. And Specialty Auto Auction once again hosted a great collector and specialty car auction on Saturday for enthusiasts looking to buy or sell a car or truck.
Add in a swap meet full of vintage parts and cars, a smokin’ Burnout Competition, and multiple Nitro Thunderfest sound-offs, and there was plenty to see and do throughout the weekend. That’s not to mention dozens of vendors both inside and out, live music, kids activities, and other attractions, resulting in an auto-themed weekend that was sure to keep any enthusiast well entertained.
Thanks to all the dedicated Goodguys members, participants, spectators, and enthusiasts who helped make this a wonderful weekend in Colorado. We can’t wait to do it again next year, and we’re really looking forward to bringing the Goodguys Good Times to Texas next week for the 29th Summit Racing Lone Star Nationals at Texas Motor Speedway. We’ll see you there!
Photos by Damon Lee & Todd Ryden