Weekend Rewind! Goodguys 8th Griot’s Garage North Carolina Nationals

We sure had a rockin’ good time in Raleigh this weekend! Goodguys cruised over toward the right coast and brought the fun times with us as we gathered a great group of cool cars and trick trucks at the 8th Griot’s Garage North Carolina Nationals. We always look forward to this springtime swing to the east to help launch the cruisin’ season in this region, and area rodders were excited and ready to go based on the turnout we witnessed at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds the past three days.

Bright, sunny skies on Friday and Sunday were offset by some springtime showers on Saturday, but that didn’t dampen the mood of this good-time weekend. There were still plenty of smiles and laughs to go around as rodders and enthusiasts came together to celebrate the great American hot rod tradition. And with a fantastic indoor car show area, vendors, and an indoor swap meet, there was plenty to keep participants and spectators occupied during the soggier times on Saturday.

Of course, springtime also means it’s trophy-hunting season, and there was plenty of hardware to go around in Raleigh. Among the biggest honors were the Builder’s Choice Top 10 awards selected by our friend Jonathan Goolsby of Goolsby Customs. He’s got a great eye for seeking out cars and trucks with the right combination of attitude, quality, and attention to detail, and he came up with a great-looking Top 10 lineup.

The Goodguys team also scoured the outdoor and indoor show areas to find dozens of other picks and award recipients. This included several finalists for regional Top 12 awards. Robert Gahagan earned the Scott’s Hotrods Truck of the Year Early finalist spot in his ’56 F100, with Josh Bentley taking home the Dakota Digital Truck of the Year Late finalist nod in an ’83 Chevy C10. The Fuel Curve Custom of the Year finalist went to Brian Metcalf in a chopped ’39 Mercury, and John Flowers grabbed the Vintage Air Custom Rod of the Year finalist award in his ’62 Chevy Bel Air. The Snap-on Muscle Car of the Year finalist spot went to David and Starlette Cyrus in their ’66 Chevelle SS396. The two Chevrolet Performance Builder of the Year event finalist picks went to Paul Atkins Hot Rods (GM Iron) with a ’58 Corvette, and Rutterz Rodz (GM Retro Iron) with a ’41 Willys.

A couple of other standouts included two mid-’60s GM gems selected by our media team for photo shoots. Dick Bales’ sleek ’65 GTO was chosen as the Fuel Curve Pick, while Deedee Luttrell’s ’63 Riviera took home the Goodguys Feature Pick.

If you wanted some action beyond all the fairgrounds cruisin’, Goodguys had you covered on Saturday evening with our annual demolition derby sponsored by LMC Truck. The Saturday showers actually helped prep the mud course for several rounds of smash ’em up, crash ’em up action featuring both front-wheel-drive compacts and full-size rear-drive machines. The crowd loved it and cheered on competitors until the bitter end!

There were plenty of things to keep smiles on the faces of dedicated gearheads all weekend long. Beyond the scores of cool cars and trucks to check out, there were dozens of vendors to visit, great fair food to feast on, deals to be found in the swap meet, and ground-shaking Nitro Thunderfest exhibitions. Add in some live music, activities for the kids, and the opportunity to connect with car friends from near and far, and it’s easy to see why so many car guys and gals wanted to rally in Raleigh over the weekend.

While the Goodguys fun might be done in North Carolina for now, there’s still a lot more to look forward to this season. We’ll be heading toward Tennessee next month for the 17th BASF Nashville Nationals at Nashville Superspeedway, and then gearing up for big-time blowouts in Des Moines, Iowa; Columbus, Ohio; and Puyallup, Washington in July. It’s going to be a great season, so make your plans now to come out and join us!

Photos by Damon Lee & 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.