It’s a mega car and hot rod show, Goodguys Nationals makes first stop ever in Osceola County at OHP next weekend
By Peter Covino
Get ready for a car show unlike anything Osceola County has ever seen.
The Goodguys All-American Nationals, an event featuring more than 1,500 classic show cars and hot rods, comes to Osceola Heritage Park next weekend.
Put on by the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association, which holds several car shows events nationwide, the three-day show, Friday, April 25, Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27, is expected to attract more than 30,000 car enthusiasts over the weekend.
Since it is a first-time event for Osceola County, it won’t be easy to gauge just how popular the show will be, said John Drummond, communications director for the California-based association, but some of the three-day extravaganzas sponsored by the group, draw 100,000 people over a weekend.
“This is the first Florida show we have had in several years,” Drummond said, “and it is great to be back in the state.”
OHP will also be a great venue for the show, which not only features show cars, but vendors, cars for sale, music, food and even the electronically-timed Goodguys AutoCross course event.
OHP also hosts the popular Mecum auto shows each year, but while Mecum is the place to be to buy collector cars, the Goodguys show is a celebration of the car itself, he said.
“We honor the car,” he said.
Founded by lifelong hot rodder Gary Meadors in 1983, Goodguys is the world’s largest hot rodding association with more than 70,000 active members worldwide. Goodguys events feature thousands of candy colored hot rods and customs, tricked out trucks, muscle cars and regal classics sprawled throughout venues such as fairgrounds, super speedways and large outdoor stadiums.
They host more than 20 events annually across the country from the coast to coast.
In Osceola County, the event will actually kickoff Thursday, the day before the cars go on display at Osceola Heritage Park.
It starts with the Poker Run. More than 200 cars are expected to participate in the driving tour which visits local hot rods shops and other points of automotive interest the day before the event.
Car enthusiasts may want to spend the whole day or more at All-American Nationals event, once it gets underway.
Along with all those cars to look at, the event features a unique vendors area for the car enthusiast, Drummond said.
“It’s a chance to talk to representatives from performance“ he said. Enthusiasts will get the chance to talk directly with manufacturer representatives, purchase automotive related products at special prices and ask consumer related questions.
Of course, it is the cars that are the main attraction throughout the weekend The new event spotlights customized American muscle. On display will be everything from Lil’ Deuce Coupes (’32 Ford hot rods) to 70s era Muscle Cars to new American performance machines like the new generations of Chevy Camaro, Dodge Challenger and others.
Show car entries from 14 states are currently registered for the All American Nationals.
Area residents are invited to be a part of the event and show off their vehicles. You can register at the event or in advance.
The weekend fee to display a show car is $70, which includes the car & two people for the weekend. A special one-day show car fee of $40 is available on Sunday, April 27. All Goodguys events welcome rods, customs, classics, trucks, street machines and muscle cars through 1972 vintage.
Car enthusiasts can also join the Goodguys Association, designed for classic car enthusiasts. Each Goodguys member receives the monthly Goodguys Goodtimes Gazette, a 250-page full-color, super-book that covers Goodguys events, hot rod heroes, hot rod companies, hot cars and their owners, hot rod classifieds and all the latest news. Members also receive the full-color “Goodtimes Yearbook” – a full color coffee table book style which chronicles the entire event season with photos. A membership card and plus discounts on event registration are also valuable perks of a Goodguys membership.
Another major highlight of the event, Drummond said, is the Goodguys AutoCross track – an electronically timed vehicle agility course where competitors race against the clock. Anyone who has a vehicle on display may compete on the course.
There also is a swap meet and car corral where vehicles can be purchased.
The cars for sale range from turn-key ready to drive beauties to “fixer uppers” and everything in between, he said.
The event is geared for the family, including the youngest members.
On Saturday, Revell Monogram will be sponsoring the Model Car Make n’ Take at 1 p.m. Free model car kits will be available for youngster (while supplies last) to build the kits and take them home. A full-scale model car show will also be featured.
Also for the youngsters will be face painting, clowns and games.
There also is a variety of food and drink available for purchase.
Show director Bill Goodwill, who also is a Florida resident, said the Kissimmee venue is a great opportunity for Goodguys.
“The Osceola Heritage Park is a perfect venue for this kind of event,” Goodwill said. “The facility features plenty of wide open lots of both grass and pavement for ample show car parking and the state-of-the-art air conditioned buildings will be perfect for our product vendors and specialty exhibits. The local infrastructure, hotels and restaurants create a perfect atmosphere for our event participants coming in from out of town,” he said.
Show hours for The Goodguys All American Nationals are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday. General admission is $15. Youngsters, 7-12 are $6. Parking is $6. More information can be found at www.good-guys.com, social media, http://www.facebook.com/goodguysrodandcustom .