Mother Nature kinda has it out for the Nashville Nationals. Year after year, the threat of rain looms heavy over the Goodguys event hosted in Music City, and without fail, this year was little different. Thankfully, Friday’s festivities remained unmolested by a single drip, but Saturday afternoon spelled quite differently. We perused the aisles of glistening chrome, polished aluminum and candied paint jobs brimming with reflective metallic. With an expected 2,500 hot rods, customs, classics, muscle cars and trucks (terminating with an ageist cutoff of 1972) surrounding the downtown Nissan Stadium perched on the banks of the Cumberland River, the only complaint was maybe a lack of sunscreen.
Of course, the party didn’t start Friday morning, but Thursday’s Kick-off Party at Advanced Plating. The legendary shop has hosted the pre-show party for nearly a decade and the procession of American iron filling every inch of asphalt and concrete was impressive. The following day, the Goodguys machine was in full steam, providing plenty of entertainment in the form of a Nitro Thunderfest Dragster Exhibition and Music City Mayhem presented by American Racing Wheels. Vendors and manufacturers exhibited their latest show-n-shine products as a variety of food trucks welcomed hungry patrons (the food truck scene has exploded in Music City as of late, offering a litany of gourmet options for finer or adventurous tastes).
In the shade of Titan’s Stadium, the swap meet began to fill the stalls while not too far off, a Cars 4 Sale Corral beckoned to those looking for a new project to call their own. A Kids Zone offered little ones refuge from the heat as they enjoyed free arts and crafts, games, prizes and the Kids Free Revell Model Car Make-N-Take, allowing all ages to test their skill at building their first model car. For the bigger kids, competition for Goodguys’ 2017 Tanks Hot Rod of the Year Award was well underway. Beneath the shade of the arching bridge to Broadway was the Goodguys AutoCross presented by Music City Mayhem. Many of those big manufacturers who travel with the Goodguys circuit were in play – including Ridetech, Detroit Speed and others.
Because of the late model performance resurgence, Goodguys has pulled back the velvet rope and allowed domestic muscle fill the show grounds on Sunday. This year, the K&N Filters All American Sunday – welcomed American-made or powered vehicles of all years, as certainly, Vipers and Viper-powered Rams, supercharged Hemi Challengers and Scat Pack Chargers are worthy of attendance. While we weren’t able to linger all weekend, we managed to snap some of our favorite Mopars while at the Nashville Nationals, and hope to have one or two of our project cars in attendance next year.