Three days, 3,000 cars, one camera. You can see the dilemma. Hiking around the Goodguys Heartland Nationals at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, soaking in some of mid-America's finest iron is like being a kid in a candy store-but it's like being a kid with only enough money for a few treats. Hot rodding is huge in the heartland and Goodguys Des Moines is one of the best places for seeing them. Picking the sweetest is a tough job.
R&C hasn't attended this event since the 20th century, so there was a lot of catching up to do. In addition to all the new rods and customs present, there were cars familiar to Midwesterners that were brand-new to us. A 100-yard trek along the main drag of the show, or down one of the tree-lined side streets, or around the numerous Pros Picks corrals could take an hour or longer. Checking out every car on the grounds-that was pretty much impossible. But we had a ball looking at as many as we could, visiting the vendors, and hanging out at the after-hours parties. When it was all over, we had the further challenge of selecting a handful of the rods and customs at Des Moines to share with you. Here are some of our favorites.