If you've ever been to a famous landmark or met a celebrity--or seen a well-known historic hot rod or race car--you might know how unreal it can be to see a person or place or car that you've only previously seen on television or in photos. There was a little bit of that feeling at the Goodguys 14th Southeastern Nationals, held at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, the capital city of NASCAR country. Walking through the rows of hot rods, customs, musclecars, street machines, and classic trucks was a familiar enough experience. But looking upward at the banked oval, expansive grandstand, and multi-story suites of the historic superspeedway was a bit of sensory overload. Let's just say it's more impressive in person.
Goodguys made the most of the facility by letting participants drive their cars on the track on Saturday evening. Even at a fraction of the speeds the track is used to, a couple of mile-and-a-half counterclockwise runs is a kick in the pants. Goodguys also set up an autocross driving event for folks who actually wanted to compete in something besides the show `n' shine.
Of course the real action was down on the infield, where an estimated 3,000 cars were lined up for another three-day weekend of good times, Goodguys style .We kept plenty busy that weekend, hiking the rows of rods and customs, photographing as as we could, and selecting 10 of them for the R&C Top Tin corral held on Sunday.
If you've read our show coverage in the past, you know we tend to notice (or imagine) different trends within the hobby in different parts of the country. Here's what we saw in Charlotte: a very high number of '32 Fords in addition to a high number of black cars. It would have been easy to choose 10 excellent black Deuces as our Top Tin winners. We might just do that next year, but this time we decided to find a mix of makes, styles, and model years. Our picks are subjective, but we hope you'll agree with most of them. Of course, what we really want is to get you out to the show so you can see these cars up close. Let's just say they're more impressive in person.