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Sunday, July 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Among car buffs, Goodguys finish first


Custom cars will line the grass at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center for the Goodguys Great Northwest Nationals, starting today.
 (File / The Spokesman-Review)
Custom cars will line the grass at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center for the Goodguys Great Northwest Nationals, starting today. (File / The Spokesman-Review)

If you see plenty of extra-fine hot rods and classic cars around town this weekend, there’s a good reason.

Or should we say, a Goodguy reason.

More than 1,500 cars, dating from 1972 and earlier, are converging on the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center for the fifth annual Goodguys Great Northwest Nationals.

It’ll be rod heaven for anyone interested in classic cars – and for anyone interested in reveling in the culture of the ‘50s.

“It’s pretty much a festival atmosphere, like going back to ‘American Graffiti,’ ” said John Drummond, publicity director for Goodguys Rod and Custom Association. “You’ll see pompadours and poodle skirts.”

You’ll also see food booths, a beer garden, an auto parts swap meet and an arts-and-crafts show. The band Hot Rod Deluxe will perform. Kids can build their own models at the make-and-take area.

The show will also have an indoor area for some of the top-flight cars – “the ones whose owners don’t want to get dust on them,” as Drummond puts it.

Last year, about 10,000 people showed up each day for a total attendance of around 30,000, he said.

Goodguys is a California-based organization that stages car shows around the country. The Spokane event is part of its summer national tour.

“We’ll have local cars and cars from all around the Northwest, the Southwest and all through the West,” said Drummond. “These are all people who want to display their cars. A lot of them want a chance at the awards we’ll give to the Top 100 cars.”

For instance, the judges will pick a finalist in their Muscle Car of the Year contest, for cars from 1955 to 1972. Gentleman, start your Chargers.

Preregistration for the show is closed, but you can still register your classic car when you come to the fairgrounds. Most of the crowd, however, will be there simply to admire row after row of lovingly restored and customized cars.

“We get lots of people from the baby boomer generation, the ‘Happy Days’ people, as well as a lot of the younger crowd,” said Drummond. “They are into rockabilly and way into these cars.”

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