2013 Good Guys 27th West Coast Nationals - Pleasanton, CA

If you like car shows and hot rods there's no better place to celebrate the custom rod culture than the rolling hills of Pleasanton, CA at the Good Guys 27th West Coast Nationals Presented By FlowMaster. We spent the better part of our Saturday at the Alameda Fairgrounds hoofing it through polished clear coats and conditioned leather at one of the best American car shows on the planet.

There's a delicate balance of our car obsessions and a happy marriage. So like any good husband would do, we took our ladies out to one of their favorite restaurants Friday night for some sweet undivided attention. In truth it was basically Kin and I jabbering about what we wanted to see while our wives gossiped about fashion and travel. But in the end it didn't matter because our execution of mindful interest was masterful and we we're cleared for the Good Guys show first thing in the morning. (We're also fortunate that they don't read our articles so the secret is still safe. But we do provide them, and you, with pretty pictures).

We head out early toward the Altamont Pass trying to beat traffic but quickly recognize we're not the only early birds on the road. We settle into a swift pace and manage to steal some scenic views of the rolling hills that separate the central valley from coast. We also spot a few hot rodders heading to the weekend car mecca that is Good Guys.

Our early arrival is beneficial as we're able to score a parking spot within a few rows of the front gates (our legs thanked us at the end of the day). We get two dollars of change from our twenty and we're officially attendees of the show being greeted by ridiculously polished chrome and multicolored paint schemes (fuzzy dice go without saying).

Within eye shot are hundreds of American hot rods. Chevys, Buicks, Pontiacs, Fords, Dodges and more all presented amongst a carpet of freshly cut grass. We quickly kneel down and start snapping pictures of our favorites. Favorites really doesn't do these cars justice because they all are so stunning we'd be happy to have any of them in our garage... but ultimately we have to make a decsion to shoot the ones that catch our eyes.

We follow the crowd into one of the many buildings housing venders, suppliers, and hobbyists. We find auto memorabilia, car art, interior finishes, carburetors, engines, wheels; I'm mean you name it and the Good Guys Show has it. We make our way outside and come across the America's Tire tent. The sales clerk informs us they are offering tires and wheels with $100-$200 off MSRP if purchased during the show. It turns out my father-in-law is shopping for tires and quickly scores a deal that saves him $200 off a set he was looking at the day before. After a bit of shopping I score a set of Yokohama's at a discount of $160 for the fastback. Already worth the trip, the savings we got makes us want to buy our tires here every year now.

After grabbing a quick bite to eat and with no clear direction we kept wondering about the venders and show cars and end up running into one of our favorite custom car shops; Moal Coachbuilders. They had a nice plot of grass surround by nearly a dozen of their masterpieces. Having read articles and watched TV show's featuring their work we couldn't resist chatting with them. We talked to Michael Moal, son of Steve Moal, about some of the builds they've done and what they're doing now. We also expressed our appreciation for a custom hot rod called the Zypher that we chased for 3-days on a rally last year. We have our fingers cross that the same owner will bring another of his Moal cars to this years' rally.

With the day half gone and only seeing a third of the show we decide to cut through the car corral and make our way to the swap meet. Here we find the automotive equivalent of gypsies. They come from all over the state and country, all walks of life and with tons of personality. Some give you the hard sell while others barely notice you perusing their goods. Either way it's always fun to see if we can find something we can't live without like maybe a black and yellow plates or vintage car ads.

As we're walking up and down the swap meet aisles we notice off to the east another car corral. But this one is a bit different as all the cars are segregated into categories. Here we find muscle cars, deuces, convertibles, and pick-ups sitting amongst their brethren. It's a beautiful sight and we can't put our cameras down as we try to catch the atmosphere through our lenses.

After hours of walking and our eyes full of shining glittery cars and dusty hard-to-find parts our ankles are aching and we start to head towards the gates. We take in a few more gems on the way out and share our amazment with each other at the shear amount of car culture and passion contained within these fenses. The Good Guys truly put on one of the best car shows in the country and we're fortunate to have them visit Pleasanton (three times this year alone). If there is anything they can improve upon our only suggestion is to provide maps. Although we felt we saw it all, we're certain there were a few nooks and crannies that went unexplored. Regardless, they can expect us to be back next year because part of the fun is not knowing what's around the next corner!

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