One of the largest custom car shows in the west, it wasn't always so big.
The event got started in 1983 as a one-day event for Bay Area car guys organized by Goodguys founder Gary Meadors. It has been held at the Fairgrounds in Pleasanton ever since, making it one of the longest running family-oriented events in the region.
Looking back, Meadors said, it was really just a simple car guy get-together that morphed into something much more. At the time, Meadors, nicknamed the "Goodguy" as a sales manager for sundry giant Carter-Wallace, who mostly promoted car shows on the side.
With the growth and success of the All American Get-Together, Meadors launched the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association in 1987 with the goal of holding a national series of classic car and hot rod events around the country. With his wife Marilyn's marketing skills, Goodguys events and the association grew almost as fast as their hot rod '32 Ford sedan.
Today, the association has 70,000 members, holds 20 annual events across the country, including four at the Fairgrounds, publishes a monthly color magazine, and employs more than 30 full-time staffers at the Serpentine Lane corporate headquarters in Pleasanton.
Their son Marc, 43, who grew up working for the family business, is the company's president, with Gary and Marilyn now splitting their time between the Bay Area and a home in Arizona.
At the upcoming 30th annual Get-Together, more than 3,000 American powered cars of all years, makes and models will dot every square inch of the Fairgrounds. Out on the paved blacktop, 1,200 swap-meet booths will offer hard to find vintage auto parts. Over 300 vendor booths will offer high performance components and, new to this show, will be the Goodguys AutoCross, an electronically timed vehicle agility course. Also included will be a model car show, arts and crafts, vintage music and competition for the events most coveted trophy, the Goodguys West Coast Custom of the Year award.
Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Eric Clapton also will have a car on display: a 1932 Ford Victoria 4 door custom. Built by Bay Area hot rod shop Roy Brizio Street Rods, Clapton's car is known as a "phantom" in that Ford never produced a 4 door '32 Victoria model. The car was hand built by the team at Brizio's with detail to resemble a factory-built car.
To commemorate the event's 30 years, Goodguys will hold a "Flashback Sunday" promotion on March 25, featuring a special parking area for cars made in 1983 in honor of the event's first year. A special music playlist featuring 1983's top hits will play over the PA system and Goodguys will reprint a limited amount of the original event tee shirts.
Event gates will be open Saturday, March 24 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, March 25 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Goodguys AutoCross will be running throughout the weekend during event hours. The awards ceremony is slated for 3 p.m. March 25. General admission is $17 for adults and $6 for those 7-12. For additional information visit www.good-guys.com or call 838-9876.
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