“We’ve gotten such a positive response to the Street Challenge Autocross this year that we’ve decided to add it to two of the four Pleasanton events in 2009.” Informs Goodguys Publicity Director, John Drummond. “We’re also looking to add it to other events, but limited space at some venues is an issue.”

Generally the Street Challenge Autocross is open to all show entrants registered at the event, but due to the lack of real estate at the 11th Annual PPG Nationals, track time was limited to Friday only and broken down into two segments. The morning session was reserved for vendor cars, while the afternoon track time was booked only for competitors vying for the coveted Goodguys Street Machine of the Year award. Each SMOY competitor was required to make a minimum of 3 laps around the track in order to remain in contention for the hardware -- a testament to the fact that these big-dollar show cars not only look good, but can handle the rigors of a tightly laid out combination of twist and turns.

With a total of 28 cars going into battle for top honors, we couldn’t help but make note that the lion’s share of the vehicles were 1st-gen Camaros—most notably ’69s. As the field was cut down to the top five, the Camaro was once again among the majority as 4 of the Fab Five were F-bodies, making the Troy Trepanier-built ’70 Nova, aptly named Notorious, the only non-Camaro left on the hot rod stage. In the end Erv Wollar’s, Ring Brothers’ built ’69 Camaro known as Razor took home the 2008 Goodguys Street Machine of the Year award.

Goodguys Columbus, Goodguys PPG Nationals. Whatever you want to call it, it’s one of the most exciting shows of the summer, especially for those into 60s and 70s muscle. And if you happen to be into classic Camaros, it’s a proverbial slam dunk.

<table height="144" width="371"> <thead> </thead> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="middle" align="left" style="width: 1px;" colspan="2"><span style="font-size: 10px;">&nbsp;<br /> </span><span style="font-size: 10px;"><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong>&nbsp;GOODGUYS STREET MACHINE OF THE YEAR TOP FIVE</strong></span><br /> </span></td> </tr> <tr> <td><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong>&nbsp;Kevin Alstott<br /> </strong></span></td> <td valign="top" align="right"><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong>&nbsp;1968 Camaro<br /> </strong></span></td> </tr> <tr> <td><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong>&nbsp;Gary Abraham<br /> </strong></span></td> <td valign="top" align="right"><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong>&nbsp;1970 Nova<br /> </strong></span></td> </tr> <tr> <td><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong>&nbsp;Jeff Hanson<br /> </strong></span></td> <td valign="top" align="right"><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong>&nbsp;1969 Camaro<br /> </strong></span></td> </tr> <tr> <td><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong>&nbsp;James McLeod<br /> </strong></span></td> <td valign="top" align="right"><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong>&nbsp;1969 Camaro Convertible<br /> </strong></span></td> </tr> <tr> <td><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong>&nbsp;Erv Wollar<br /> </strong></span></td> <td valign="top" align="right"><span style="font-size: 13px;"><strong>&nbsp;1969 Camaro<br /> </strong></span></td> </tr> </tbody> </table>

There were very few 2nd-gens on the grounds, but we managed to brave the rain to get a shot of Taylor Havener’s ’70. He’s a member of the Young Guys, meaning he’s under 25, so he’s got plenty of time, and a nice foundation to lay down some killer pigment over that primered sheetmetal.