SIGNIFICANT TIMES FOR GOODGUYS
1955 Gary Meadors is 16, growing up the tiny California Central Valley town of Dinuba, California, when he tricks out his first hot rod: a 1947 Plymouth, which he cut the coils on to achieve the requisite “Meadors stance.” It was ’50’s era hot rodding at its finest. A neighbor of Gary’s had a ’47 Dodge with a loud exhaust and every time he came home and “rapped” the throttle, it got the fuel in Gary’s veins flowing. The road leading up to Goodguys was built from a very young age in Gary as his life’s journey always involved hot rods and hot rodding people.
1973 The Norcal Early Iron Car Club, a club Meadors helped create in Fremont, California, hosted the first “Street Rod Mini Nationals” at the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds, which drew in more than 500 hot rods. The success of this event motivated and inspired Meadors to move forward as a successful event promoter. The concept of Goodguys was on the horizon.
1983 Gary and his high school sweetheart and bride for over 50 years Marilyn Meadors hosted the very first Goodguys event known as the Goodguys Get Together held at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, California.
1987 Gary and Marilyn incorporated the Goodguys name and hosted the first full years of Goodguys event series.
1989 The Goodguys Gazette was born as a 40-page black-and-white rag. The book has evolved today into a full-color magazine offering members an entertaining and informative arm chair hot rodding experience. It was first published out of the Goodguys offices in 1989 in Alamo, California.
1989 Goodguys had grown to Pleasanton, California, Southern California, Ohio, Georgia, Pennsylvania and more. Vintage drag racing events were added to the Goodguys event docket in California and Indiana.
1991 The “Of the Year” award program was launched, starting with Street Rod of the Year won in ’91 by Dave Marasco with a 1929 Roadster Pickup. The program later expanded to Custom of the Year and today includes:
Street Rod of the Year
Street Machine of the Year
Hot Rod of the Year
Street Rod D’elegance
America’s Most Beautiful Street Rod
Custom of the Year
Custom Rod of the Year (’36-’72)
Truck of the Year Late (’67-’87)
Truck of the Year Early (through ’66)
Muscle Machine of the Year (’60-’87)
Muscle Car of the Year (’60-’87)
1994 Gary joined the 200 MPH club having driven the Dozier & Hagerty Chrysler straight-eight powered streamliner to a top speed of 223 mph.
1998 Meadors and Goodguys launched the Goodguys Trendsetter Award designed to honor rising young hot-rodding craftsman. Chip Foose was the initial recipient.
2008 Autocross was incorporated into Goodguys events and is now held at 16 Goodguys national events offering five classes of completion, a season-long point series and year-end championships.
2009 Gary and Marilyn backed off on the Goodguys throttle slightly and let their son Marc Meadors take over as company president. The company enjoyed further growth under Marc’s leadership, reaching new generations of gearheads and providing Gary and Marilyn a chance to take their hot rods out on the open road.