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.

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