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Goodguys Rod and Custom Top 12 Reduced to Top 7 In 2020: Because COVID

Goodguys Southwest Nationals: Some Of The Very Best Hot Rods, Customs, And Muscle Cars of 2020 Together At Last

2020 Goodguys Rod and Custom Top 12
Front view of America's Most Beautiful

The 2020 Goodguys Rod and Custom Top Twelve was reduced to only 7 award winners this year, as COVID had shut down many regional events throughout the year. For the first time, all 7 award winners were lined up together over the weekend at the 23rd annual Goodguys Southwest Nationals show in Scottsdale, Arizona. If muscle cars, hot rods, and customs light your fire, this show and these cars are sure to stoke those flames. Whether you’re into a ’55 Chevy that was a Ridler Great Eight Finalist or you like flaming hot ’69 Camaros, the 2020 Goodguys Top 12 (7) are sure to impress.

Goodguys Rod and Custom

The Goodguys Rod and Custom Association stage a set of shows across the country each year. Even with COVID-19 restrictions, it was able to safely host some shows. During the events held seven cars were chosen for various Car Of The Year Awards, either in person or through online competitions. But, at its Southwest Nationals event, which wraps up the yearly show schedule, all seven showed up in one spot for the first time for all to admire.

Normally Goodguys would also have five additional picks for various cars and trucks of the year categories that are selected from various regional finalists. Due to the canceling of some shows, the folks at Goodguys opted to allow those finalists to carry over to 2021 for the competition and not issue those five selections for 2020.

The 3-day Goodguys Southwest Nationals show itself had over 2,000 vehicles on the sunny fields along with a huge swap meet and used car corral. Hard to believe that the Goodguys year of car shows is now over, and here’s hoping the schedule for 2021 has fewer complications.

2020 Goodguys Top 12 (7)

These top seven picks are a great way to see what the high-end set of custom cars are showcasing in 2020. These are the latest trends and styles that will soon filter down to our weekly local shows. So scroll down and check out these sweet selections.

2020 Goodguys America’s Most Beautiful

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner

Not sure you can still call this a ’55 Chevy since the 8-year build made a variety of Chris Brown designed changes. He joked that the only thing left original was the center of the roof! This Chevy made it as a finalist for the Ridler Award, which was awarded earlier this year at the Detroit Autorama Show. A massive 540 CI Merlin engine utilizes twin-turbochargers, which can produce 1400 hp. But, the owner de-tuned it down to a more “streetable” 800 horses.

2020 Goodguys Hot Rod of The Year

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner
1932 Ford – A Classic Look for Hot Rod of the Year

How can you go wrong with a 1932 Ford, especially when it has this wicked stance? The original steel body was chopped and the hood sectioned to have the body look as good as those big and little tires. The 383 CI Chevy engine has triple carbs for a period-correct look.

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner

2020 Goodguys Street Machine of The Year

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner

This 1969 Camaro was also entered into the SEMA 360 virtual “show” this year and we can see why.  It utilizes Detroit Speed suspension and an LS7 Chevy engine with 675 hp.  The front and rear body panels were widened to allow for some wider tires to manage the power.

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner
This 1969 Camaro is all business under the hood.

2020 Goodguys Custom of The Year

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner

A 1956 Oldsmobile 98 with a radically shaped roof was an obvious pick. The “Carson” style top lifts off and the grill was inspired by a 1957 Corvette. That is actually “Way Past Midnight Blue” paint, not black. They put a Hemi in this Buick with a six stack fuel injection system.

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner

2020 Goodguys Street Rod D’Elegance

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner

Another Ford, this one a 1935 three-window coupe, took home this honor. They did slip in a GM LS3 engine that cranks out 425 hp and a 4L60E automatic transmission. The roof was chopped 2-inches along with a ton of other body mods.

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner

2020 Goodguys Street Rod of The Year

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner

It must be the blue oval’s year as this green 1931 Ford sedan added to their tally. Another GM 383 CI engine was inserted under the hood with electronic fuel injection and a custom automatic transmission. They kept the vintage look with period-correct upholstery and cloth-covered wiring under the hood.

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner

2020 Goodguys Autocrosser of the Year

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner

This award is actually issued to the winner of the Southwest Nationals’ autocross competition. Autocross is where cars and trucks race through a coned off “road” course for the lowest time. The driver Scott Fraser won for the third year in a row in an original 1966 Shelby Cobra. The Shelby aluminum 440 CI engine puts out 820 hp and uses FAST electronic fuel injection.

2020 Goodguys Top 12 winner
The Duel in the Desert determined this year’s Autocrosser of the year.

Goodguys Road & Custom 2020 Top 12 Award Winners

By looking at these Goodguys top seven selections you can see how each builder took a base unit or style and elevated it into something much greater. Plenty of people have seen a ’55 Chevy, but this builder changed it up and made radical changes to get awesome results.  By changing the roofline of the Oldsmobile, the custom car showed off lines the public never had realized the Olds had. Plenty of garages house a ’32 Ford, but change the stance and add a different power plant and the vehicle changes significantly. These customs help highlight the latest trends and conditions in the show car circuit. Wonder which looks will end up being copied at our local drive-in car shows.









Mark Bach
About Mark Bach

Mark C. Bach is a well preserved automotive junkie with 30W oil in his veins and remembers feeler gauges and brake springs. He has a love for all things that move, especially old-school muscle cars. Bach covers the car auctions and the automotive scene and writes for a variety of outlets, including Chevy Classics, Round-Up Publications and eBay Motors, and maintains Route66pubco.com.