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RUNNING THE CONES IN DEL MAR HOTCHKIS HITS THE GOODGUYS DEL MAR NATIONALS

There’s only one way to describe an event like the 2009 Goodguys Del Mar Nationals: Perfect. The three day event ran April 3-5 in the tiny beach town just north of San Diego, and we couldn’t have asked for a better show, from the perfect clear blue skies to the enthusiastic crowds and over 1,000 incredible muscle cars, hot rods and customs. 

We kicked off our second Goodguys event of the year by setting up our booth in the manufacturer’s midway next to our friends from Baer Brakes and B&M Racing. Our booth featured several new additions, including a new modular suspension display and a complete rolling A-Body chassis, as well as our E-Max 1970 Challenger project car. 

David and Mary Pozzi from Salinas, California, parked their blisteringly-fast 1973 Camaro Rally Sport in our booth as well, since the car runs a Hotchkis TVS, Subframe Connectors and other components. The car didn’t sit in our booth for long though, as Mary spent nearly all day Friday and Saturday at the Goodguys Auto Cross, consistently running some of the fastest times of the event. Mary was incredibly outgoing to everyone at the event, offering driving tips, feedback, rides and even manual labor to anyone who asked. At the end of the weekend, she walked away with an overall Street Machine Auto Cross win with a 30.00 second run. This is her second win in a row at a Goodguys event. Mary also set the fastest unofficial lap time of the event with a 29.20 second pass in Steven Rupp’s race-tire equipped “Bad Penny” Camaro. 

Other event highlights included a fantastic car show packed with cars, and we noticed the muscle car to street rod ratio was about even this year, much higher than in years past. The overall quality of the muscle cars in attendance was incredible, and most of them were built pro-touring style with high-performance suspension, brakes and big-inch wheels. The crowd in the manufacturer’s midway was bustling all weekend, and we really enjoyed speaking with customers and enthusiasts, answering questions and showing off our latest hardware. 

We were also giving away free suspension, T-Shirts and other goodies in a raffle, but its not too late to sign up. If you’d like to receive our new Muscle Car Newsletter – packed with car features, event coverage and driving tips from John Hotchkis himself – go here

Overall we couldn’t be happier with the turnout at one of the best shows of the year, and the entire Hotchkis team was honored to host the Pozzi’s thoroughbred Camaro in our booth. Our next Goodguys show on the schedule is the Summer Get Together in Pleasanton, California, May 30-31. Mary will be there defending her title in the Camaro, and we’re planning on having E-Max ready to show the Chevy guys how its done in the vendor class. See you there!

 

 


The Del Mar Nationals is one of Good Guys’ most popular shows of the year, thanks to a beautiful location a few blocks from the beach and perfect San Diego weather. The 2009 show was no exception, drawing over 1,000 incredible muscle cars, hot rods and customs.

It may not have our suspension, but this ’32 roadster perfectly sums up the feel of the show: laid back people, beautiful cars and a stunning backdrop.

The Hotchkis booth was just off the main midway next to the indoor show hall, and we had two fantastic cars on display: our own “E-Max” 1970 Challenger and Mary & Dave Pozzi’s blisteringly fast 1973 Camaro RS.

The Pozzi’s Camaro didn’t do much sitting around Friday or Saturday, as it spent most of both days smoking the competition on the Good Guys Auto Cross course. Both Mary and Dave are incredibly nice, down-to-earth people and we were honored to have them flying the Hotchkis banner.

Mary was the first driver to break the 30 second barrier on Saturday, and she was consistently one of the fastest drivers on the track all weekend. She took the overall win and stood atop the podium Sunday afternoon, winning an invite to the Optima Ultimate Street Car Challenge and a set of tires.

The ghost flamed ’73 RS features a Hotchkis 2nd Gen TVS, including an Extreme Rear Sway Bar and subframe connectors. Mary is planning on adding new tubular upper and lower control arms before the next big event.

Steven Rupp from Camaro Performers Magazine put dozens of auto cross passes on his Bad Penny Camaro, and the car looked incredible. Steve was one of only four people to make it into the “29 Second Club,” and three of the four were driving his car! Penny features a Hotchkis Extreme Rear Sway Bar.

Jim Shipka brought his 1967 One Lap Camaro down from Calgary, Alberta, Canada for the show, and the reigning “Street Machine of the Year” wowed everyone with its incredible attention to detail and on-track performance. The car is packed with modern racecar technology, including a Katech LS7, and is currently at the Pozzi Racing shop getting fitted with a Hotchkis Extreme Rear Sway Bar.

The auto cross wasn’t limited to muscle cars, and several street rod owners decided to test their mettle around the cones, including this slick ’37 Ford.

Aaron Vukasovich was a crowd favorite in his big block powered, I-beam axle equipped International pickup. Burnouts, donuts, four wheel drifts and bellowing open headers were all part of Aaron’s auto cross show all weekend.

Johnny T and his bad in black ’67 Tempest made several impressive runs, especially considering it was both car and driver’s first time on the course.

The auto cross field was composed mainly of first generation Camaros, and all the cars did extremely well. The bleachers were packed with cheering crowds all weekend.

Carson Lev brought his stunning ’59 Chevy “Redphin” out to the show, where it was on display in the Baer Brakes booth just down the row from us. Former Overhaulin’ wrench Rob Phillips just did a complete mechanical rebuild on Redphin after Hotchkis rebuilt the suspension.

Mothers Polish had this stunning ’55 Chevy on display, complete with Enderle-style injection and the requisite perfect red paint.

Del Mar also has two indoor car shows, and each was packed with a variety of muscle cars, street rods and wild customs. Will Matay from San Marino, California had this slick big-block powered ’68 Camaro on display.

There were plenty of full-tilt pro-touring cars on static display as well, including Larry & Marlene Kirby’s ’64 Malibu SS, which is powered by a late-model LS6 and rolls on full Hotchkis suspension and Budnik billet wheels.

Don Carlile calls his ’62 Biscayne “Hurricayne,” and the car is packed with cool features including a custom dash with custom logo-embossed gauges, a shaved body and Hotchkis sport sway bars.

Under the hood, Hurricayne is packing a Magnusson supercharged 6.0L Gen III motor.

Bruce Bridges from Cardiff by the Sea, California, brought out a C10 pickup and this Plymouth Barracuda, which he’s planning on upgrading with the new Hotchkis E-Body TVS after spying our E-Max project car in the vendor area.

Bruce’s tan ‘Cuda has a surprise under the hood, a trio of billet throttle bodies on atop a 340 Six Pack manifold. He designed the system himself using parts from a Dodge Dakota pickup.

If this looks like Jay Leno’s tank car, that’s because they both came from the same builder. The “Blastolene Brothers” – Michael Leeds and Randy Grubb – brought out this gigantic, Packard V12 (yanked from a Military PT Boat) engine powered, hand-formed aluminum monster roadster complete big rig front suspension.

Art Alvaraz has been working on his ’64 Chevelle 300 2-door wagon since we had our own 2-door over ten years ago. The finished product features complete Hotchkis suspension on all four corners, big Wilwood brakes and dozens of subtle mods like SS bucket seats, center console and gauges.

This slick ’70 Chevelle SS has passed through several generations in the same family. It was originally a drag car in the ‘70s and early ‘80s, then turned into a street car in the early ‘90s, and was eventually restored and setup as a G-Machine a few years ago. Highlights include a complete Hotchkis TVS with upper and lower A-arms and a full rear suspension setup.

They’re itching to get onto the auto cross course.

Ray Wakeham had one of the more unique cars at the event, a C5 Corvette that was totally rebodied to look like a ’62. Other than the wheels and raked windshield, it was almost impossible to tell.

David Costa from Santee, California, brought out this fire-breathing 1970 Z28, which is setup with 17-inch American Racing Torque Thrust wheels, big brakes and a Hotchkis TVS.

Under the hood, David’s Z-car is packing serious muscle: an all-aluminum 481 cubic inch Rodeck big block.

Mark Henningsen’s ’65 El Camino is what we’d consider a famous car, thanks to spots on the covers of Hot Rod, Chevy Rumble and Chevy High Performance. We’re honored that Mark chose Hotchkis rear suspension.

There were dozens of gorgeous shoebox Chevys at the event, including this slick LS1 powered ’57 Nomad.

Robb Ellis’ 1970 Challenger convertible is as stock as they come, and is packing number of rare options, including a white interior, a shaker hoodscoop, and…

426 cubic inches of Hemi power under the hood.

Overall we had a fantastic time at the 2009 Good Guys Del Mar Nationals, and we’re looking forward to meeting more great show goers at the next event in Pleasanton, California, May 30-31. See you there!