“Hey,” a man shouted across the parking lot to his boss, who had just emerged from the building where they both worked, “all your Hot Wheels cars have come to life!”
The man and his boss work for a company housed in a building just to the west of the runways of the Scottsdale, Arizona, airport. The streets around that building were filled Thursday with a variety of rumbling hot rods and colorful custom cars and, indeed, it appeared as if the full catalog of children’s Hot Wheels toys had somehow been transformed into real, adult-sized cars.
The cars were there because buildings just down the street from where these men work house auto restoration and customization shops that were included on the annual shop tour that the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association organizes for those arriving a day early for the Spring Nationals car show at WestWorld of Scottsdale.
The ninth annual Spring Nationals opens Friday and runs through Sunday and figures to attract somewhere around 2,500 custom cars and hot rods to the show field. It used to be that no car produced since 1972 was eligible to participate, but the Goodguys have expanded the eligibility rules to 1987 models in hopes to attracting new and younger members whose teenage automotive lusts don’t predate the early-’70s.
Speaking of newbies, one of the shops on the tour has been open for only two months. Chris Borucki has been a master automotive technician for nearly 40 years, but it was just two months ago that he opened Airpark Motorsports in Scottsdale. Airpark offers mechanical restoration and repair services for vintage, collector and classic cars and motorcycles, appeared already to have a shop-full of vehicles, and yet was willing to provide lunch for the Goodguys.
The tour began a only few blocks away at Vintage Iron and Restoration, which has been in its present location for five years, and just down the block from Brown’s Classic Auto, another full-service restoration facility that has been in business since 1953 but moved to its current location only a couple of years ago.
Brown’s was the third stop of the day for the Goodguys before they headed west into Phoenix, stopping first at Broadbent Speed and Custom Specialities and then ending the day with the Spring Nationals kickoff party at Lucky Luciano’s custom paint.