The Goodguys 28th West Coast Nationals, a three-day celebration of vintage American iron, closes at 3 p.m. today at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.
Founded in 1987 by Gary and Marilyn Meadors, the Pleasanton-based company today is 70,000 members strong, holds 20 annual events across the country (including four each year in Pleasanton), publishes a monthly color magazine and employs more than 30 full-time staffers at its Serpentine Lane corporate headquarters.
The Meadors' son Marc, now 43, serves as company president.
The West Coast Nationals, called "The Perfect Rod Run" by Hot Rod Magazine, is known as the industry's "Crown Jewel," due to its propensity to attract hot rodding's top cars and star builders, said John Drummond, communications director for Goodguys.
"The pull of Pleasanton and the Goodguys West Coast Nationals is truly international," he said. "Hot rodder Martin Lundqvist of Stockholm, Sweden shipped his car to Georgia in July and is driving across America to Pleasanton to fulfill 'a lifelong dream.' Years of national automotive magazine coverage have made it like Woodstock for car enthusiasts."
Not only is the event popular around the world, it's a boon to Pleasanton.
"I still remember my first meeting with Gary Meadors," said Scott Raty, president and CEO of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce. "Many years ago Gary came to the chamber office and shared his enthusiasm and vision for a weekend event that would sell-out every hotel room in town."
"There were about 1,000 new hotel rooms coming online at the time, and it was exactly what was needed to put Pleasanton on the map for weekend visitors and convention business," he added. "Not only did Gary make it happen then, the Meadors family is still making it happen today with capacity crowds and every hotel room both here and around the Valley sold for three-plus days each August as well as for the other events Goodguys stages. With all the visitors come significant boosts in retail and dining all over town."
Indeed, Goodguys and events such as the West Coast Nationals and others throughout the year have been good for Pleasanton.
Goodguys supports Foothill and Amador Valley high school athletic programs and is active in local community events as well as aiding those at the Veterans Hospital in Livermore.
Today, thje final day of the event, gates are open from to 3 p.m.
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