Southern California is unquestionably the cradle of hot rodding and arguably still has the highest number of hot rods, customs and classic vehicles per capita of anywhere in the country. It’s not a big surprise, then, that the Goodguys 18th Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals has been such a runaway success for 18 years running. Combine cool cars, ocean views and sunny springtime SoCal weather, and you’ve got the recipe for a perfect hot rod weekend!

18th Meguiar's Del Mar Nationals

We’ve been building up to this show all week, starting with the Destination Del Mar cruise that left Pleasanton on Wednesday to caravan down to SoCal. That was followed up with the Thursday Poker Run coordinated by the Over the Hill Gang, which took us on a scenic tour down the coast to San Diego, and even over to Coronado Island.

Which led us to kickoff day today at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Cars and trucks began cruisin’ in early and had the facility rockin’ by mid-morning. There were more cars filling up the venue’s three main exhibition halls, including the special PPG Lowrider Palace display. Over in O’Brien Hall, there are some spectacular creations vying for the prestigious March Performance Street Rod d’Elegance Award. We’ll also be selecting finalists for other Top 12 awards, in addition to Charley Hutton’s Builder’s Choice Top 10.

18th Meguiar's Del Mar Nationals

The Del Mar AutoCross course always brings out the heavy hitters, and there has already been plenty of corner-carving action as drivers vie for the 16 qualifying spots in tomorrow’s Duel in Del Mar presented by Classic Performance Products. There will be more squealing tires over in the Burnout Contest, plus a series of Nitro Thunderfest exhibitions throughout the weekend.

There are plenty of other attractions to keep hot rodders happy this weekend, including dozens of performance parts vendors, a big swap meet, kids fun, live music and more. It’s sure to be a bitchin’ time by the beach. Come join us!