Palm trees, sunny skies, crashing waves and cool cars. If you were looking for a perfect hot rod weekend, the Goodguys 18th Meguiar’s Del Mar Nationals had all the right elements!

We led up to this sun-soaked event with plenty of cruisin’, including the Destination Del Mar caravan down from Pleasanton and Thursday’s fun-filled Poker Run around the San Diego area, coordinated by the Over the Hill Gang. After that, the action was focused on the Del Mar Fairgrounds, where the cruisin’ lanes were rolling non-stop all weekend long and the scenic, historic horse racing facility was filled to the brim with fine hot rods, cool customs, classic cruisers, vintage trucks and all other manner of four-wheeled fun.

One-of the event’s long-running focal points is the annual Street Rod d’Elegance competition, designed to honor the country’s most gorgeous, elegant street rod. Five finalists were selected from a roster of worthy candidates, with the winner revealed at Sunday afternoon’s awards ceremony. Your 2018 March Performance Street Rod d’Elegance is the understated ’40 Ford named “Lucille,” built by the talented team at Goolsby Customs for Debbie Walls of Lokar Performance. Watch for a full feature on on Monday.

There were plenty of other awards distributed throughout the weekend, starting with Charley Hutton’s Builder’s Choice Top 10. We also selected finalists for each of our regional Top 12 Awards. The Truck of the Year Late finalist was Andy Carlson, while Bob Matranga picked up the Truck of the Year Early finalist nod with his SOHC-427-powered ’56 F100. When it came to muscle, Keith Watson picked up the Muscle Car of the Year finalist award with his 409-powered ’62 Bel Air, with the Muscle Machine of the Year finalist selection going to Mike Selvaggio’s ’67 Camaro. The final Top 12 finalist was Jesse Lindberg ’62 Impala for Custom Rod of the Year.

Over on the west end of the fairgrounds, AutoCross competitors were battling it out for some awards of their own, during Saturday’s Duel in Del Mar presented by Classic Performance Products. Dozens of racers battled for a spot in the 16-car shootout-style field. While the heavy-hitting West Coast based Cobra of Bruce Cambern, and driven by Scott Fraser, dominated the early part of the weekend by two seconds, it was David Carroll’s LS-powered ’75 Datsun 280Z who took the big shootout win. Carroll celebrated the victory with a crowd-pleasing smoke show as he whipped donuts on the course. Other winners included Scott Fraser (PRO – 51.900), David Carroll (Shootout Winner & Street Machine – 53.296), Wes Drelleshak (Truck – 54.153), Dennis Russell (Hot Rod – 59.892) and Mike Maier (Shootout Runner Up – 53.349).

The beachside fun included plenty of other attractions, from the special indoor PPG Lowrider Palace display, to a smoke-filled Burnout Competition on Saturday afternoon that drew a huge crowd to witness the tire shredding. Some of the biggest names in the automotive aftermarket lined both the indoor and outdoor vendor areas, while there were lots of second- and third-hand bargains in the swap meet. Top it all off with kids fun, live music from Republic Of Music, plus a special Bonneville display by our Featured Car Club, the San Diego Roadsters, and you had a sun-filled, fun-filled automotive weekend by the beach for the ages.

Check out the coverage and we think you’ll agree that there’s no place like Del Mar for a weekend of SoCal hot rod fun!