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Gary Meadors Unplugged

Originally published by Hot Rod Coalition here.

Written by Anthony Granata of Hot Rod Coalition

It isn't just any typical Thursday night in Fresno, California.  Tonight I get to spend time with one of the greatest hot rodding advocates on Earth, Mr. Gary Meadors.  Across the table from me sits two grade school pals, Garland Sharp and Gary "The Goodguy" Meadors, and to be honest I am a little star struck.  Now if you are sixty years old or greater you know Gary as the good ol' boy from Dinuba that struck it big with his company, Goodguys Rod and Custom.  However, if you are an aspiring event promoter like myself, you know him as the Godfather of event planning.

Tonight's conversation over some Mexican food is going to be focused on the future of hot rodding and what today's youth is in store for the future.  If you don't know the back story of Gary Meadors let me fill you in.  He was born and raised in a small farm town in the Central Valley called Dinuba.  His first hot rod and love was a '47 Plymouth coupe.  He cut the coils to get it in the weeds, painted it bright yellow, added some red scallops, and dropped in a Chrysler Spitfire six under the hood.  Gary loved to drag the main in Dinuba, Visalia, Reedley, and Fresno with his future bride Marilyn that he met in 1957.  They were married in 1961 and a few short years later they had two boys, Marty was the first and Marc was the second.  Gary and the family went to any type of automotive event they could get their hands on, often traveling thousands of miles to get there.

Gary and his bride have been married for 50 plus years now and couldn't be happier.  You might see them cruising the states in their newly created '48 Chrysler Town and Country Woody.  This most recent build has lit a fire under both of them and they are so pumped to get out on the open road and drive the wheels off of it.

Meadors is constantly talking about his friends.  It is obvious that he is a people person and loves to invest in meaningful relationships.  With the gift of being able to connect people, his favorite part of Goodguys has always been the promotional side.  He thrives on taking an idea and developing it into a ground breaking and most successful hot rod circuit.  Growing up with a grandfather who was a Mennonite preacher, Gary knows how to spread the Gospel of Jesus, but he is also ordained at spreading the gospel of hot rodding where ever he goes.  Gary has been obsessed with custom cars ever since he witnessed his neighbor in Dinuba, Tom Cockran, rip down the street in his '48 Dodge Club Coupe with a split exhaust manifold.

People look at Gary now and see a successful business man that is the envy of most hot rodders.  However, you have to remember he was raised in a lower middle class farming family that didn't simply buy him a custom hot rod on his 16th birthday.  He worked hard for every penny he used to buy that Plymouth.  He got to where he is today by having the msot absolute purest passion for hot rodding I have ever witnessed.  With his hustle and blindness drive, Goodguys is what it is today because he had tunnel vision for the company.  The best thing about the company now is that his son Marc is running things and doing an amazing job.  Just when you think that the shows can't get any more progressive or innovative they come out with new and exhilarating attractions that rejuvenate the entire Goodguys experience.

According to Medaors the future is bright for the next generation of hot rodders.  Many pre '48 automobiles will be passed down to grandkids and the muscle car era rods are currently all the rage.  The pro-touring vehicles are making a huge splash at the custom car shows as many people are drawn to them because you actually get to drive them.  Thirty years from now Gary is confident that his baby, Goodguys will be growing strong with a possibly third generation of Meadors taking the reins.  Be on the lookout for a Goodguys Rod and Custom show coming to a venue near you.  If you have never experienced one, do yourself a favor and get there.  Hot Rod Coalition would like to be first to say that we are GoodGuys' biggest fan and you can count on us to continue to spread the gospel of hot rods.