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Folks Of Interest Gary Meadors

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 18,845

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    Gary Meadors


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  2. Very nice tribute, Ryan.
    LOU WELLS likes this.
  3. pwschuh
    Joined: Oct 27, 2008
    Posts: 2,225


    Sorry to hear....
  4. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,199


    In a addition to liking his cars as low as possible,he also drove the Dozier and Hegarty blown flathead Chrysler-8 powered Streamliner to a record 223.220 mph in 1994.A legend who will be missed. IMG0001_WEB.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
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  5. I met him a couple of times. He didn't put on airs like a lot of folks in his position. Actually he was an ornery cuss from what I could gather. I do know that one year he kept me in burgers and *soft drinks for the weekend in KC just for power parking my old Galaxie.

    he built an empire just so that he could hang out with car guys, I can't imagine a better vision than that.

    I don't know that it is true but I have heard that he passed in his sleep. I don't expect to go out that way but if I could choose, to go to sleep and wake up in a different place would be a good way to go.

    Good by Gary god speed.

    * yes even he knew better then to give the beaner beer. ;)
    olcurmdgeon, catdad49, OL 55 and 5 others like this.
  6. Uncle Bob
    Joined: Oct 20, 2007
    Posts: 1,097

    Uncle Bob
    from Salado, Tx
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    He really was a good guy. Ya gotta admire a guy who stepped up and took the risks to create something better for the hobby he loved. He done good.............RIP bud!
  7. oldcargary
    Joined: May 6, 2010
    Posts: 197

    from devore, Ca

    Besides car shows, did a lot for nostalgia racing, he'll be missed.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  8. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,199


    From While he was still working as a traveling salesman in the 70‘s, he was often out of town for three or four days. He would find guys with hot rods and hang out with them instead of going to bars drinking and chasing women, like so many other salesmen did back then. If he found a guy who was chopping a top or customizing a car, he’d come back every day to take pictures of the project so he could submit articles for magazines."

    I'm the same way,I don't drink and I'm not a skirt chaser.All of my years on the road,I always went to car shows,gun shows,and antique shows,which I figured were a better place for my time and energy.
    blue57ford and Kan Kustom like this.
  9. At Bonneville, Gary would stop by our sales area for some shade to eat his snowcone that he would always buy. The first time he stopped by I had no idea who he was. We talked about the racing, cars, the salt, normal stuff. As he left he got into a yellow roadster that I knew belong to Gary Meadors.
    Very humble quiet guy, Chick and I will miss him and his conversations.
  10. 40mel
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 77

    from SoCal

    Met him a couple of times, really down to earth. RIP!
  11. John Stimac
    Joined: Jan 15, 2008
    Posts: 500

    John Stimac

    Here's a pic I took of Gary and Marilyn last year at Scottsdale, since hearing this news I feel rotten. He and his entire family are receiving prayers from Roberta and I.
  12. houseofhotrods
    Joined: Mar 16, 2005
    Posts: 673


    Heard about his passing from a friend in Australia, very sad - such a cool guy and I always looked forward to our visits a couple times a year. I've been a Rodder's Rep for Goodguys for about 20 years - and though we didn't always agree on what I drove or built, we had common ground - things with wheels - and he never once gave me crap about doing things the way I did. Introduced my 15 year old daughter to Gary and Marilyn this last summer and so glad I did, they hadn't seen her since she was a baby, but they always asked about my kids. He'd call me up to look at and and sometimes buy cars in this area and have me drive 'em down, they always were gracious and generous in every way they could be. Very true that Gary did it his way - not everyone liked it, but that's how life is.
    My condolences to Marilyn, Marc and the Meadors family. Guaranteed he's hangin' somewhere talkin' cars and rollin' the coolest rides ever. We will miss you my friend.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  13. I met Gary when he was affiliated with NSRA and we talked again shortly after he started up Goodguys.

    I saw him again in Charlotte,N.C. at the first Goodguys show there and Haven't seen him since.

    I always thought he was the real deal and enjoyed people as much as the cars.

    God Speed Gary. HRP
  14. Brandi
    Joined: Sep 1, 2007
    Posts: 1,038


    Having done a little work for Goodguys, it was fun to watch Gary blend in at events with the other guys. Even when he was on a mission to get something done on a complete other side of the fairgrounds, he'd always oblige stopping and BSing when folks recognized him.

    As a younger female into cars, I was once told by a rep of another large organization that young people, specifically women, have no business in this car stuff. When Gary heard that story he made sure to make a point to me that it was a bunch of BS.

    Though I don't often go to GG shows these days, I was looking forward to seeing him at Des Moines this year. He'll be missed.
    catdad49 likes this.
  15. frank spittle
    Joined: Jan 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,666

    frank spittle

    My biggest appreciation was his love of Nostalgia Drag Racing and making it a part of some of his events.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  16. T McG
    Joined: Feb 12, 2005
    Posts: 1,255

    T McG
    from Phoenix

    I knew Gary personally and have worked on many of his cars over the years. The ultimate car guy and very humble. He never acted as though he was better than anyone else and always had great stories to tell. He passed in his sleep at his Arizona home from a heart attack. R.I.P. Gary you will be missed.
    When ever I ran into Gary he always took the time to stop and talk hot rods. Always ask me if I still had the yellow deuce like his. First time I met him he pulled along side me at a stop light in KC and ask me if I had stole his sedan and laughed. Next day he took the time to find me at the deuce doings and talk.
    He will be missed. RIP Gary
    catdad49 likes this.
  18. Rolleiflex
    Joined: Oct 25, 2007
    Posts: 903


    Wow, I'm very sad to hear of his passing. Prayers for his family.

    The early years of the Goodguys in Puyallup were some of the coolest events (especially with the nostalgic drags on Friday nights).

    Thanks to his vision it was event like no other at the time (and contrary to the current belief that it was all billet back then) there were plenty of cars that would fit right into the H.A.M.B. they just weren't making magazine covers.
    Brandi likes this.
  19. pgan
    Joined: Apr 7, 2009
    Posts: 200


    I've been to way too many funerals this year already, but most were more or less anticipated. This one hits hard. It's a shock. I liked everything that Gary did. We did Lodi. We motated to Merced. We did Indy, and Ohio, and Del Mar, and all the P-Towns, and of course the Nostalgia Drags. But much more important I liked Gary. He WAS a good guy. His deal was having fun with cool cars, and like-minded car people, and he made his business spreading that fun to any and all other cool car guys and gals. He was good at it and he prospered, as well he should have. I know Marilyn, Marc, and Marty are equally shocked and unspeakably grieved. I can only add my wimpy condolences. But it was a family deal, with a shared attitude of wholesome fun. I hope--I think--it will continue. This one hurts. But my sincerest best wishes to the family and the whole crew.

    Pat Ganahl
  20. Sanford&Son
    Joined: Oct 13, 2006
    Posts: 388

    from Visalia,Ca

    Very Sad to hear about Gary, my condolences to his family. When I was very young, I remember seeing his 32 Sedan rolling into the Roadster Round-Up in Visalia California 1972ish? I was around 9 years old. It was where the LA Roadsters & Bay Area Roadster would meet in the summer, hosted by the Valley Roadster's. The chopped yellow full fender'd sedan with Buick wires wheels and dark tinted windows all around, looked really cool.
    I chatted with Gary at the Central Valley Woody Show a few years ago while sitting on the grass, he brought out his Buick Wagon, very nice car. He said he would like to put the 32 sedan back to the look it had in the 70's one day! He also mentioned it was his only family car, in those days too! (anyone have pics of it?) without graphics or fenders!
    I proudly display the "GoodGuys" Fat Fender Award he personally picked at the Nostalgia Drags and Show in Bakersfield at Famoso Drag Strip. He picked my S&S Truck for the "Fat Fender Award"! He was a Hot Rod icon originally from "Dinuba, CA, in the Central Valley and will be missed!
  21. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 24,157

    Jalopy Joker

    GG WC Nats 2012  Club 002 (Small).jpg not only started the GoodGuys but, an original member that started the Danville Dukes Car Club. *****PICS FROM FEB 14 Memorial GET - TOGETEHER BELOW****
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2016
  22. 26 roadster
    Joined: Apr 21, 2008
    Posts: 2,015

    26 roadster

    I was at his home in Memphis 1975 I think, great host. Attended some of the Good Guy's, wearing a belt buckle now. Sorry to here of his passing and prayers for his family.
  23. Jonnie King
    Joined: Aug 12, 2007
    Posts: 2,077

    Jonnie King
    from St. Louis

    Very sad, indeed. Didn't know Gary, never met him. But I always admired the hard work he put into the GG Events, and loved some of the GREAT Rods & Customs he had built.

    One in particular was covered by Jerry Weesner as a Feature in Custom Rodder, maybe almost 20 years ago. It was a Mark II Lincoln Continental that, because of some previous bad bodywork, and overall needed bodywork, was subtitled "The Lincoln From Hell". When it was turned out beautifully !

    My sympathy to his family & friends. It's been a hard year for all of the R&C builders/pioneers/industry leaders that we've lost, and, I know from personal experience, it's even harder when it happens at this time of the year...because that loss comes back to you every year at this time, no matter where you are, or what you're doing.

    R.I.P., Gary...say "Hello" to George, Bo, Tex, Carl Green, and the rest of our friends.

  24. HRS
    Joined: Nov 7, 2008
    Posts: 361


    You can't underestimate the power of GGs in this hobby. They brought hot rodding to many people and sustained it in many ways.

    My entire hot rod experience is built around GGs shows at the Alameda County Fairgrounds - its a huge part of my childhood and who I am. The style may not be what we prefer, but that's not GG fault - the are simply providing a venue for cars to be shown and people to gather - what showed up was up to us. Funny thing now is there are always tons of quality traditional styled cars at GG events...just a venue for art.

    RIP Mr. Meadors- you're one of my hot rod heros.
  25. Tom davison
    Joined: Mar 15, 2008
    Posts: 5,425

    Tom davison
    from Phoenix AZ

    Thanks, Ryan, you got it right; he rebelled from NSRA. I posted this earlier on the other thread:

    My condolences to Gary's family and lifetime friends.

    Gary was building traditionally styled cars decades before there was a "genre for that". He was first and foremost a car guy and he always got it right.

    I was a career car show vendor for about 30 years, dealing with NSRA and Bob Reynolds. In '83, Reynolds told me, "Hey, my friend Meadors is putting on a show in Yuba City!". I went to that 50-car show as the only vendor there and continued on the circuit for a few years as they went nationwide. Difference between dealing with Gary and Bob....night and day! Respect is what Gary gave.

    At last year's Scottsdale, I hadn't seen him for 20 years. The minute he spotted me, his face lit up with that big smile. He didn't remember my name til I gave him my card, but it didn't matter because he WAS a GOOD GUY. Turns out he had been seeing my rod photos lately and hired me to shoot the spring show here in AZ for the Gazette.
    lothiandon1940, catdad49 and OL 55 like this.
  26. From the Goodguys website (by @John D):

    Gary Meadors, Hot Rodder and Founder of Goodguys Rod & Custom Association Has Passed Away
    Monday, 28 December 2015 09:09
    -Gary “Goodguy” Meadors – August 18th, 1939-December 27th, 2015

    Gary Meadors, founder and chairman of the Goodguys Rod & Custom Association, died Sunday of natural causes. He was 76.

    Driven by his passion for family, hot rods, cool cars and good people, Meadors touched the lives of millions of car enthusiasts with his vision and enthusiasm for all things automotive. With his high school sweetheart and wife of over 50 years Marilyn riding shotgun, Meadors founded Goodguys in 1983 in Northern California then branched out to stage a national series of hot rod and custom car events beginning in 1987. What started as a passion-based idea blossomed into one of America’s premier automotive event production companies in Goodguys. Today, Goodguys Rod & Custom Association has a worldwide membership of over 70,000 people, and promotes 21 hot rod and custom car events that attract millions of visitors each year. The Goodguys Gazette, the official magazine of Goodguys was first published by Meadors in 1989.

    A son of a farmer, Gary grew up in California’s Central Valley in the tiny town of Dinuba. It was there he discovered his love of custom cars, tricking out his first rod; a 1947 Plymouth when he was just 16 years old. The first requirement was that it sit way down low – a Meadors calling card. To get it to sit just right, he “cut the coils” removing a few inches from the factory coil suspension springs – a common practice in 1950e era hot rodding. It was the very first in a long line of hot rods and custom cars Meadors built and collected, the most recognized of which was his bright yellow 1932 Ford Tudor. The popular Ford hi-boy sedan, as drawn by artist Thom Taylor, has served as the centerpiece of the Goodguys logo since 1987.

    While his professional life as a traveling salesman in the 1970s and ‘80s consumed his days, Meadors spent his spare time dreaming up ways to have fun with cars and to spread his love and passion for hot rods. In 1973, the Nor-Cal Early Iron Car Club — a club Meadors helped create in Fremont, California — organized the first “Street Rod Mini Nationals” at the Lodi Grape Festival Grounds. More than 500 hot rods attended, and it inspired Meadors to move forward as a promoter. Just a few years later while working as a regional event director for the National Street Rod Association, Meadors would develop the Western Nationals in Merced, California, into the West’s signature event for vintage street rods and customs attracting thousands of them with the rallying cry “Motate to Merced.”

    When Gary and Marilyn quit their day jobs and launched Goodguys as their own association in 1987, the Western Nationals became the Goodguys West Coast Nationals and was moved to its current location at the Pleasanton Fairgrounds. The event will celebrate its 30th anniversary in Pleasanton next August and is known as the “Crown Jewel” of all Goodguys events nationwide due to its propensity to attract the top cars and personalities in contemporary hot rodding. The Danville Dukes, a car club Meadors co-founded with Tom Walsh and the late Bill Burnham in the early ‘80s, has played a pivotal role in the West Coast Nationals.

    As Goodguys grew as an association with popular events anchored in cities such as Pleasanton, San Diego, Des Moines, Iowa, Columbus, Ohio and Scottsdale, Arizona Meadors successfully developed and sanctioned vintage drag racing events in California and Indiana, adding them to the Goodguys event tour. Historic events like Bakersfield’s March Meet were resurrected to flourish under Goodguys’ direction and care. A speed demon himself, Meadors gained membership to the prestigious Bonneville 200mph club in 1994, when he drove the Dozier & Hegarty Chrysler powered streamliner to a top speed of 223mph.

    Like the vintage drag races, AutoCross regained prominence under the direction of Meadors and Goodguys. In 2008, Goodguys began staging AutoCross racing competitions at select events, giving event participants the opportunity to “flog” their hot cars and street machines on a timed course, offering a thunderous sizzle to the shows. Today, AutoCross is held at 16 Goodguys national events offering five classes of competition, a season-long points series and year end Championships.

    A true visionary, Meadors was instrumental in encouraging and publicizing young hot rod builders, often helping them launch their careers. In 2000, Meadors and Goodguys spearheaded the development of the Trendsetter award – a perpetual honor presented at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas to rising young hot rod craftsmen. Chip Foose was the first recipient. Other recipients have included Troy Trepanier, The Ringbrothers, Troy Ladd, Dave Kindig and many others.

    In 2009, Gary and Marilyn Meadors decelerated a bit from the day to day operation of Goodguys, appointing their youngest son Marc Meadors as company president. With the company flourishing under Marc’s direction reaching new generations of automotive enthusiasts, Gary was afforded the time to do what he enjoyed most – taking a cool car out on the open road. Together with Marilyn and their dog Whitewall, they have crisscrossed America dozens of times these past few years, meeting new friends along the way as they lived out their dream and singular vision to have fun with cars.

    All told, Gary’s life was enriched with deep personal relationships and hot rodding milestones. He is enshrined in the Street Rod Market Alliance Hall of Fame, Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Hall of Fame, and is a recipient of both STREET RODDER Magazine and the HRIA’s “Lifetime Achievement” awards. In 2014 he received the International Show Car Association’s “Legends of Hot Rodding” award.

    But the ultimate award for Gary Meadors, was being able to share his love and passion of cool cars with others and bring people together. It’s truly what made his tires turn.

    He is survived by his wife Marilyn, brother Craig, sons Marc and Marty, grandchildren Breann, Grant, Grace, Reece and Rory. Funeral arrangements are pending.​
    58cchevy and Johnboy34 like this.
  27. ... and from the Goodguys facebook page:

    Gary Meadors - Goodguys facebook posting.jpg
    Johnboy34 likes this.
  28. aaggie
    Joined: Nov 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,529


    I didn't know the man but I know the type and our world will surely be smaller after his passing.
    If I may I would like to get up on my stump and make an observation. It seems lately that a lot of our rodder friends have left us, mostly for health related problems. As I got older I had to slow down but I also realized that growing older doesn't mean you have to stop. You do need to get a good annual physical and do what your Doctor says. Almost any condition or disease is either cureable or treatable. We all felt invincible when we were joung and the thought of dying just never occured to us. For the sake of your family and those who love you, pay attention to your body when it's trying to tell you something.
    Sorry about the rant and may our prayers bring Mr. Meadors family comfort.
    seadog likes this.
  29. G V Gordon
    Joined: Oct 29, 2002
    Posts: 5,666

    G V Gordon
    from Enid OK

    I have nothing but respect for Gary Meadors, have always enjoyed the GG shows and he left a legacy. Did a lot for the pastime/passion we all share.
    Prayers out to the Meadors family from Oklahoma.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
  30. hemi
    Joined: Jul 11, 2001
    Posts: 1,961


    It's a sad day indeed. I spent ten years stomping the country taking pictures and writing event coverage and car features for him and his family. I can say without a doubt he was just an ordinary guy that really dug old cars and people. The house and cars might have gotten nicer over the years but underneath it all he was still just a 16-year-old farm kid who wanted to "drag Main" in a lowered car. He ate, breathed, and slept Goodguys 24/7. People would do well to have that much passion for something positive in their lives.

    He would drive any of his cars anywhere in the country without a thought and never owned a new car or a truck and trailer. His wife had a new car, as she should have, but he never owned and drove anything other than his old cars - rain, sleet or shine. You have to respect that.

    A funny story; once he and Marilyn were planning a vacation trip to Europe, and she was very excited, and he was too, "because they had a lot of cool old car museums," he said as she rolled her eyes and shook her head and laughed. All that Europe has to offer a tourist, and he was excited to go plowing through the car stuff. He just didn't unplug and we are all better for it.

    He will be sorely missed, and my condolences to Marilyn and the family.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2015
    catdad49, Fly'n Kolors and HEMI32 like this.

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