Stuart Richardson has been "playing with cars" for more than 40 years.
The Helensville builder has collected Jeeps and other four-wheel-drives since the age of 15.
Most have come and gone, but now he has his first United States "muscle car" to tinker with - a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS.
The grunty V8 will feature in the Woodstock 20th National Classic Car and Hot Rod Festival at the Kumeu Showgrounds on January 18 and 19.
Stuart and wife Mel go Sunday cafe hopping in the Chevy. "I like to use it as much as I can," Stuart says. Treated right, the car is surprisingly good on the gas, he says.
He often takes it to displays, beach hops, parades and on Helensville and Huapai hot rod group runs.
The car's third owner, Stuart says he only had to tidy it up a bit after buying it from US-based Kiwi Brett Egen.
The Chevy is something of a memorial to Brett's father-in-law who died in a race crash at Laguna. It used to be a pace car at that track.
The Egens brought it to New Zealand for a beach hop at Whitianga. "I saw it and fell in love," Stuart says.
His car will be among hundreds at the January show, which has prizes for the best.
New this year is the Woodstock Thunder Club event for the loudest engine competition with a $5000 first prize and prize pack for every car exceeding 100 decibels.
If that's not enough noise there's an engine blow-out event too, where an engine is revved so hard it literally blows up. Drag car start ups should add to the din.
And for those who like their noise more musical a variety of bands will play.
An indoor model drag racing display, trade and promotional stands, a swap site and an air art display and competition are also included.
The festival, expected to attract about 40,000 people, runs from 7am till 6pm on January 18 and 8am till 5pm on January 19.
Parking is free but no dogs are allowed.
Visit kumeuhotrodshow.co.nz for information.
- Rodney Times
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