Timeless rod headlines nostalgic display

17:01, Jul 10 2012
Wild proportions, iridescent green paint with lace flames, chrome plating throughout and an exposed Ford V8 engine make ''Vandal'' an interesting hot rod from the past.
VANDAL: Wild proportions, iridescent green paint with lace flames, chrome plating throughout and an exposed Ford V8 engine make ''Vandal'' an interesting hot rod from the past.

A trend-setting 1919 Dodge bucket heavily-customised over 40 years ago shapes as a headline turn in a nostalgic look back at 50 years of hot rodding in New Zealand.

"Vandal" was originally built by John "JR" Reid as a teenager in Tauranga in the late 60s and will be on display at the CRC Speedshow in Auckland later this month as part of the New Zealand Hot Rod Association's 50th anniversary national hot rod show.

Greg Stokes, co-ordinator of the nostalgia hot rod display on behalf of the NZHRA, says Vandal was Reid's first hot rod was later rebuilt and renamed ''Black Sabbath''.

"Reid's heavily-customised 1919 Dodge bucket was built in the late '60s and appeared in the March 1972 edition of New Zealand Hot Rod Magazine.

"The beautifully-restored car is now owned by the Caske family of Palmerston North and is regarded as a very timeless and extremely well-built car. It was a competitive award winner in its day at hot rod shows throughout New Zealand."

"John Reid didn't follow trends back then but in fact set trends with an extensive level of detail and workmanship which led to a 45 year career in high end hot rod design and fabrication. Fifteen years ago he founded the international award-winning company, Rods By Reid, in Tauranga."

Stokes says the display of nostalgia hot rods and drag racing vehicles will highlight New Zealand's rich history with custom-built vehicles.

"Restored hot rods like Vandal are alongside un-restored but immaculate hot rods still owned by their original builders as part of a small display of authentic old hot rods and drag racing cars, among the 71 vehicles which make up our 50th anniversary national hot rod show.

The NZHRA display is a show within a show organised by two Auckland hot rod clubs – Glen Eden's Harbour City Rod Club and Howick's Southside Streeters.

* In another event at the July 21-22 Speedshow, the crew from Meguiar's Car Crazy, aka the Smits Group, are once again helping raise funds for Starship Children's Health with a cruise of up to 150 classic cars and hot rods.

Charity cruise participants will depart from in East Tamaki, Auckland, and head to the ASB Showgrounds in Greenlane to complete a lap of honour in front of those at the Speedshow.

If you want to participate in the charity cruise, it's limited to 150 cars and your car, be it a custom, classic, hot rod or street machine, must be 'show and shine' ready.

* A number of drivers and cars from New Zealand's premier race championship V8 category again feature at CRC Speedshow when the doors open at Auckland's ASB Showgrounds on 21 July.

NZV8s new marketing manager Brian Lawrence said there had been a lot of support for the new direction of the NZV8s category, where any manufacturer can run their own engine and body with our New Zealand-built space-framed chassis.

''We recently announced that a Toyota Camry will be the first car to be constructed outside of the current Ford and Holden marques for the new generation Gold Star V8 Touring Car Championship. Tony Richards Toyota has already committed to a two-car Toyota team running Toyota V8 engines and their first Camry will be driven by Hamilton's Martin Short, a frontrunner in this season's championship.''

* New Zealand's high profile V8 Supercars star Greg Murphy, will be at the Speedshow to support Casper, the organisation that provides family support services, community and youth education to help prevent suicide. Casper is an acronym for Community Action on Suicide Prevention Education and Research. Murphy's No 51 V8SuperTourer is one of several of the purpose-built V8 race cars on display.