Petrol heads look forward to new festival

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 05:00 18/02/2013

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Petrol heads around the region are getting all revved up in the lead-up to New Plymouth's newest car and motorbike festival.

Dan Allen, the American promoter of Bikes, Blues and Hot Cars, said excitement had been building around the event.

"We've held two bike nights at Crowded House to start building some awareness and anticipation."

He said the bike nights, which also see part of Devon St East closed off, had been well attended so far, and there were two more planned before the big three-day rally starts on February 28.

Crowded House owner Doc van Praagh said Thursday's bike night had been great, with about 200 people heading down to show off about 20 cars and 40 bikes.

"There's all these custom-made choppers and you don't even realise they're in New Zealand but you have something like this and they start coming out of the woodwork."

Mr Allen said the festival's point of difference from American muscle car festival Americarna which runs in New Plymouth every second year is that any make or model of car or motorbike is welcome at Bikes, Blues and Hot Cars.

"It doesn't matter if it has four wheels or two.

"Petrol heads love to get out and admire each other's machines."

While Mr Allen said there had been more than 200 registrations so far and, although not quite the number he'd hoped for, he's optimistic there will be more.

"Kiwis are notorious for leaving things to the last minute."

The festival includes a vast array of activities, events and entertainment for those entered and the public.

On March 1, Blues and rock bands including headliner Girls With Guitars will play at the TSB Stadium, the Taranaki Radio Control Car Club will set up two race tracks, one where national pros will battle for the top spot and another where the public can give slot car racing a go and there will be food and stalls.

The following day the Motor Carnival opens, with more food and stalls, games and rides for kids, hourly demonstrations by StuntNZ.

The Nelson crew whose specially modified 1964 Morris Mini Cooper S smashed the land speed record in the United States last year will also be in attendance.

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- Taranaki Daily News

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