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Diamond Cruise

60 years of the New Zealand Hot Rod Association

The New Zealand Hot Rod Association (NZHRA) recently celebrated a Covid delayed 60th anniversary. For two weeks during September the "Diamond Cruise" traveled from one end of New Zealand to the other stopping at hot rod clubs and shops all over the country. Those who attended said it was an unreal journey as the cruise zig zagged its way across the country starting in Bluff and concluding in Cape Reinga. Just over 20 hot rods, classics and street machines did the cruise in its entirety with others opting to join in and out of it along the way. At some points there was a reported 100 cars at one time.

One of the stops in Auckland was to GMS Hot Rods in Kumeu, West Auckland. The shop has been running for five years now and specialises in the design and fabrication of hot rods and custom cars. It is a full shop with lots going on but there were also visiting cars on display. Included was Tania Foster's '36 Ford coupe and retro caravan, Mark Stokes' '40 Ford Tudor from Pukekohe and Dion Winsor's '32 Ford Tudor from Waiuku. What makes Dion's car very special is that the car was originally hot rodded in the late fifties/early sixties and was at NZHRA's first promotional show in 1961 at the Epsom Show Grounds.

At the time Rhys Rogers was on the founding committee for the NZHRA and the Tudor was active in the formation of the association. Fast forward to the present day and it was on display at the GMS stop of the 60th anniversary celebration of NZHRA - how cool is that? Dion grew up with the car as he watched his late father Glenn work on it, rebuild things and take the family out in it. Glenn was a life member of the Glen Eden based Harbour City Rod Club but in more recent times a member of Franklin Street Rodders in Patumahoe. Since owning the car, Dion has recently joined Franklin Street Rodders and is enjoying the car as he pays tribute to both the history of the car and the memory of his father.

September onwards in the car world is always a bit exciting as we ride out the end of winter and start looking forward to Summer activities. As you read this in October, there will be a video out at Hot Rod Revue online or on social media based on the GMS Model T roadster called the "Fireball T". Look it up as the video creator, Cal Thorley does some amazing work and it was a good day spent filming the thirties era Model T hot rod.

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