by Greg Stokes. — The automotive hobby is an interesting one with it being a big melting pot of people and so many interesting vehicles. We have featured Bob Neville’s “Lucky 17” Ford Model A boat tail speedster before but it’s worth talking about again.
The neat little car has a wide appeal across a range of people, it bridges the gap between vintage or classic and hot rod or custom. Ladies say it looks beautiful and cute while guys say it looks racy and well proportioned. Bob and his wife Julie don’t just have an old car from the twenties or thirties, they tend to relive the lifestyle and culture around it. GMS Hot Rods are the fortunate ones who get to maintain and improve or enhance the car to Bob’s requests.
At the recent Jack Daniels Classic Car & Hot Rod Festival in Kumeu, GMS Hot Rods displayed “Lucky 17” on Bob’s behalf. The event is in its 25th year and is a festival of all things automotive with a swapmeet, indoor and outdoor car shows, cars for sale and everything in between. It’s one of New Zealand’s larger events and attracts a wide and diverse audience. It was a busy Saturday and a slightly quieter Sunday. Interestingly, “Lucky 17” had caught the eye of a UK visitor, Alan Martin of the National Street Rod Association in the UK. Alan had advised us that Bob’s car was to be his “Brit’s Pick” award. Alan felt that Bob’s car embodied everything from vintage speed to hot rodding and he commended us on the workmanship by GMS Hot Rods.
Sunday afternoon’s prize giving session was run a little different than previous years where winning cars were actually displayed to be present for their award. So we got the call to join the group of winners with Bob’s “Lucky 17”. The car was called up for the “Brit’s Pick” award, then again for “Best Hot Rod” sponsored by New Zealand Rodder Magazine. It was a great day with excellent recognition for this cool little car. But the day wasn’t over yet. Surprisingly and humbling, “Lucky 17” was voted by the public as “People’s Choice” overall which was sponsored by Jack Daniels. We couldn’t believe it, we really couldn’t. This makes the car next year’s poster car for the event.
It was only a couple of weeks prior when Bob had busted the water pump drag racing the car then also Historic Motor Racing it at Taupo. The car was sent back to GMS Hot Rods for repair and servicing before heading to the Leadfoot Festival in Hahai in the Coromandel. Timing meant we could display the car at Kumeu so we went in totally not expecting any awards but solely to promote GMS Hot Rods. Next up is the aforementioned Leadfoot Festival, the first weekend of February, then Art Deco weekend at Napier mid February and then the Repco Beach Hop in Whangamata in March. Busy but fun times for Bob & Julie with “Lucky 17”.