The Endless Summer

Written by Greg Stokes

A selection of great events from the 2019 car season.

As I write this, we are staring down the deep barrel into winter, day light saving has passed and I’m reflecting on how good the summer car season has been. It seemed like it was never going to end and we had a very busy summer going to any events all over the North Island – it’s been FUN. First up was the Glovers Real Estate Hot Rods in Titirangi Show hosted by Mid West Street Rods. This event was a charity fund raiser for young Stella Orpwood of Christchurch who was born with an immune deficiency. Further information about her is here:

The following week was business as usual at GMS Hot Rods. One of the many projects on the go is Brian & Elizabeth's first hot rod project, a 1932 Ford hiboy five window coupe. The car has been a long time dream for the owners who have zero'ed in on a USA Brizio Street Rods style for the car which GMS Hot Rods will finish to a turn key stage. The chassis was been readied for the body to arrive the Tuesday before we headed away to the Beach Hop via Gisborne in a decent road trip in all types of weather.

Next up was the annual Repco Beach Hop in Whangamata – Australasia’s largest hot rod and rock and roll festival which starts on the Wednesday and concludes on the Sunday. We pointed the nose of the GMS roadster south and headed to Gisborne on Tuesday beforehand to farewell the tragic loss of a widely respected and super talented hot rodder Wayne “Bear” Holmberg. Then on the Thursday we drove north to Whangamata. This is an event which always delivers no matter the weather which was a case of all seasons in one day to torrential down pours! But everyone had a good time.

The following weekend was the annual Nostalgia Drags and Club Champs drag racing weekend at Meremere Dragway hosted by Bay Rodders from Tauranga. The weekend is a true trip back in time with nostalgia drag cars, hot rods and custom cars racing. We raced Tania’s mild custom 1936 Ford coupe for the first time and had a blast. Next up in the Franklin region however is the annual Steel & Wheels Festival Sunday 12th May in Waiuku from 10am to 2pm. The event celebrates all things automotive with entertainment for the whole family to enjoy. Visit for further information.



The Glover Real Estate Hot Rods at Titirangi Show was a successful fundraiser for Stella Orpwood hosted by Mid West Street Rods with support from Protecta Classic Insurance, Clutch Auto Wraps and GMS Hot Rods.


Troy Weeks’ ’32 Ford roadster at the Hot Rods at Titirangi Show which was well supported by the local community.


Brian & Elizabeth’s coupe started with a Kiwi Konnection roller frame, Greg added a drive shaft loop for LVVTA certification and mounted the engine and gearbox which will be a hot 383 Chev stroker with a Chuck Mann built Turbo 350. The Magoo's supplied '32 5 window body is fourth out of their mould and Greg is fitting a four piece engine hood and retaining enough polished stainless and chrome to compliment the overall look. For a first hot rod, Brian & Elizabeth are certain of the end result they want and that's been a straight forward process says Greg. "With a clear end result in mind initially, it saves both time and money". Its expected the car will hit the road in 2020 sometime.


The GMS roadster was built to be driven, this shot was on the way to Gisborne. The return trip back to Whangamata encountered torrential weather but we had fun and stayed dry with the top on.


At the Beach Hop, Bob Neville had an authentic vintage Indy car pits display which impressed young and old. Bob was deservedly awarded with Best Nostalgia vehicle of the entire event.


At the Beach Hop are the two Rods By Reid built vehicles of Bruce & Raelene Carter with the red ’33 tudor and Nigel & Anna Clothier with the green ’32 tudor which was a Top Five car!


Heading South to the Model A Ford National Rally in Te Anau shown here along the Southern Motorway is Hugh Hulse in his Model A sedan. There was a huge contingent of cars travelling from Auckland.


At the drags Tania’s coupe ran a 17.0 second pass at 85 miles per hour. Not too bad for the 1955 291 Desoto Hemi and five speed in such a big car.

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elocal Digital Edition
May 2019 (#218)

elocal Digital Edition – May 2019 (#218)