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Hot Rods & Horsepower!

PIA Event Centre, Fri 20th & Sat 21st August

by Greg Stokes

It was back in 2017 when the Pukekohe Hot Rod Club and Napa Auto Parts Dragway hosted their popular Hot Rod & Horsepower Show and they’re doing it again in 2021. Get along to the Indian Hall, Ward Street, Pukekohe over the weekend of the 21-22 August for a public indoor display of mostly Pukekohe Hot Rod Club and Napa Auto Parts Dragway members vehicles with a few invited guests. As the club approaches their 60th anniversary in a couple of years’ time, this year’s show is a warm up to that and is just another Franklin based community event hosted by the club and the dragstrip. “We are active within the community with charity events, school galas and Christmas Parades but this event is a true showcase of what the club is truly all about”, says club president Trevor Williams.

Hosted every few years, the Hot Rod & Horsepower Show is one of the very few “club hosted” shows these days in a world of private promoter hosted events. The Pukekohe Hot Rod Club are affiliated to the New Zealand Hot Rod Association and as a club are dedicated to the promotion and the fostering of the hot rod hobby to the greater Pukekohe and Franklin regions. However, members live all over New Zealand and the upcoming show is a snapshot of the variety of member’s vehicles of the club. As the world unravels itself from Covid 19 madness and tries to find a new normal, the Hot Rod & Horsepower couldn’t come at a better time. “Touch wood, free of Covid lockdowns, we felt it was the right time to host the show again which will mostly feature all new vehicles showing for the first time”, says Trevor.

Speaking of the New Zealand Hot Rod Association, it was founding life members of Pukekohe Hot Rod Club such as Pukekohe local, Ralph Wright who played a pivotal part in the New Zealand Hot Rod Association in its earlier years. Ralph served as an active president promoting hot rodding and in those days drag racing both in a positive light throughout New Zealand. It’s these origins in which the Pukekohe Hot Rod Club still work to today and in 1973, New Zealand’s first dedicated quarter mile purpose built dragstrip was born. Champion Dragway in Meremere as it was called (now Napa Auto Parts Dragway) has always worked publically to bring racing off the street and onto a purpose built facility with a safety infrastructure.

“The upcoming Hot Rod & Horsepower Show is an opportunity for us to promote the two genres of what we do at the Pukekohe Hot Rod Club and also at Meremere Dragway”, says Trevor. “The street side of hot rodding is showcased reflecting the family focussed hobby we’ve enjoyed for years and the variety of cars on display is everything from an original Model A Ford to some of New Zealand’s best hot rods, custom cars, muscle cars and street machines”, adds Trevor. The show itself isn’t just an indoor thing either, with a specialised outdoor parking area outside which becomes a revolving car show itself. If weather permits there will also be drag car start-ups to give the public a glimpse to what they might see during the next drag racing season at Napa Auto Parts Dragway.

If you like the sound of this and get along to the Indian Hall over the weekend of 21st – 22nd August and you like what you see then you may wish to join the Pukekohe Hot Rod Club? Membership requirement is to have an interest in in Hot Rodding or Drag Racing, and club activities and if you do have a car the Pukekohe Hot Rod Club has an open policy in which the vehicles are mainly American origin, drag cars or vehicles of interest. Show hours run from 9am to 10pm on Saturday and 9am to 4pm on Sunday. Admission is $10 and children under 15 are free. Food, refreshments and bar facilities are also available. For further enquiries on the show or the club please email phrc@hotmail.co.nz

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