BEAULIEU’S ever popular Custom & Hot Rod Festival, held on Father’s Day, saw hundreds of colourful customs and stunning hot rods flood into the picturesque parkland of the National Motor Museum.
The Festival, held in association with Victory Wheelers, the south coast’s leading Custom, American and Hot Rod club, welcomed 7,320 visitors.
A large variety of custom cars and motorcycles were on display, with plenty of unusual designs and eye-catching artwork for visitors to admire. A number of trade stands were open for business, selling clothing, Americana memorabilia, merchandise and accessories.
This year, three dragsters formed a special display in a corner of the Beaulieu Arena. The Ratcatcher Resurrection slingshot dragster and Joe Bond’s Nuthin Fancy fuel-altered dragster both fired up for watching visitors, showing off the powerful force of their engines, in morning and afternoon demonstrations.
Europe’s first dragster, Sydney Allard’s 1961 Allard Chrysler, which was officially returned to the National Motor Museum at last year’s Festival, following extensive renovation, was also on display.
In the awards ceremony, attended by Lord Montagu, prizes were presented to each of the winners in the five awards categories. Andy Lee from Verwood won Best Custom with his striking purple Jaguar MK8, Sven Larsen from Bournemouth took Best American with his 1950 Nash, Alan Ford from Surrey was awarded Best Hot Rod for his 1948 Ford F1 pick-up and George Webb from Cowes, Isle of Wight, picked up Best Bike for his Reliant-engined trike.
Throughout the day, visitors voted for their favourite vehicle in the People’s Choice category. The award went to Teri Smith from Mudeford with his beautiful cream 1950 Mercury Lead Sled – which has previously won Best In Show at the 2012 Custom & Hot Rod Festival and the People’s Choice Award at Beaulieu’s Simply American the same year.
Victory Wheelers also held a ceremony for its members, presenting Trevor Walker, who has been with the club for over 25 years, with the Big Al Award, given in memory of one of the club’s former chairmen, Alan Partridge. The Spirit of the Club trophy was awarded to Maria and Dennis Saunders, for their eye-catching green 1934 Ford and for all their hard work for the club throughout the year.