AN exciting display of 700 customised cars and bikes created a vibrant Hot Rod & Custom Drive-In Day against the backdrop of live music and vintage fashions at Beaulieu.
More than 6,000 visitors enjoyed the lively show, which attracted an extra 150 vehicles above last year’s event as well as an expanded Vintage Village created by Bows & Braces which sold vintage clothes and jewellery from the 1920s to 1980s, nostalgic home decoration, luggage, records and maps.
Capturing the spirit of show, stripped-down hot rods parked alongside ‘slammed’ American classics and pristine custom cars at the event, which was held in association with American car club the Solent Renegades.
A particularly good turn-out of Buicks, Corvettes, Chevrolets and Ford trucks were on show, as event-goers sauntered around the grounds of the National Motor Museum to pick their favourites.
Events manager Judith Maddox said: “It’s such a vibrant event with a lovely atmosphere and everyone enjoyed themselves. We had an even wider range of fantastic-looking hot rods and American custom cars this year, which fired up the imagination.”
Hard Up Garage proved a popular addition to this year’s show with dramatic flame-throwing hot rods and rat rods, which were started up for special displays.
Bike fans were spoilt for choice with the beautifully crafted custom bikes from the Crank Jesters club, featuring two- and three-wheeled mega-powered and pedal-powered machines.
A special area was dedicated to Volkswagen enthusiasts for their characterful classics, while Daltons Transport returned to Beaulieu with its collection of lorries with amazing airbrush artwork, including the topical Ghostbusters-themed lorry.
Lord Montagu presented trophies and prizes for the event’s best and favourite cars and bikes. Curly Harris, in his Morris Z van, won the Best Hot Rod trophy, while the Best American trophy went to Jason Petro for his 1950 Pontiac.
The amazing Alvis Woody, customised with parts from aircraft and milking machines and with a Buick engine under the bonnet, won both the Best Custom prize and the People’s Choice award for its owner Graeme Rust.
The Best in Show trophy went to Ben Luke for the first outing of his 1954 Chevrolet pick-up which has cost him £85,000 to rebuild with its 355hp V8 engine and Lamborghini wheels. The landscape gardener has even had to build a special barn in his driveway to house the new creation he has restored with engineer Richard Welch, who turned his vision into a reality.
Hard Up Garage chose Greg Walters’ eye-catching 1930s rat rod as its trophy winner. The Best Bicycle trophy went to Crank Jesters’ honorary member Nick Payne, while Andrew Safe’s Indian Trike, which took two years to build complete with its Reliant Robin Engine, won the Best Bike award.
A popular custom-built showpiece for families were two parent-and-child matching silver teardrop retro caravans, which came complete with towing Ford F-100 and Chevrolet trucks.
Next year’s Hot Rod and Custom Drive-In Day is planned to return again for Father’s Day on Sunday 18th June.