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Hot rods to hop over to beach

Raglan’s in for a free treat on Friday week with the chance to view close up some of the country’s top hot rods — and even catch some drag-strip racing of sorts.

While the Pre ’49 Nationals will be based at the Kingsgate Hotel in Hamilton, the three-day event kicks off on February 15 with a rod run “to the beach” and that means about 150 hot rods will be arriving in town and parking on the soccer fields at Kopua Domain from 1.30ish onward.

Former Raglan resident Rob Cowley, who’s organising the rod run, says the chance to view the pre-1949 cars here is something of a “freebie” for locals as the emphasis is on getting paying crowds along to the Show ’n Shine back in Hamilton the next day.

The same Friday afternoon locals will also be treated to the rocker cover racing national championships, a fun event in which little cars which hot rod enthusiasts have built out of engine rocker covers are raced down an eight metre-long miniature drag-strip constructed out of sheets of long-run roofing.

About 15 of the novel creations are expected to race off for this year’s title.

Rob says to cap off the hot rodders’ beach outing there’ll be a refreshments stopover at the Harbour View Hotel on the way out and a quiz event he’s organised with the help of local hotelier Jeff Holloway.

A traffic management plan has been developed to ensure the Raglan outing goes smoothly.

Rob — the former owner of Bow Street Motors — is a longtime hot rod enthusiast and a member of Riverside Rodders, the Hamilton club which is hosting this year’s Pre ’49 Nationals.

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