Hot Rods roll in next weekend

Hot Rods will descend on Tumut's Riverglade Caravan Park.
Hot Rods will descend on Tumut’s Riverglade Caravan Park.

Tumut’s Riverglade caravan park is preparing itself for an influx of hot rods and custom cars as the engine revs and the countdown to the biannual event begins.

The event has been bringing people and cars to Tumut since it’s inception in 2001, with 115 cars with 250 people expected to descend on Tumut for the Rod Run and Show ‘n’ Shine on Saturday August 29 at 2pm.

Organiser Graeme Halstead said the simplicity and quality of the Tumut event draws rod enthusiast from across Australia to show and inspect the finest cars.

“These cars are hot rods in the truest sense, hot rods are from the early 1900s to 1948 and should be American bodied, full chassis,” Graeme said.

“People come from all over. They keep saying they like the run because they can sit back and relax and check out the town.”

For car-owners the weekend consists of the main Show ‘n’ Shine event, an observation run around the town’s picturesque surrounds and spending time eating and relaxing locally.

“It really shows the district, we’ve shown them some really nice drives,” Graeme said.

“We just give them a mud map are take them around the region.”

It may seem these ‘petrol-heads’ have only thought about creating the best Show ‘n’ Shine event, but each decision has carefully contemplated how the town can best benefit from the influx of visitors.

“Our treasurer worked out the club spends between $13-14,000 over the weekend; we really try and give back. Plus the place in almost booked out with people staying,” Graeme said.

“In the past we’ve raised a lot of money for the club and community. The club’s basically non-profit we funnel a lot back. Each day the RDA does the breakfast so they benefit there. Local businesses score money as we buy meat and food to cook our Friday night meal.”

With the event garnering crowds of around 1500 people, with new and old faces frequenting the display, Graeme believes the club should give back to the community which comes out and supports them.

Having been frequent donators to the Tumut Hospital Auxiliary, RDA and CanAssist, Graeme said a part of what drives the group to give back is to counter outdated perceptions about hot rod owners.

“In part it’s to boost the image of hot rodders, we’re not a pack of hoons with V8’s. We’re more mature people who love cars,” Graeme said.

“We like to show we do our bit for the community. We might have big flash cars but we’re all just doing our bit to help out.”

The club even financed the removalists to relocate the local physio’s move from Dubbo to town.

The day itself provides over 150 magnificent cars on display, as well as a barbecue by the local scouts, the MYLK van and even a pop-up rockabilly clothing shop; entry is a gold coin donation to the club.

Graeme is predicting this year’s event will more than live up to the day’s past success.

“It’s basically showing off cars. We see lots of regular faces but this year we’ve also got lots of new faces and new cars,” he said.

“It’s good to see new people turning up, adding some variation and new cars.”

Graeme believes the extraordinary thing about hot rods and custom cars is that each car has it’s own unique touch and style.

“A lot of hot rod owners build or assist in building their cars, they put their own personal touch on it; their own handiwork,” Graeme said.

For those who have not entered and who’s car is up to the stringent display standards, special interest cars can drive through the gate for a $10 fee on the day, but are not eligible for any awards.

Members of the public who attend the day are able to take part in the judging, with all winners announced Sunday and awarded graphite trophies donated by Tumut Stoneworks.