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18 Hot Rod Events in NSW/ACT

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by Gary Brown (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer and photographer from Sydney who has now had five books published on fishing. I also write for the NSW Fishing Monthly, Visit the Shire, Fisho App & Tackle Tactics. I also like to travel and experience new things to do.
Published March 19th 2015
Head Turning Hot Rods on Display

When it comes to cars, I know very little about them. I know how to turn them on, drive one, wash and clean it, put fuel in it and what to do if it breaks down, but when it comes to Hot Rods, I know even less.

What I do know about Hot Rods is that I am amazed how Hot Rod enthusiasts can turn an old car that may have been sitting in a garage or field somewhere into piece of machinery that will have a novice like me "Ohhhing and Arrring" at the site of one driving down the street. These modified machines are a real head turner.
Now this is what I call a head turner.

Now, as for the avid Hot Rodder, they will see so much more than me, and what they see in a newly done up Hot Rod will have them drooling at the mouth. My cousin Lee and her husband Steve love Hot Rods so much that they have three of them, and they are looking at getting a fourth one. All they need is a bit more space. They currently have the following Hot Rods in their stable of cars.

1929 Ford Model A Pickup
Steve & Lee's 1929 Ford Model A Pick Up made the front cover of Issue 103 of the Cruzin Magazine. Photo courtesy of Cruzin Magazine.

1932 Ford Tudor
Steve & Lee's 1932 Ford Tudor made the front cover of Issue 186 of the Australian Street Rodding Magazine. Photo courtesy of Australian Street Rodding Magazine.

1958 Ford Edsel
This is a 1958 Ford Edsel. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.


Hot rods are typically old, classic American cars with large engines modified for linear speed. The origin of the term "hot rod" is unclear. Roadsters were the cars of choice because they were light, easy to modify, and could be bought for a low price. The term became commonplace in the 1930s or 1940s as the name of a car that had been "hopped up" by modifying the engine in various ways to achieve higher performance.
So could this old car be turned into a Hot Rod? Sure can!

Late 1930s1950s

The term seems first to have appeared in the late 1930s in southern California, where people would race their modified cars on the vast, empty dry lake beds northeast of Los Angeles under the rules of the Southern California Timing Association (SCTA). The activity increased in popularity after World War II, particularly in California because many returning soldiers had been given technical training in the service. Many were prepared by Bootleggers in response to Prohibition to enable them to avoid revenue agents ("Revenooers"); some police vehicles were also modified in response.
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The first hot rods were old cars (most often Fords, typically Model Ts, 192831 Model As, or 1932-34 Model Bs), modified to reduce weight. Typical modifications were removal of convertible tops, hoods, bumpers, windshields, and/or fenders; channelling the body; and modifying the engine by tuning and/or replacing with a more powerful type. Speedster was a common name for the modified car.

Wheels and tires were changed for improved traction and handling. "Hot rod" was sometimes a term used in the 1950s as a derogatory term for any car that did not fit into the mainstream. Hot rodders' modifications were considered to improve the appearance as well, leading to show cars in the 1960s replicating these same modifications along with a distinctive paint job.


T - bucket
A 1923 Ford T Bucket. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

A T-bucket (or Bucket T) is a Hot Rod, based on a Ford Model T of the 1915 to 1927 era, but extensively modified, or alternatively built with replica components to resemble a Model T.

Deuce coupe
An example of a Deuce Coupe Hot Rod. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Ford Motor Company produced three cars between 1932 and 1934: the Model B, Model 18 & Model 40. These succeeded the Model A. The Model B continued to offer Ford's proven four cylinder and was available from 1932 to 1934. The V8 (Model 18 in 1932, Model 40 in 1933 & 1934) was succeeded by the Model 48. It was the first Ford fitted with the flathead V‑8. In Europe, it was built slightly longer. The same bodies were available on both 4 cylinder Model Bs and V8 Model 18/40s. The company also replaced the Model AA truck with the Model BB, available with either the four- or eight-cylinder engine.

1951 Chevy 3100 Pick Up

General Motors' first major redesign post-World War II, the Advance-Design series was billed as a bigger, stronger, and sleeker design. First available in 1947.
Chevrolet Thriftmaster. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The same basic design family was used for all of its trucks. The cab overs used the same basic cab configuration and similar grille but used a shorter and taller hood and different fenders. The unique Cab Over fenders and hood required a custom cowl area which makes the Cab Over Engine cabs and normal truck cabs incompatible with one another while all truck cabs of all weights interchange.

1954 Mercury Hard Top
A 1954 Mercury Monterey Sun Valley. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Mercury Monterey is a full-size car model introduced by the Mercury division of the Ford Motor Company in 1952. It would later share the same body style with the slightly more upscale Marquis, and the Park Lane and Montclair until the latter two were extinguished after the 1968 model year. The Marquis-Monterey body was built on a longer wheelbase and had a longer body than the Ford LTD, Ford Galaxie, and Ford Custom. During its production the car served as the high-end, mid-range, and entry-level full-size Mercury at various times throughout its run. It was the only Mercury to be in continuous production throughout the 1960s

NOTE: These are examples of literally hundreds of Hot Rods found throughout the world.


Just like us Fishing Anglers, Hot Rod enthusiasts have their own slang terms for certain things. Here are just a few:

Balonies: Wide bad ass tires, usually on the rear
Binders: Brakes
Blower: Supercharger
Chop: Removing a section of the roofline horizontally to reduce its height
Digs: Drag Races
Elephant: A 1964 or later Chrysler with a V8 and Hemispherical cylinder heads - a.k.a. 'Hemmy'
Flathead: A engine that has the valves in the body of the engine rather than the head - also refers to 1932 to 1953 Ford flathead motors.
A Ford Flathead V8. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Gutted: A rod with its interior removed
Highboy: A rod with no fenders or running boards and the body place high on the frame rails
Jug: A carburettor
Lowboy: A rod that has no fenders or running boards that is lowered over the frame
Mouse Motor: A small block Chevy engine manufactured from 1955 to present day
Ported: Intake and exhaust ports that have been enlarged and polished to provide maximum flow through the heads
Scallops: A graphic in the shape of a long narrow triangle usually starting from the front of a hotrod
Scoop: A device mounted on the hood to force air into the engine at higher speeds
Three On The Tree: Refers to a column mounted three speed transmission shifter
Wedge: A type of Chrysler engine with wedge shaped combustion chambers in the heads
Zoomy: A wild street rod with open exhaust pipes


Over the next 8 months there will be a number of Hot Rod Events called Car Shows, Swap Meet, Festivals, Charity Shows, Races and couple of National Championships being run throughout various places in NSW. So if you are interested in going to one of these events read up what is below and either give the contact a call or visit the website for more information.

Mar 22 Shifters Car Show and Swap Meet.
Venue: Cooper Street Reserve, Engadine
Time: Gates open 7am until 1pm, BBQ and drinks available.
What's on? Swap and buy. A variety of Hot Rods on display, plus exhibitors
Open to the public: YES
Cost: Free to the public
Contact: Phone Bob 0433945350.

Mar 27-29 Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival, Kurri Kurri.
Venue: Various refer to website.
Time: Click here for more information
What's on? Rock n roll, classic cars, retro markets, parades and much more, visit
Open to the public: YES
Cost: Various refer to website.
Contact: Event Manager Lesley Morris (02) 4936 1909
Poster for the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival. Courtesy of the event organiser.

Mar 28 The Ultimate Bench Race.
Venue: Liverpool Catholic Club, Cnr Joadja and Hoxton Park Roads
Time: 6.30pm until midnight
What's on? Come and celebrate the 50th anniversary of drag racing in New South Wales with past and present racers and identities. Cost of ticket includes a 3 course meal, drag racing movie and a special appearance from Wally Clarke.
Open to the public: YES
Cost: $120 per person
Contact: 0418 259 621 or 02 9798 9005 for tickets and details.
This 1984 Camaro took Wally to his greatest win in Super Stock at the 1985 US Nationals it also set the NHRA National Record for the SS/GTD class with a 10.22/130.81 run. Photo courtesy of the Bench Race Promotions.

Mar 29 Kool Kruisers Charity Car Show.
Venue: Liverpool Catholic Club, Cnr Joadja and Hoxton Park Roads
Time: Gates open at 7.30am
What's on? Show cars $10, trophies, BBQ, music, rock n roll dancing, and giveaway bags for the first 100 cars. All proceeds to the Royal Flying Doctor and Service & Bear Cottage.
Open to the public: YES
Cost: Show cars $10. Open to the public.
Contact: John 0417 401 402 or

Mar 29 Day of the Drags
Venue: Sydney Dragway
Time: Racing from 9.30am,
What's on? Open to all pre 1978 cars, trade stands, kids' rides, and nitro FED dragsters etc,
Open to the public: YES
Cost: For full event details and tickets refer to website
Contact: For full event details and tickets refer to website

April 2-6 Australian Street Rod Federation 22nd Nationals.
Venue: Newcastle Harness Club Grounds, Newcastle
Time: Refer to website
What's on? Australia's largest street rodding event.
Open to the public: YES
Cost: $25 per adult for 1 day, $40 per adult for a weekend pass.
Contact: Entry forms and event info refer to website
The Australian Street Rod Federation 22nd Nationals. Photo courtesy of Exhibitor.

April 3-6 Australian Panel Van Nationals
Venue: Bathurst Showground.
Time: 4 day event. Various times. Refer to website.
What's on? 40th Anniversary, open to panel vans, kombi vans, vintage and classic vans and more, nightly entertainment, onsite camping, model van display, vans past and present and more.
Open to the public: Easter Show N Shine open to the public fron 9am. Cost $5 per person.
Cost: 4 day event pass from $125 (up to 20th of March), then $140.
Contact: Email

Apr 4 Camaro Firebird Owners Club All American Mystery Cruise Night.
Venue: Meet at Parramatta pool car park, O'Connell St, Parramatta
Time: Meet at 7pm. Depart at 7.30pm
What's on? It's time to get it out, dust it off and come cruising. Mystery location or a destination announced prior to departure.
Open to the public: Contact 0419 635301
Cost: Ph 0419695301
Contact: 0419 695301

Apr 17-19 Cruising Nationals
Venue: Deniliquin
Time: Various. Refer to website
What's on? Pre 1975 car event, over 3 days, there will be live bands, 1/4 mile drags, burnout competition, go to whoa, dirt drags, cruising, a car show and much more. Live bands over 3 days & street party in conjunction with Saturday night cruising, great Sunday market, retail trade stalls open over the three day event.
Open to the public: YES
Cost: Refer to website
Contact: Email

Apr 25 The Early Ford Street Rod Club annual ANZAC Day Hot Rod Show
Venue: The Colonial Hotel, Werrington
Time: 8am to 3pm
What's on? Family day including BBQ, band, jumping castle, face painting and trophies.
Open to the public: YES
Cost: Entrants Cars $10. Public a gold coin donation.
Contact: John 0417 248504, Michael 0416 139742, Neil 0438 605400

May 2 Camaro Firebird Owners Club All American Mystery Cruise Night.
Camaro Firebird Owners Club Logo. Photo courtesy of the club.

Venue: Meet at Parramatta pool car park, O'Connell St, Parramatta
Time: Meet at 7pm. Depart at 7.30pm
What's on? It's time to get it out, dust it off and come cruising. Mystery location or a destination announced prior to departure.
Open to the public: Contact 0419 635301
Cost: Ph 0419695301
Contact: 0419 695301

May 16-17 Hotrod and Custom Auto Expo, Rosehill Racecourse.
Venue: Rosehill Racecourse.
Time: Saturday 9am to 9pm and Sunday 9am to 5pm
What's on? Hot rods, customs, vendors, live music, special USA guest Charlie Hutton
Open to the public: YES
Cost: $25 per person
Contact: 0418 113 832

Jun 21 Gosford Swap Meet.
Venue: Gosford Showground, Showground Rd Gosford
Time: Gates open 6am,
What's on? Swap and buy. Open and covered sites, no bookings, hot food and drinks, no dogs or camping sites
Open to the public: YES
Cost: $15, public $3
Contact: Frank 02 4392 2270 or Doug 02 4344 4658

Jul 17 Regency Ramblers Swap Meet.
Venue: Badgerys Creek Road, Badgerys Creek
Time: Gates open 4am for swappers. Lookers from 6am.
What's on? Swap and buy.
Open to the public: YES
Cost: Swappers $10, Lookers $3
Contact: Graham 0433 250200 or Scotty 0402 013326.

Jul 25-26 MotoEx
Venue: Sydney Olympic Park
Time: Saturday 10am to 7pm, Sunday 10am to 6pm.
What's on? The greatest indoor car show in Australia, rods, customs, street machines, vendors and international guests. Each year Meguiar's MotorEx attracts hundreds of Australia's best cars, which travel from all over the country to create an amazing visual spectacle of colour, chrome and individual style. Covering over 22,000 square metres, it features 400-plus vehicles with a combined value of over $40 million dollars.
Open to the public: YES
Cost: Single Day General Admission Valid on any day
Adult $38
Child/Pensioner $15 (Child 5-12 years)
Family $75 (2 adults and 2 children under 12yrs)
Weekend Pass (Saturday, Sunday)
Adult $60
Child $25
Note: Children under 5 are free
Contact: 1800 350 622

Aug 15-16 Street Machine Nationals.
Venue: Wagga Wagga Showgrounds, Wagga Wagga
What's on? Wagga Showgrounds has previously hosted the Street Machine Nationals on two seperate occassions, offering a typical country feel for entrants and spectators alike.

There's plenty of room inside the showgrounds for displays of cars, kids rides and a myriad of traders. Plus, there's two buildings that will offer an amazing amount of horsepower in one, and all the glitz and glamour of the Show Car Masters in the other. You'll also find the Dyno comp and a range of hard fought grass driving events to keep you and your family entertained. There will be ample food and drinks available on site as well.
Open to the public: YES
Cost: To enter your car will cost you just $165 which includes a substantial entrants bag, a Nat's Entrant's shirt as well as entry for two adults and up to 2 kids under 16.
Contact: Paul 0432 795336

Oct 2-5 Regency Ramblers Temora Rod Run.
Venue: Temora
Time: Click here for more information.
What's on? Picnic, night cruise, show n shine, gala dinner night.
Open to the public: Contact Les 0417 296865 or Graham 0433 250200
Cost: Click here for more information.
Contact: Les 0417 296865 or Graham 0433 250200

Oct 23rd to 25th Chromefest.
Venue: Memorial Park, The Entrance
Time: Click here for updates.
What's on? Show n shine, live music, car cruise, vendors and much more.
Open to the public: YES
Cost: Refer to website
Contact: The Entrance Town Centre Management 1800 335 377

Check out the spray job on this Hot Rod. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The Romans Hot Rod Association Anniversary Bathurst Run 13th of November 2005. Photo courtesy of the Romans Hot Rod Club.

When putting this article together, I thought that I would carry out some research into how many Hot Rod Clubs there are in NSW. After surfing through the web, I came across the Australian Street Rod Federation (ASRF) and it is my understanding is that you have to be registered with ASRF. If this is correct there are 26 registered clubs in NSW and 5 in the ACT.

One of the clubs that comes to mind in the Romans Hot Rod Association who are based in a Scout Hall in Gwawley Park on Taren Point Road at Taren Point. The Romans Hot Rod Association Inc was founded in 1960 by Jeff Dellow and John Chignall. In 2010 they celebrated their 50th anniversary with many special hot rod runs to remember that heritage. They are the first hot rod club registered in NSW and they welcome new members to their club. So if you live in the Sutherland Shire and own a Hot Rod you should give them a call.

Click here for more information.

So if you are like me and have no idea about what makes a Hot Rod, other than they look great or you are an avid Hot Rod enthusiasts who knows all about Hot Rods and maybe owns a few like Steve and Lee, you should check out what Hot Rod Car Show, Swap Meet, Festivals, Charity Shows, Races or National Championships coming near you and put in your calendar as a "Must Attend". I am sure that you will see a few Head Turners.
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Why? Have you ever seen a Hot Rod?
When: 22/03/15 to 15/10/15
Where: Various places throughout NSW and the ACT. For example Bathurst, Deniliquin, Gosford, Kurri Kurri, Newcastle, Olympic Park and Temora.
Cost: Refer to each event for costs. Some are free for the public.
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Enjoyed the Hot Rod slang. Thanks Gary.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4211) 2375 days ago
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