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Archived 'Old' News: 2007/2008


December 2008

Season's Greetings from all at Bristol Hotrods..

Merry Christmas from C&C
..and Merry Christmas from Chris and Claire at C&C Drag Racing!


This month the website has received some interesting emails, the first being from Simon Pickford, a previous owner of Merv Barnett's roadster. Click here to view Simon's message and pictures.


Another email was from George Dougherty who wrote: "I am producing a documentary with Capitol Records on former Beach Boy Brian Wilson and would like to request permission from Bristol Hotrods to use a photograph and graphic from your website in our programme. A theme in the documentary covers how Brian's music helped to promote Southern California culture all over the world, one aspect being car culture. A segment ends with hot rod expert Doyle Gammel (from LA Roadsters) discussing how hot rods became popular all over the world over which I used a graphic from your website. The program will be released on DVD in January as a companion piece to Brian Wilson's recent CD release, 'That Lucky Old Sun'."
We have seen a preview of the video segment, but the web link is no longer available.


More email from Pierre Cartier, a rodder from Aries in the south of France, who was on the lookout for a 35/40 sedan delivery to deliver his organic wines and rices. He finally bought a 36 Ford Panel van from Pennsylvania (500 miles since rebuild) which he is shipping back. So if you are in Camargue, Pierre invites you and fellow rodders to taste his wines, or his brother's near Baux de Provence. To quote "It could be a nice trip for you". Just let him know a few days in advance:


November 2008

Just added:
Our Australian visitor Dennis Campbell's Bristol Garage Crawl - August 2008

Our day out at the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb - September 2008.


Footman James 30th Bristol Classic Car Show, Royal Bath and West Showground over the weekend of 7-8 February 2009.
This annual gathering of vintage and classic cars will feature everything from spectacular pre-war collectibles to modern classics. Pride of place will be the first unveiling of the original Volvo P1800, the actual car driven by Roger Moore in hit series 'The Saint'. Lovingly restored by the Volvo Enthusiasts Club, 71 DXC is the original car from the first series, and the only car from 60s TV show on the road in UK today.

In its 100th year, Morgan will display a car from each of the last 10 decades. Marcos and Daimler Dart will celebrate their 50th anniversaries with special displays, along with the Ford Capri, which enjoys its 40th anniversary.

Due to popular demand, the UK's favourite classic car show is offering you the opportunity to enter, or buy, a classic vehicle at a special on-site classic car auction being held by Charterhouse of Sherborne.

In total, the event will feature around 200 vehicles from 70 clubs, while the trade and autojumble section features 250 stalls selling new and second-hand parts, tools, books and memorabilia. The Show will also feature a wealth of demonstrations, covering everything from basic maintenance to technical restoration methods. Organisers say that, for the first time, they will also offer classic car owners preferential parking.

Tickets are priced at 9 on the day. Opening times are 10am - 5.00pm both days. The good news is that you can get a 3 club discount on tickets - use the promotional code 'CLUB9' when purchasing tickets online at or by phone, on 0117 907 1000.


October 2008

Our visit to the Haynes International Motor Museum 'Live Action Day'.
Haynes Motor Museum

September 2008

Here's a little advance notice of The Footman James 30th Bristol Classic Car Show - Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th February 2009.
The show has many exhibition features, with over 70 prospective car clubs displaying the best of classic and vintage vehicles together with demonstrations and themes. There will be plenty of opportunity to buy all your spares and supplies from 50 trade stands and 200 plus autojumble traders guaranteed to provide you with virtually any material you need.

The 8th Footman James Autumn Autojumble and Automart will now take place this year as a one-day event, being Saturday 1st November 2008.
More information at:

August 2008

Bristol Hotrods are invited to the Haynes Motor Museum Live Action Day on Sunday August 31st.  

Bristol Hotrods Club Nights at the Griffin
Our Mendips Raceway Visit, May 2008
Priston Trip - May Day 2008



July 2008

The Wessex Weekender, 2008
Merley Park Touring Park, Poole, Dorset.

Colin Bennett's 1952 Fordson
Progress updates on Merv Barnett's Willys build
and Ivor Knapp's Austin 16 project
Duncan and Marg Boulton's Model 'A' Sedan


June 2008

The 29th Bristol Classic Car Show, 2008

Chris Hartnell and his Backdraft dragster.
Nick McGuigan's chopped Morris van, Alex Manning's 100e, and Ryan Welch's '48 Chevy Panel Van in the 'Builds' section.

Footman James 29th Bristol Classic Car Show

May 2008

Web site news: I'm regularly asked why the website does not change all that often, with the most common guestion 'why no write up on the Bristol Classic Car Show'? Well, the reason is down to me. Time lately seems to be in short supply due to work load and also preparing my Coupe for this seasons runs. Once written it all has to be passed onto Ian Thomas who also has his own workload to deal with first.

Whilst talking about Ian I think you must agree with me about the marvellous job he has done building this site and maintaning it to such a high standard. Judging by the emails I receive from all over the world I think readers like the detail and content. The site was launched to coincide with last years Classic Car Show and has now been running for 15 months, during which time I have gained numerous new friends who have happened upon it.


John and Lorr have even had their roadster featured in Canadian Hot Rods and Classics magazine after editor Terry Denomme found our site. Spence will soon be having a full feature in the bi-monthly magazine too. Terry, who I keep in touch with, has also asked if any of us would like our cars featured in his readers rides, to let him know.
Canadian Hot Rods & Classics

West Country Rodding History
During the past year I have made many new friends in my quest for old rodding photos of the west country shows. I would like to thank these people, and I will get round to putting their pics up when time allows: Rich Enriquez, Gary Andrews, Charlie Bigaj.., Spencer Manley, Pete Moore, and Gary Bennett.

Johnathan Hebbler let me borrow his items which will allow me to put up a history of The Apple County Cruisers (30 years a club this year) and the first Cricket St Thomas shows. I now have photos of Run to the Sun, the early shows on Plymouth Hoe, Newton Abbot Racecourse, and as mentioned Cricket St Thomas. More local to home will be the St Patrick Shows, and the old Tuesday meets at the Springer pub on Newfoundland Road in the 1980’s.

I don't have any pics of the Renegades' Bream shows, though Pete Moore has given me a plaque of the event. If you have any memorabilia from this era which people would like to see, please get in touch and let me know. All will be looked after and returned once scanned.

For the 'history' section I have collected pictures of cars built by another well known local rodder, Bob Wellstead. These will include a few build-up pics of that rodding icon Moulin Rouge, and other vehicles Bob has since built.


I keep in touch with Bristol Renegades founder Ian Furey-King, who is sorting out a comprehensive history of the Renegades era which should prove to be a interesting read to the older ex-members of what was then a club with a huge membership - at a time when clubs were everywhere.

Chris Kenny has provided profiles of local racers, and is still collecting info as you read this - more to come from Chris soon.

So, watch this space. Anyone else who has any info, or a story to tell, please get in touch, or better still anyone with editorial skills - any help would be appreciated.


2008 is a milestone year in the history of two Bristol rods. John and Lorr's orange roadster, and Phil Thomas’ coupe, have both been on the road for twenty one years. This shows the build quality of both cars, the roadster being built by Merv Barnett, and Phil himself the builder of the yellow 3-window. The roadster, having seen a lot of racing under Rich Llewellyn's ownership, has changed a little since then, having lost its tri-carb setup, gained a moon tank, pinstriping, more chrome, and a change of rear lighting. The coupe has gained a new set of wheels and I believe a new front brake set up.

Saga Rodders: This month has seen two more local youngsters reach 'Sagahood': Mike Taylor and Neil Grant have both joined the happy band and I believe there are more to come!

Club Nights: Tuesday nights up the Griffin have started, and due to the early fine weather, they seem to be quite popular with a wide variety of rods and classic cars. Let's hope the sun continues and more interesting vehicles emerge.




April 2008

Ivor's account of the The Finnish Hot Rod Association American Car Show, Helsinki, March 2008 - see the Events page.

On the History page you'll now find a few more old pictures and memories from Phil Thomas.



February 2008

A new website has just been set up for the Association of Car Enthusiasts (ACE) who are using it as a one stop rallying point and source of information for checking the truth of all those nasty legislation rumours - plus trying to look after enthusiasts' rights.

Things aren't getting easier, and with the Green lobby trying to stop old cars polluting, it is only a matter of time before we are in their sights. All enthusiasts need to band together for the strength that numbers bring.
More info over at

Association of Car Enthusiasts

Honky Tonkin' FOR SALE
Jerry Denning and Lee Pike are keen to start building a new Gasser, so the time has come, reluctantly, to sell Honky Tonkin'. The link below will take you to the 'Race Cars for Sale' page of Byron's Gasser Madness site, where you can view the full details. The advertised price is in dollars; sterling price is 32K.
  Honky Tonkin'

January 2008

For the fourth year, Bristol Hotrods will be exhibiting a selection of cars at the Footman James 29th Bristol Classic Car Show, on 16-17 February 2008 at the Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset.

We have a hall all to ourselves again this year, and if all goes to plan, Chris Hartnell's Backdraft dragster will be on display along with the rods. Visitors booking online in advance can get two pounds off the normal ticket price.
  Footman James 29th Bristol Classic Car Show
A contingent of Bristol rodders made the trip to the 2007 California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, California, where Jerry Denning and Lee Pike were running their Honky Tonkin' Chevy gasser. Read about the trip on the Events page.  
One of the cool things about having a web site is the visitors and messages that come in from around the world. Steve Johnston of Cruisin' New England happened across our website and emailed to say what a nice collection of cars we have. He also invited us to check out his Cruisin' New England site at
We don't think you'll have seen this site before - and with news, pictures, show accounts and streaming videos from New England and other Northeastern U.S. locations like Boston and Cape Cod, we think it's well worth a visit.
Cars added: Reg Hucker's 1948 Austin Dorset, Ade Wells' Oldsmobile and Chris Hartnell's '32.    

December 2007

Bristol Hotrods would like to wish a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all rodders and readers!

We've taken the liberty of reproducing a card sent out by local racer Chris Hartnell. We're told Chris has now got himself a model B rod as a daily driver.. we'll try to bring you some pictures in the new year.
We received some complimentary words from Terry Denomme, Editor/Publisher of Canada's coolest car magazine, Canadian Hot Rods & Classics. Click the logo alongside to check out the magazine's web site.

Terry praised the Bristol cars and the web site, and says he'd be pleased to receive details on Bristol cars for the magazine's 'Readers Rides' section - so why not drop him a line? You'll find his contact information on the web site..
  Canadian Hot Rods & Classics

November 2007

What is it with hotrods and stockinged women?

Phil and Rich supply the wheels for a photoshoot with The Blue Betties - a Bristol based burlesque trio.
  The Blue Betties

October 2007

Here's a couple of taster pics of the Honky Tonkin' crew's visit to the California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, California. More pics and story to follow..

Les Sanderson of the Mid-West American Auto Club tells us that to mark the closing-down of the club, they're holding a farewell party on Saturday Nov 3rd at the Lower Lode Inn, near Tewkesbury, GL19 4RE. Good food, real ales, camping & good facilities. Open to old members and visitors - please contact Les on 01242 576082 (evenings), or better still, email him at to enquire or pre-book.

Early Bristol Car Shows
We've added a page about some of the earliest Bristol rod & custom car shows, including the 1st Bristol Custom & Street Rod Show, organised by the Renegades back in 1978. Thanks go to to contributors John Travell and Les & Jill Sanderson.
See History page five

Lord Purple's Breakfast Run - Frankie & Benny's, Bracknell. See the Events page.

New cars added:
Ivor Knapp's Austin 16 project - see Builds page six.
John & Lesley Cable's Fordson (see Our Cars, page seven) and some 'in build' photos of Phil Spring's '32 rod (on Builds page five).

Pete Moore's fresh Pop Ute, along with his other Pops, makes the November 2007 issue of Custom Car magazine.
  Custom Car feature - Pete Moore

September 2007

Honky Tonkin' has finished its voyage across the Atlantic and is now on U.S. soil ready for the Hot Rod Reunion in October.

To mark the occasion (and to assist with costs) the team now have t-shirts for sale, featuring a great piece of artwork by Chris Froggett.

With a logo on the front and picture on the back, these are top quality white (Hanes) shirts. Sizes are Ladies S-XL, Gents S- XXL, priced just 15 each, plus P&P.

To purchase a shirt and support the team's appearance in the U.S., contact them at:


August 2007

New Bristol cars added:
Bob Wellstead's '36 3-window and '40 pickup, and Ivor's V8 trike.
Also added: the spec on Dave Brock's Roadster
see the Our Cars page.

A few more pages of Bristol Drag Racers added.
Further content supplied by racer Chris Kenny:
see the Drag Racers page.


Bristol Hotrods at the Haynes International Motor Museum.
The Haynes Motor Museum held a 'Live Action Day' on the 5th of August, and Haynes organisers invited Bristol Hotrods to display some cars at the event. Check out our report by visiting the 'Events' page.
  Haynes Motor Museum

July 2007

Bristol Drag Racers pages added.
As elsewhere in the sport, Bristol's Hot Rodders and Drag Racers are inextricably linked, with rodders taking to the track and racers also running hot rods on the street. We're pleased to celebrate that connection by featuring some of the racers, cars and teams with Bristol connections.

See the Drag Racers page.

Dr Bob is supporting Swanage Pier!
No, the Mafia haven't got to him.. Dr Bob's wife (Nurse Jane) has had an engraved plaque mounted onto one of the planks holding together Swanage pier. The plaque is to aid the restoration of the pier, and is also a testament to Bob hitting the big 50!

Just added:
The 2007 Wessex Weekender
plus The John Mould Collection Open Evening:
see the 'Events' page.

Dave Brock's new trad-style hot roadster: See 'Cars' page three.


June 2007

Honky Tonkin' at the Hot Rod Reunion!

Honky Tonkin', the high riding altered-wheelbase gasser campaigned by Bristol's Jerry Denning and Lee Pike, has been invited to attend the California Hot Rod Reunion at Famoso Raceway, Bakersfield, California this year.

This is doubly good news for Jerry and Lee, as they recently dipped into the 8 second bracket with the Chevy. Although not competing in Bakersfield, they hope to make several exhibition runs each.

Thanks go to Tony Thacker in helping to arrange the invition. Jerry and Lee will be looking for sponsors to help with the trip expenses, so if anyone can help, they can be contacted through this site.

Honky Tonkin'

- Pete Moore's Ford Popular 'Ute'. See 'Our Cars', page seven.
- Simon Gillam's Sedan Delivery. See 'Our Cars', page three.
- Updated photos of Mike Taylor's Willys.
- Nick Barnett and Pete Moore won awards at
  the 2007 Billing Fun Run: see the 'Events' page.
- A new page for Club nights at the Griffin:
  see the 'Events' page.
- Another page of archive pictures:
  see the 'History' page.


May 2007

Added: Colin Fox's blown '34 Coupe. See 'Our Cars', page seven.

Our first page of 'old' Bristol Hotrods cars is now in place, along with a page of Merv Barnett's cars. Just follow the links from the 'History' page.

Members - if you have any news on your car, updated photos or specs, or club meet pictures, please email them to your webmaster - details on the 'Contact' page.
Spencer Wallace's Anniversary Deuce Roadster is the centre-spread feature car in the June 2007 issue of Custom Car magazine. And deservedly so!

  Spencer's Anniversary Deuce Roadster

April 2007


Wheels Day

With only about 50 miles on the clock, Spencer took his '32 Anniversary roadster to the Surrey Street Rodders Wheels Day on 6th April 2007.
Spence's first outing and show debut earned him two top awards - not only the NSRA Pick award, but also the Surrey Street Rodders' Best Car in Show award.
See 'Our Cars', page six.

Also just added: Howard Thomas' F100 Pickup.. see 'Our Cars', page five.
  Spencer Wallace

March 2007

Just added: Spencer Wallace's Anniversary Deuce.
Spence's 'best of everything' '32 Ford celebrates the 75th Anniversary of the Ford ‘Deuce’. Only on the road since early March, the car has yet to make its show debut - but just might make an Easter appearance..
See 'Our Cars', page six.
  Spencer's Anniversary Deuce

The April '07 issue of Custom Car features a full page account of our showing at the Bristol Classic Car Show, and we also hope to get a mention in the 22 March issue of Classic Car Weekly.. 


We've just seen the first issue of Hot Rod Showcase, a new, quality UK publication along the lines of Rodders Journal. We can thoroughly recommend this excellent magazine/book, so please visit their web site to order your copy. Good sales of the launch issue will ensure we get to see issue #2 !
Hot Rod Showcase can be reached through our Links page, or by clicking the image on the right.
  Hot Rod Showcase

Over the winter months Mike Taylor has been busy upgrading his and Lorraines house, this in turn has earned lots of brownie points and allowed him to carry out some serious mods on the Willys. The front suspension has been dropped 1.5 inches, which will put the rod really low, but the main diffrence is the addition of a blower !!


February 2007

Well, it's taken a while but we've finally launced our own web site. This is just the beginning - we have loads of history and plenty of car and build photos to put up here - so we hope you come back again soon and check for more content.
Bristol Hotrods
Bristol Hotrods exhibited at the Footman James 28th Bristol Classic Car Show, on 17-18 February 2007.

This was the third year we had represented the NSRA and the local rod scene at this show - the first year with just two cars, then in 2006 with seven cars and one unfinished chassis. The effort was well justified when we walked away with three trophies, including Best Paint in Show for Lee Pike's roadster.

We also received excellent press with Practical Classics and Classic Car Weekly both complimenting us on our exhibits.

This year we had a whole hall to ourselves. Flying the new club banner, with the web site address displayed, brought some good comments from the guys at the Retro Rides forum, and brought in plenty more web site visitors.
Bristol Classic Car Show
The Footman James 28th Bristol Classic Car Show
17 - 18 February 2007
The Royal Bath & West Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset.


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