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What's happening at Bristol Hotrods

Nov 2009

Tim Vaughan, Events Organiser for the Haynes Motor Museum has been in touch.. he tells us our hotrods are always very popular with their visitors, particularly after the great turn out we had in August this year. Tim would like to invite us again in 2010 - the date currently planned is Sunday 22nd August 2010.


Rodger Attaway is currently putting a book together about the UK's indoor shows - starting back in 1963 through to the Hull shows of 2004/5. The Bristol shows are obviously an important piece of that and he's hoping that Bristol Hotrodders might be able to help with facts (dates, venue, number of exhibits & visitors), photos and their personal memories.

If anyone can help, please contact Rodger at


Just added:
The Wessex Weekender, 2009
Phil Baines' Lazy Lotus in the 'History' section.

'Nervous Nick's' Austin Gasser
Colin Holbrook's 1928 Model A
John Hall's 1949 Austin Devon
Neil and Carole Thomas' '32 Roadster
Carl Frith's '34 Ford
Bartlett Wren's '40 Ford pickup
Ryan Welch's '48 Chevy Panel Van and
Steve Welch's A55 van in the 'Our Cars' section.



Sep 2009

Just added:
Chris Kenny's Open Sports Nationals drag meet report
NSRA Hot Rod Drags, September 2009
Haynes International Motor Museum, August 2009
Chris Kenny's Summer Nationals drag meet report
Steve Cozen's Devon added to the Builds pages
Mark & Sue Coghlan's '32


Aug 2009

Haynes Motor Museum run - Sunday 23rd August.
Our Bristol meeting point will be the same as last year: the MacDonald's car park, Aspects Leisure Park, Longwell Green BS15 9LA - just off the ring road opposite Asda. We'll leave MacDonalds at 9.00am to make our way to the second meeting point in Somerset - the large lay-by on the left hand side after Ston Easton. After gathering here we'll move off to Haynes at around 9.30am. If you are making your own way to Haynes, please arrive between 10.00 and 10.30am to get parked up safely before public entry. On arrival our parking should be allocated; just follow the Haynes directions.

Read about our previous visits here:
Haynes International Motor Museum, August 2008
Haynes International Motor Museum 'Live Action Day' 2007

Haynes Motor Museum

Nice to see two new cars on the road this month.. first Ivor's Austin, after a 20 year build up time, is now on the road even though the windscreen is the only glass fitted. Ivor is using the car for a while then he will apply the rest of the paint and trim the Cleveland powered sedan.
More on the 'Builds' page

Second is Dr Bobs '49 Chevy pick-up. Bobs home-built air bagged ride is fully patinad, with metal flake dash, engine compartment and riding on white wall tyres. Its first full appearance was last Tuesday at the Griffin.
Pictures on the 'Cars' page



A tale of two '36 Ford roadsters - both as rare as can be, and not garaged far from each other. The first is Bob Welstead's now all complete and being stripped down for detailing, whilst the second is Andy House's, which has only been in build for less than 8 months. Funny as both owners also own 3-window '36 Fords as well !!
More pictures on the 'Builds' page



Just added:
Classics at The Castle - Sherbourne Castle, July 2009
An update on the progress of Ivor Knapp's 1948 Austin 16

Don't forget our invite to the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club's Track Day at Castle Combe circuit on August 15th.

As invited guests, entrance is free. Please meet up the Griffin early enough to set off by 10.30am, to get us to Castle Combe by 11.00am. If you're making your own way there, please arrive around 11.00am, and enter through the Competitors Entrance, off the B4039 - look for the Bristol Pegasus signs. There should be a trackside area coned off for us near the Strawford Centre Building.

Castle Combe circuit map
More photos of our Pegasus club night visit from the Pegasus Club web site.
Our Pegasus club night visit features in the Pegasus Club 'Backfire' magazine (pdf)


Jul 2009

Our recent visit to the Bristol Pegasus Motor Club was a success, and we had a good local turnout, despite the dismal weather.
A few photos of our Pegasus visit

Pegasus members have passed on their thanks, and the Club has been kind enough to invite us to their Track Day at the Castle Combe circuit on August 15th.

Pegasus Event Secretary Tony Smith says "we have run this event for 12 years plus and it always sells out. We do however try to provide off-track entertainment by over the years having various clubs either start, visit or finish a run at the circuit, or ‘show-off’ their cars, bikes etc on the pit area. The circuit has its refreshments area (the Tavern) open during the event and we encourage picnics, camping etc. The website link below gives full details of what the day is all about and if you click on the photo gallery page you can see various cars which were on show on the clubs anniversary in 2004 ... It would be great to see yours cars again and I heard on the grapevine something about a dragster??

Sounds like this could be an interesting day out, so please contact Phil if you're interested in attending.

There's a good chance of this developing further in the future - we also had a separate message from the Castle Combe circuit itself - their Sales & Marketing Director Rodney Gooch says:

"..we run a number of events here at Castle Combe Circuit including 4 Action Days. These allow for club displays in the race day paddock area and then track sessions at extra cost. We would love to welcome your group along to one of these events to put on a display and then perhaps a short display on the track for the benefit of our visitors as our guests .. if it is something you felt your members would be interested in then I would be happy to provide suitable dates for your appearance in 2010."


Just added:
Finnish Hot Rod Association Helsinki Show
Blue Ridge Runners Cricket St Thomas Show
Surf Coast Cruisers Holiday Weekend - St Ives

Jun 2009


Here's a few snippets of what's been going on recently.
Merv's Willys after its major accident and rebuild made its show debut along side MJT's Willys and Dave Brock's A roadster in Helsinki. Dave came home with some silver and all three rodders enjoyed the experience fully.

Next local show was Cricket St. Thomas and here it was nice to see father and son both making their show debuts and both with vans - Ryan Welch with his recently finished Chevy van and dad Steve with his Rover powered A55 van. Since this show Ryan's van seems to be everywhere, a credit to its builder and his confidence.

Nick Barnett has added a blower to the pick-up but on its first outing the Daimler engine decided to smoke, so now an engine rebuild is taking place.

Four local cars made the Beaulieu show and once again Mr Brock took home a trophy for his period perfect A roadster. It seems this could be Dave's year making the long slow build up worth while.  
Next debut car and well worth the wait the 34 coupe of Carl Firth. Carl turned up at the Griffin club night, and judging by the reaction of all who saw it this car will make a major impact on the British rodding scene.

Also on the same night a Brough Superior motor cycle showed up. The finish on this classic motorcycle was superb and maybe not a hotrod but a credit to its owner/builder. I loved it !!


Click here for more pictures from recent events

May 2009

We've just added a new Bristol drag racing news page in the Drag Racers section. We hope that Chris Kenny will be able to submit more event coverage, and Chris says "if there are other racers from Bristol who want to be included within the reports please let me know, and I will try to include them next time".

Click the 'Drag News' banner from the Drag Racers page.

Drag News

This from Tom Davis of Future Publishing:
"I am organising the Classic Ford Show at Santa Pod on 31st May 2009. I was wondering if you were interested in attending with some of your Ford Drag cars? We have a separate demo area and track time available with free tickets and camping etc. If you or anyone is interested then please feel free to ring or e-mail me."
Tom Davis
Show Manager, Future Publishing
Phone 01225 442244


Will we get a Summer in 2009? Here's hoping! if we do, here's some local events and dates for you..

Sam & Ryan tell us there will be a Summer Show at St Stephens School in Kingswood - BS15 1XD - on Saturday 18th July.
Custom cars and bikes are invited.

Classic & Historic Vehicle Show
Sunday 14th June
Recreation Ground, off Canal Way, Ilminster, Somerset TA19 9DS
Contact Steve 01460 54328 to confirm places

The Rover Plus Club presents The Bridgewater Classic Vehicle Show
Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th June
at the Morganians Rugby Club - A39 Bath Road - TA7 8QW
For details phone 01278 785406 or email

Cheltenham Auto-Fest will be held at Bishops Cleeve Football Club, Cheltenham GL52 3PD
on July 24th, 25th and 26th.
Americans, classics, customs, bikes and trucks.
Details at

Classics at the Castle
Sunday 19th July
Sherborne Castle, Dorset DT9 5NR
For more details, phone 01935 474630
Finally please note a change of venue for The Brothers MRC Bike Show

Having outgrown the previous venue, the local custom bike show will now be held at the Riverside Inn at Saltford Marina, Bristol BS31 3EZ on 6th June. The organisers say 'Hot rods are welcome as our guests and some spaces are reserved on the car park for cars'.

April 2009


Bristol Pegasus Motor Club has invited Bristol Hotrods us to attend their July 13th club meet, to be held at North Bristol Rugby club. After exchanging a few emails with their club PRO Nick Wood, this seems to be the best date - it's a Monday night and an easy venue to find, just of off the M4 at Almondsbury. Let's hope we can impress them with a good turnout. Their web site is

Three of our cars are in Finland at the moment - Dave's A roadster, Merv's Willys Sedan and a last minute fill-in, MT's 42 Willys. Chevy the organizer had two cars pull out on the day they were meant to load onto the ferry, causing much grief, so the Willys coupe was making its second trip to Helsinki as a replacement.    

Now that the light evenings are with us again, a reminder that Bristol Hotrods club nights are held every Tuesday at:

The Griffin
107 London Road
Bristol BS30 5JN

The Griffin is just about a mile off of the Avon ring road on the A420 out of Bristol. The pub has two car parks, and we use the larger one around the back.

Club nights are open to anybody in the spirit of having fun with cars - we get a wide range of vehicles attending, including vintage, classics, bikes and scooters.

The Griffin, Bridgeyate
Click the following links to view the location on Multimap or Streetmap.    
Last weekend Phil, Richard, Reg and John atttended a photo shoot in Bristol, where Eclipse photos were doing a spread on the Panther Racing Team's Pontiac drag car. The request came in late in the week via an email from the web site, asking for rods for a photo shoot for that Sunday. After a phone call and the mention of models, Phil managed to acquire four cars for the day. We'll let you know if we hear where the feature is to be published.  


We were recently contacted by Janne Kutja of Finland.. you might have seen some of his work in Rod & Custom magazine, so we're happy to provide a link to the great design and artwork on his Janne Kutja Automotive Design & Illustration web site.
Janne Kutja Kustom Design and Illustration

National Hot Rod Reunion News

Hello, Hope the Bristol Hot Rodders can make it to this year’s National Hot Rod Reunion or when in California visit the Wally Parks NHRA Motorsports Museum.
Thanks, Monique Valadez
The Wally Parks NHRA Motosports Museum presented by the Automobile Club of Southern California

Rolling Back To Bowling Green! 7th Annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion Returns to Beech Bend Raceway Park, Kentucky, June 19-21

The hot rod community and vintage drag race fans are rolling back to Bowling Green for the 7th annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion at Beech Bend Raceway on Father’s Day weekend, June 19-21, 2009.

“We’re rolling back to Bowling Green with more hot rods, more speed, and more family thrills than ever before,” said Tony Thacker, executive director of the Parks Museum. “Bowling Green’s warm southern hospitality keeps Reunion-goers coming back for more, and we couldn’t have done it without all y’all!”

Last year marked the start of the Museum and Beech Bend’s 5-year partnership to bring long-term stability to the event. Dallas Jones, owner of Beech Bend Raceway Park said, “We’re getting the Beech Bend drag strip ready for the racers, and looking forward to hosting a bigger and better Hot Rod Reunion in 2009.”

“From our new baseball team, the Bowling Green Hot Rods, to the annual Holley National Hot Rod Reunion, this is the year of the hot rod. We want all our neighbors to come out for some good fun-the Kentucky way,” said Vicki Fitch, executive director of the Bowling Green Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Our motto says it all, Get Rolling to Bowling Green!”

Darrell Gwynn, one of the NHRA’s all-time Top 50 Drivers, has been selected as the event’s Grand Marshal. He’s won 28 national events and made the quickest run in drag racing, at the time 4.90. In 1990, Darrell’s racing career was tragically cut short when he crashed at England’s Santa Pod Raceway and was paralyzed from the chest down. Today, Darrell’s love for racing and living is stronger than ever. He is dedicated to finding a cure of paralysis and enjoys life with his wife and daughter. Honorees for the event include Jerry Baltes, Amy Faulk, Chuck Nelson, Bob Creitz, and Vance Hunt.

The Justice Brothers Reunion Spotlight falls on the team of Stone, Woods & Cook and their '41 Willys gasser, voted Favorite Race Car Ever.

Tickets are available online at, click on the link, “NHRR Holley Spectator Admission” or call for tickets to 1-800/884-NHRA (6472).
Visit the Museum’s web site at

March 2009


Reading MAG Easter Bike Show

Steve Steadman, Rep for Reading MAG & Thames Valley MAG contacted us:
"I am contacting you in reference to an event that I run. Its our 20th Anniversary this year and all Hot rods / Classic car owners are invited. Stands/Club displays are free, all we ask is for a raffle prize. Would your club or any members be interested?"

12th April 2009
Reading Abbey Rugby Club
Peppard Road, Emmer Green RG4 8XB


February 2009


Open Day - Sunday the 1st March from 10am - 4pm.
The organisers are hoping for a cross section of nice motors to attend including VDubs / Hotrods / Streetrods / Classic etc. If your a Perol head it promises to be a good day out. Bring your sound system and test against the best with SPL sound off (5 entry).

Location: ICE Design Bristol
Unit 11, Riverside Business Park
St Annes Bristol BS4 4ED



Check out the Events pages, the Haynes day out page now includes a link to a YouTube video sent in by Phil Thomas. And on the History page, we've added links for you to view Phil's collection of photos on 'Webshots' albums.



NEWSFLASH 06/02/2009 10:43am
Due to the February weather the Bristol Classic Car Show was postponed.

The Show will now take place on Saturday May 2nd, Sunday May 3rd and Monday May 4th 2009. Please hold onto any tickets purchased for the postponed event as they will be valid on any day of the rescheduled event.

Even though the Classic Car show was cancelled, the auction went ahead on the Monday of the following week. Andy went along to bid on this Austin A40, which had an estimated price of 400 to 800. With a reserve well over 1000 in mind, the final bid of 3300 plus commission was well out of his reach. Still, the plate would have looked nice on his 36 Rod .. by the way - the car still needed an MOT as it had been in storage for years.
Here's proof that the snow doesn't stop some people from using their cars everyday - as Chris Hartnell does. Chris was the keenest exhibitor who was going to show both car and teardrop caravan at the cancelled Classic Car show. Even on the day of the snow Chris was up for it..



January 2009

Happy New Year!

Our Calendar page has now been updated with the known events for 2009, and we've received this news of a 3-day event from the Victory Wheelers:

"On behalf of the Victory Wheelers, we would like to invite the Bristol Rods to the Southcoast Internationals 2009. We are having a weekend event this year, combined with a show and shine on the Sunday.

Details are:
19-21 June 2009
Southcoast Internationals at Beaulieu (National Motor Museum)

Dan Bolton
Vice Chairman Victory Wheelers"

Don't forget the Footman James 30th Bristol Classic Car Show, Royal Bath and West Showground over the weekend of 7-8 February 2009


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