A roar of rods around town  

Ross Chaytor’s 1953 ‘Ford Pop’ will be out and about for the Winter Blast. Photo: supplied.

They’re coming from as far afield as Whangārei and Whanganui, Palmerston North and Napier - about 150 hot-rodders in 80 of their beloved cars hit town this weekend for the Bay Rodders Club’s Winter Blast.

It’s the club’s 15th event in this format and will attract some second and third-generation rodders. “It’s popular. We’re keen, we love our cars,” says organiser Ross Chaytor. Normally the event lives up to its chilly “Winter Blast” moniker. “But this year it won’t.”

The rods started arriving this afternoon, June 21, for a dinner at the clubrooms in Cherokee Place tonight. Tomorrow, on Saturday, June 22, they head out on a three-hour run around town, broken up by a series of events such as a piston-throwing contest at a local park and pitching golf balls into a trough from a hilltop property.

That night there’s a fancy dress at the Tauranga Citz Club; then from 7am on Sunday, June 23, all 80 hot-rods will be crammed into the city’s Elizabeth St carpark for a car show and swap meet. Just automotive and motorbike parts - and lots of car chat. “Because the car people are just as important as the cars themselves.”

Maureen Chaytor’s 1966 Ford Mustang will be winter blasting this weekend too. Photo: supplied.

“Swap meets used to be huge,” says Ross. Not so much now as people can sell their parts on Trade Me, “so it’s the catching up with rodders you haven’t seen for a while”. So what’s the attraction of hot-rods? “It’s just old cars, doing them up and getting performance out of them,” says Ross.

It seems cars and people are a magic formula, and an enduring one. “Young guys today still have a love of cars. Just different cars to what we drive.”

For more information of the weekend of Winter Blast events, see: bayrodders.co.nz/winterblast

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