Hot rods shine in Ōrewa festival

Ross Bell of Dairy Flat’s gleaming 1933 Ford Roadster replica would have won ‘shiniest car’, if such a prize existed.

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Admiring the cars, and rock ’n’ roll dancing are highlights for spectators. Photos, Kerry Bree. Many hot rods sport quirky humour. Hot Rods and classic cars have distinct character, unlike any modern vehicle.

This year’s Rodders Beach Festival in Ōrewa, on January 29 and 30, filled Ōrewa Reserve with the gleam and throaty roar of hundreds of hot rods.

Live bands, dancing and competitions such as Miss Hibiscus Vintage also featured. There was no Show ’n’ Shine in the town centre this year, but on Saturday the cars spilled out of the reserve and parked along the adjacent stretch of highway, attracting more onlookers.

The lead-up had been an anxious time for organisers, with Covid-19 fears in Ōrewa after two people who had tested positive visited local stores. Everyone taking part in the festival, as well as local businesses that benefit, were hugely relieved that it went ahead. Organisers estimate more than 300 hot rods were there.

The beach festival is a reunion of many old friends – and new ones are made as cars are inspected and discussed.

It is also a fundraiser, with money raised this year going to the HBC Youth Centre. That amount is yet to be finalised as the paper goes to print.

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