Hot rods and VWs draw crowds to Beaulieu

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Hot rods and customs and a Volkswagens in various hues fill Britain's National Motor Museum at Beaulieu on Father's Day weekend | Museum photos

More than 375 hot rods and nearly 530 Volkswagens drew thousands of visitors to the British National Motor Museum at Beaulieu over the Father’s Day weekend for the Simply VW show and the Hot Rod & Custom Drive-In Day. The retro weekend included Vintage Village fashions and live music and dancing.

Show ambassador and car customizer Andy Saunders presented the inaugural Andy Saunders Award to a Pro Street 1980 Ford Cortina owned by Michael Castle. The car has what the museum termed a “brutal” 8.2-liter V8 engine.

The Best Custom award went to a 1960 Morris Minor 1000 owned by Chris Clemens. 

“This car is so pretty with its cherry red paint,” Saunders said. “It is beautiful to see a custom car of this age where everything is correct, from the slot mag wheels to the twin-cam engine.”

British custom car builder Andy Saunders arrived in his Tetanus, a much-modified 1937 Cord Westchester

Saunders arrived at the show with his 1937 Cord Westchester Tetanus custom and shared the news about his next build: “At International Autojumble last September, I bought a pair of wings for a pre-war Delahaye 135M, which have a wonderful shape to them but I needed to find a car to fit them to. 

“I eventually found this Riley RM, which will be ideal for my next car build. I’ll restore the original chassis and keep the stock Riley running gear but I can make a whole new body for it, which will be lower and sleeker. I don’t know how long it will take . . .  but I hope it doesn’t take 14 years like Tetanus did!”

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Best Hot Rod honors went to a 1928 Ford Model A owned by Dave and Carole Sharp. Best Bike trophy went to a trike owned by Chris Head and Dave Hiles while Best in Show honors went to a 1955 Ford Anglia powered by an American V8 and owned by Dave and Angie Owen.

Judged the Best American vehicle was a 1951 Pontiac Chieftain owned by Barry Dunwoody.

Saunders’ next project will be to customize this Riley RM relic

At Simply VW, the People’s Choice Award went to a 1964 Karmann Ghia owned by Russell Payton, with runner-up honors going to Sarah Walkey for her pink-wrapped 2013 Beetle and to Brandon Hayes for his customized 2000 Beetle.

Combining vintage vehicles and attire, the Best Dressed Vehicle award went to Sharon Drewell for his 1968 Beetle towing her 1963 Eriba Puck camper. Other “best dressed” trophies went to 6-year-old Aylar Pashapour, to Frank and Pam Annable, and to Rogan McGilp’s Mad Max-style 1993 Lexus.

Jitterbug Jive was the dance of the day at the retro weekend

Next up at Beaulieu is the Simply Land Rover show scheduled for June 23.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

1 COMMENT

  1. Like the interest in the vw collection .bought a 1972 very good shape but people show no interest in buying it.Also have an Ssr which interest in them also seemed to decline.

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