Beaulieu’s long-awaited Hot Rod & Custom Show returned in style for 2021, with an impressive line-up of customised cars and bikes for Father’s Day, along with dancing, music and stands packed with vintage memorabilia, which all the family could enjoy.
4,000 visitors and participants came to enjoy the sell-out show in the grounds of the National Motor Museum on Sunday 20th June, held in association with the Solent Renegades club, with the opportunity to admire as many as 402 hot rods, custom and American cars and bikes, which took their places in the busy showground.
Awards were presented for some of the automotive stars of the show. Taking the Best in Show award was Nigel Green from Christchurch, for his astonishing 1931 Auburn special. Turning many heads with its hand-formed aluminium bodywork, Nigel had built his imposing machine with the help of a friend by turning an Auburn chassis upside down, then re-engineering it with a 1915 aero engine and chain-drive to the rear wheels.
The coveted Best Custom award was presented to Phil Webb, who had driven to the show from the Rhondda Valley in his stunning 1956 Ford F100 pick-up. The V8-powered truck’s smooth looks and remarkable build quality impressed the judges. While the Best Hot Rod award went to Steve Willsone from Essex for his 1954 Ford Popular. With a 351 Cleveland V8 engine powering its huge rear wheels, this pale blue ‘Pop’ was another big hit with show-goers.
Chosen from the multitude of amazing bikes and trikes on display, the Best Bike/Trike award was presented to Tony Philogene from Verwood for his home-made monster trike. Built by Tony all by himself using only basic tools, the heart of the trike is a modified Rover V8 engine, making it a very lively machine on the open road.
Nick Barnes from North London took home the Best American Car award for his immaculate 1972 Buick Riviera, another visitor favourite in the colourful line-up. The prize winners each received a trophy and a special Autoglym prize, presented by Beaulieu’s Head of Marketing & Business Development, Rachael Goldstraw.
Variety was at the heart of the Hot Rod & Custom show, as stripped-down hot rods and smooth customs parked side-by side. The line-up ranged from a V6-powered Ford Model T bucket roadster, a rat-look 1940s Chevrolet tow-truck and a period Ford stock car with a flathead V8 to immaculate 1920s and 1930s custom Fords, Corvettes and Trans Ams, ‘slammed’ pick-up trucks and more
The Solent Renegades club display was another highlight, while spread across the showground could be found all manner of Mercurys, Chevrolets, Plymouths, Dodges, Edsels, Pontiacs and others besides. Modified British classics on show included a pro-street Humber Super Snipe and Ford Anglia, and a 1934 Sunbeam Dawn hot rod.
Car customising legend and Hot Rod & Custom regular Andy Saunders brought along his crowd-pleasing 1937 Cord, Tetanus, and spent the day chatting with other enthusiasts.
There were plenty of opportunities to get your feet tapping, with Jitterbug Jive giving socially-distanced dance demonstrations that everyone could either take part in or enjoy watching. Performing rousing tunes throughout the day were Company B and The Bandits, while Mariachi el Mexicano delighted showgoers with their upbeat renditions as they strolled around the event.
In the Vintage Pop-Up, a selection of retro traders offered high-quality wares, from vintage fashions to homewares of the past, while motoring trade stands were the place to browse automotive accessories and tools.
Hot Rod and Custom is just one of Beaulieu’s exciting 2021 motoring events. Coming soon are Simply Land Rover on 11th July and Simply Ford on 18th July, with the Beaulieu Supercar Weekend set to take place on 7th & 8th August, while International Autojumble will be on 4th and 5th September.