With the dry conditions throughout the country, firefighters have been kept busy with fire breakouts all over the place; none more so than the huge bush fire around Blenheim. Over Waitangi weekend, February 6–8, Nelson saw its own share of flames, but fortunately these flames were painted on some of the beautiful hot rods that had gathered for the 2015 Classic Cover Insurance Pre ’49 Street Rod Nationals, which was hosted by Nelson City Rod & Custom Club.

With the event being based at Founders Heritage Park in Nelson, the organizers found a great location for the show and shine. Upon entering the park and just a short walk down the street, which was lined with character buildings and old business displays, half a dozen cars had been parked in the town square to wet the appetites of those wanting their automotive fix.

A walk further down the road took us to a park where all the rods were on display, but the first thing that stuck out was the amazing backdrop to the park — an old Bristol Freighter aircraft that was surrounded by cool rides. Nelson had once again turned on a beautiful sunny day, which brought out large crowds.

With entry to the park and the show set at only $5, a crowd of 4000 not only got to view and read the displays, which went into the details about the heritage of Nelson and its pioneers, but they also got to view some of the country’s most amazing pre ’49 hot rods that attended for the weekend. 

Check out the list of award winners below the gallery.

Top 10

Ian Lind (New Plymouth Rodders) — 1932 Ford Roadster

Ron Amstad (Franklin Street Rodders) — 1935 Chevrolet Coupe

Grant Hilton (Riverside Rodders) — 1932 Ford Cabriolet

Terry Richards (Rodbenders) — 1932 Ford Woody

Peter Kidd (Gold Coast Rodders) — 1936 Ford Three-Window Coupe

John Allen (Riverside Rodders) — 1932 Ford Coupe

Bruce Carter (East Bay Rods) — 1933 Ford Tudor

Greg Hurndell (Wanganui Road Rodders) — 1932 Ford Roadster

Paul Wilkin (Road Runners) — 1932 Ford Five-Window Coupe

Ash Jones (North Canterbury Rodders) —1932 Ford Three-Window Coupe

People’s Choice

Grant Hilton (Riverside Rodders) — 1932 Ford Cabriolet

Rodders’ Choice

Ian Lind (New Plymouth Rodders) — 1932 Ford Roadster

Best Represented Club

Rodbenders, Christchurch

Rod Dunn

Born and bred in Central Otago, I moved to Christchurch in 1995. I’ve had several different jobs over the years, from being a kiln operator, to running my own handyman business, and currently I'm the Maintenance Manager at the Wigram Airforce Museum. I'm happily married to my wife Anne-Marie, and between us we have six children — all living away from home now. Photography has been a consistent interest throughout my life, and I've always had a passion for cars, so it was just natural that I would end up photographing them. I also love to do landscape photography whenever I get the chance. I began contributing to NZV8 magazine in 2012 and have gone on to become NZV8's South Island correspondent, photographing and writing both feature car and event articles. I love meeting people and shooting their cars, as well as covering shows for the mag. Long may it continue.