Tim Sutton

Retro Junction NZ

Tim Sutton
Retro Junction NZ

By Greg Stokes


 

Every year in mid January is one of New Zealand’s largest car show and swapmeet weekends. The annual Kumeu (say Koo-me-you) Hot Rod & Classic Car Festival is typically the first major event after Christmas and the diversity of vehicles is what has made the event so popular. More often than not it’s the event within an event which appeals the most to the hardcore traditionalist so allow us to introduce the Retro Junction display. This traditional rod & custom (read Hop Up guy & gal) display is organised by the kiwi native Bakersfield based Squeak Bell and his fellow Whakatane Rod & Custom Club members. Ya’see, Squeak spends his summer in the USA each year then flies back to New Zealand in December to enjoy the summer there and he sure enjoys his time back home. 

 

The Retro Junction display celebrates all things which the avid Hop Up reader enjoys and it’s become a drawcard to the main event if you like. This year was no exception with all kinds of neat hot rods and race cars and a couple of customs on display. It was neat to see work in progress projects and already people are planning to bring cars to the Retro Junction display next year. As you will see, the traditional style is very strong in New Zealand with rodding dating back to the fifties despite the smaller population and back then the lack of speed equipment available. What New Zealand lacked in parts or products was made up for with innovation and ingenuity. We plan to take a more indepth look at New Zealand hot rod history in the future but for now enjoy the cool selection of rods and customs at Retro Junction.


Neil Surtees is one very clever man. His Model A roadster pickup features a handcrafted (by Neil) all aluminium body with over 5000 rivets holding it together. The detail is incredible and some of the features include a pickup bed which slides back to access the rear radiators for the flathead Ford V8 engine. The chassis is underslung and the screen is slightly curved but emulates a later early Ford shape.

Neil Surtees is one very clever man. His Model A roadster pickup features a handcrafted (by Neil) all aluminium body with over 5000 rivets holding it together. The detail is incredible and some of the features include a pickup bed which slides back to access the rear radiators for the flathead Ford V8 engine. The chassis is underslung and the screen is slightly curved but emulates a later early Ford shape.

Keith Golder’s FE powered ’34 roadster is shown here alongside Malcolm Turner’s Hemi powered Model A coupe and Haydn Mitchell’s Hemi powered Model A roadster pickup.   

Keith Golder’s FE powered ’34 roadster is shown here alongside Malcolm Turner’s Hemi powered Model A coupe and Haydn Mitchell’s Hemi powered Model A roadster pickup. 

 

As you would expect, the Retro Junction display was a tasteful buffet of early style engines featuring multiple carburettors and rare speed equipment.  

As you would expect, the Retro Junction display was a tasteful buffet of early style engines featuring multiple carburettors and rare speed equipment.

 

We never tire of the sight of Gary “Grease” Martin’s blown ARDUN engine in his chopped ’32 coupe. They’re original ARDUN heads too!

We never tire of the sight of Gary “Grease” Martin’s blown ARDUN engine in his chopped ’32 coupe. They’re original ARDUN heads too!

Coming or going, Tania Foster’s ’36 coupe cuts a gorgeous profile. A strong nod in its styling must go to the Jack Calori coupe and the early Westergard custom era.   

Coming or going, Tania Foster’s ’36 coupe cuts a gorgeous profile. A strong nod in its styling must go to the Jack Calori coupe and the early Westergard custom era. 

 

You’re forgiven for thinking Kurt Stockman’s Fiat Topolino is an old quarter mile refugee from the sixties. It’s being built for the street with a Hilborn mechanical injector upon a blown 392 Hemi engine.   

You’re forgiven for thinking Kurt Stockman’s Fiat Topolino is an old quarter mile refugee from the sixties. It’s being built for the street with a Hilborn mechanical injector upon a blown 392 Hemi engine. 

 

Dave Alexander always admired the Art Chrisman No.25 dragster so he cloned it calling it the Alexander Special. Its street registered and been drag raced, dirt tracked, showed and has also run at Bonneville. 

Dave Alexander always admired the Art Chrisman No.25 dragster so he cloned it calling it the Alexander Special. Its street registered and been drag raced, dirt tracked, showed and has also run at Bonneville. 

Kelly O’Donnell’s Caddy powered Model A roadster runs a four speed and quick change rear end. Dig the Mercury hubcaps.  

Kelly O’Donnell’s Caddy powered Model A roadster runs a four speed and quick change rear end. Dig the Mercury hubcaps.

 

Mike Watkins is one of the young guys of the scene with this cool gold ’49 Ford coupe running Caddy hubcaps. He drives it everywhere with a smallblock Ford under the hood.  

Mike Watkins is one of the young guys of the scene with this cool gold ’49 Ford coupe running Caddy hubcaps. He drives it everywhere with a smallblock Ford under the hood.

 

Nigel Oliver’s neat Model A roadster was built at Rocket Speed Equipment and features rolled pans and belly pans concealing the early Ford flathead drive train. 

Nigel Oliver’s neat Model A roadster was built at Rocket Speed Equipment and features rolled pans and belly pans concealing the early Ford flathead drive train. 

Dave Best built this gasser inspired Model A coupe in the early nineties and now his son Jesse owns it with an injected Hemi and a four speed gearbox. It’s raced and driven on the street regularly.   

Dave Best built this gasser inspired Model A coupe in the early nineties and now his son Jesse owns it with an injected Hemi and a four speed gearbox. It’s raced and driven on the street regularly. 

 

Barry Dew is a collector of 1932 Fords and this is one of them. The original all steel five window coupe is on a very early Roy Brizio chassis and powered by an early 293 Chev. 

Barry Dew is a collector of 1932 Fords and this is one of them. The original all steel five window coupe is on a very early Roy Brizio chassis and powered by an early 293 Chev.