VHRA Hot Rod Race, Pendine Beach 2021

The good news is (and it’s only good news in Classic American this month!) that shows are back in full swing as pent-up demand, a glorious summer and the necessity for staycations means they were busy, busy, busy, as Keith Harman discovered at this year’s Pendine…

Words and Photography: Keith Harman

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It was with a collective sigh of relief that the Vintage Hot Rod Association’s members, friends and families, and spectators of course, were able to return to Pendine again after a two-year lockdown absence.

Entrants arrived on Friday, with the afternoon set aside for scrutineering the cars, as the anticipation and excitement of returning to the hallowed track built up.

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          Overall entrants’ numbers were slightly down from previous years, with cars from Europe particularly conspicuous by their absence.  But at least this meant that everyone got a good crack, with three full runs down the beach over the weekend, most on the Saturday, which dawned gloomy and overcast, but cleared by lunchtime when the sun eventually shone, making for a near perfect day on the beach. As a result, the track dried out further, meaning the times improved, and with lot of new cars in attendance, many new class records were set, with many members finally achieving the magic 100 mph through the timing traps, thus guaranteeing them induction into the coveted 100mph club.

King of the Beach this year with the fastest top speed was Stephen Hill in his Chevy-powered Model A Roadster Pick Up. Not only a quick car, but a car steeped in hot rod history, having been featured in Hot Rod magazine in the early Sixties, and winning its class at the ’63 Winternationals too! Unfortunately, Sunday wasn’t as kind weather-wise, curtailing the action early which was a shame. However, the VHRA’s annual beach races remain one of the most exclusive and exciting things you can do with an old car in this country, we’re looking forward to next year already! Long may it continue!

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