Ready to Rockabilly
WITH its rounded bonnet, imposing size and curvy 1950s silhouette, Colin Smith’s 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air is an imposing piece of machinery.
Originally shipped over from California and purchased by Colin from a seller in Queensland, the vehicle has a handsome bronze and cream exterior - and matching interior - and has drawn admiring glances from many in the time he has had it.
“I just like the body style and all the chrome,” Colin said.
“It’s an American car, and the Americans really know how to style cars.”
A member of the Wangaratta Rod and Custom Club since its beginnings in 1977, Colin said he had owned a number of hot rods over the years, but his Chevy is his current pride and joy.
“I’ve had an interest in hot rods since I was a young fella,” he said, adding that while his current car needs little work done, he enjoys pottering around with his cars and doing small bits of maintenance when he can while relaxing in his shed, which he decorates to look like an old school mechanic’s garage. Colin’s Chevy is set to be among the many
owned by Wangaratta Rod and Custom Club members at the club’s new event, Wangaratta Rockabilly Rock’n, set to take place next month.
Colin said members of the club had decided to put the event together to create a drawcard with wide appeal for the community, and the marriage of older cars and rockabilly music and culture was a natural progression.
“Rockabilly is part of the car scene,” he said.
Colin said that he loved being a part of the club’s tight knit, like minded community.
“It’s just a good feeling to be around all the old cars, and the people that are involved in the old cars, they’re all great people,” he said of the group.
“It’s a fantastic lifestyle to be involved in,” he added, noting that club members are family orientated and community minded.
Monica Smith (no relation), from Wodonga, is among those in the region looking forward to the event.
A fan of rockabilly and vintage fashion, hair and makeup, she said she first got involved in rockabilly culture as a way to spend more time with her car enthusiast husband, Michael House, who has a 1954 Chevrolet Bel Air coupe.
While she wears elements of vintage and rockabilly fashion regularly, she saves much of her dressing up for special occasions and festivals.
“I just like the atmosphere,” she said of rockabilly events, “and it’s just really cool fashion.
“It’s always good fun.”
Monica said that she also tries to support Australian small businesses when acquiring her rockabilly outfits.
Wangaratta Rockabilly Rock’n will be held at Wangaratta Racecourse from 2pm on Saturday, October 13, featuring a show and shine, live music, entertainment for children, and a prize for best dressed rockabilly.
Entry is $20 per head on the day ($15 per head if purchased before September 21) and those under 16 are admitted free if they are accompanied by an adult.
Proceeds from the day will be donated to Northeast Health childrens ward.
Further information on the event, or on the club itself is available by contacting Darren on 0412 098351 or see the Wangaratta Rockabilly Rock’n event on Facebook.
Tickets can be purchased via the Facebook page.
You can also find more information on wangarattarodandcustomclub.com.
◆ PRIZED VEHICLE: Colin Smith, from the Wangaratta Rod and Custom Club, with his 1953 Chevrolet Bel Air.
◆ ALL DRESSED UP: Monica Smith is a fan of the rockabilly lifestyle.