Iconic Port Road Drags hit 51 years

Upper Hutt Leader - - SPORT - MATTHEWTSO

The bur­ble and roar of a V8 is what keeps Ed­die Try­bula head­ing back to the Port Road Drags.

The Cam County Hot Rod Club stal­wart from Lower Hutt has raced and vol­un­teered at count­less edi­tions of the drags and said there was noth­ing else like a car hit­ting close to 200kmh on the eighth of a mile Seav­iew strip.

Try­bula trav­els around the coun­try to at­tend race meets but said Port Road was special. Not only was it at home, but the long his­tory of the event also made it dif­fer­ent from other events.

The meet on Novem­ber 26 will mark 51 years for the longestrun­ning street drags in Aus­trala­sia.

The close crowds, built-up sur­round­ings and lo­ca­tion right next to the wa­ter also made for a unique at­mos­phere.

He said he loved the ‘‘rush’’ of the drags and look­ing for ways to give his 1957 Chevro­let an ex­tra edge in the Su­per Sedan cat­e­gory was nearly an ad­dic­tion.

Hav­ing owned the car for five years, he looked for­ward to putting his newly in­stalled 496 big block Chevy en­gine to the test for the first time.

‘‘It was fine as it was,’’ he con­ceded.

‘‘Things just snow­balled. They say you get older and wiser, but in the end you just want to go faster and faster.

‘‘I’m look­ing for­ward to [the drags] be­cause [my car] isn’t just some­thing you can take up the road.’’

Cam County mem­ber and event or­gan­iser Steve ‘‘Jock’’ Reid also said the Port Road Drags were unique and one of only two street drag meets in the coun­try.

De­spite the pro­lif­er­a­tion of Ja­panese cars on the New Zealand mar­ket he said the drags were still very pop­u­lar and had be­come some­thing of an in­sti­tu­tion among petrol­heads across the coun­try.

Reg­is­tra­tions had come from around the coun­try and 84 ve­hi­cles had been en­tered into the drags. More cars would be on show.

‘‘I think its just be­cause it’s been go­ing for so long.

‘‘We have a wait­ing list of peo­ple want­ing to en­ter in case some­one pulls out. That’s how pop­u­lar it is.’’

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