Petrol­heads @ Porirua, hosted an­nu­ally by the West­ern Bays Street Rod­ders, may be a hit with hot rod­ders from around the lower North Is­land, but there’s a whole lot more to it than that. While the most hard­core of hot rod and street rod en­thu­si­asts firmly ce­ment the event as the best — if not the only — in­door show that the cap­i­tal city has to of­fer, the not-so-hard­core get blown away by the va­ri­ety of cars that the cap­i­tal seems to of­fer up. If you’re not fa­mil­iar with the Welling­ton re­gion, Porirua City, es­sen­tially the equiv­a­lent of Auck­land’s Manukau City, is around half an hour or so from the CBD, with a mix of com­mer­cial ar­eas and res­i­den­tial sub­urbs. The New Zealand Ken­nel Club Events Cen­tre can be found within the com­mer­cial area. As its name sug­gests, it’s a dog-show fa­cil­ity first and fore­most, but, be­tween prun­ing and preen­ing, it also plays host to in­door sports and, of course, come Septem­ber each year, Petrol­heads @ Porirua. For years now, NZV8 has been a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to the event, as it pulls out the best cars from around the re­gion, and each time, the cars on dis­play are dif­fer­ent from the pre­vi­ous year’s. Bet­ter still, the qual­ity dis­played def­i­nitely rises each year, and,

this year, that was more ob­vi­ous than ever. Adding to that is the rep­u­ta­tion of the event, which sees more and more out-of-town­ers make the trip to de­but or show­case their own ve­hi­cles. This year was no ex­cep­tion. Colin and Kerry Pat­ter­son brought their just-fin­ished 1956 Buick Cen­tury, fresh from a de­tailed build at Jonesy’s Garage in Hamil­ton, and Mike Guy brought his Ford Bonus all the way from Tau­ranga. Lo­cal BurgerFuel store owner and main event spon­sor Matt Kingi de­buted his freshly com­pleted Buick, and Welling­to­ni­ans Paul Bai­ley’s ‘Hem­i­na­tor’ Dodge Chal­lenger and Dave Murtagh’s Ford Galaxie made their first lo­cal pub­lic ap­pear­ance. All of these ve­hi­cles, amaz­ing in their own dif­fer­ent ways, were the easy picks for what would be­come one hell of a Peo­ple’s Choice show­down. That’s not to de­tract from the rest of the cars, which also would have re­ceived enough votes from the pub­lic to keep those in charge of count­ing them busy.

The hot rod contingent was equally strong, as was the range of Ja­panese ve­hi­cles on dis­play, the mo­tor­bikes, and the com­pe­ti­tion cars. Be­tween check­ing them all out, most vis­i­tors found a stop at the tem­po­rary BurgerFuel set-up within the venue es­sen­tial, while the kids found the on-site bouncy cas­tle equally ir­re­sistible. Although, as usual, the big draw­card was what was on dis­play in­side the hall — in ex­cess of 80 cars of all types — the out­side area is also al­ways worth a look, with cars rang­ing from Porsches and a Lam­borgh­ini replica through to mod­i­fied Jap­pas, count­less mo­tor­bikes, and ev­ery­thing in be­tween, in­clud­ing var­i­ous car clubs mak­ing it a club out­ing. If you’ve not yet made it to Petrol­heads @ Porirua, we sug­gest you check it out for your­self — it’s doggone im­pres­sive.

Colin and Kerry Pat­ter­son’s Buick had only just rolled out the door from a full re­build at Jonesy’s Garage in Hamil­ton. The car’s long lines are ac­cen­tu­ated by an Ac­cuAir airbag sys­tem, which drops it nice and low — although, for dis­play pur­poses, the car was up on mir­rors to show­case its de­tailed un­der­car­riage. Un­der­stand­ably, the car took home the Peo­ple’s Choice award

How’s this for a father and son combo? The HQ Sedan runs a Llama En­gi­neer­ing–as­sem­bled, fuel-in­jected, and in­ter­cooled blown 383ci small block, and be­longs to Cory de Kort, while the blue ton­ner be­longs to his dad, Paul. The ute’s pack­ing an LSA supercharger atop a cammed LS2 mon­i­tored by a Ra­cepak dig­i­tal dash. Both cars have been tuned by Pres­tige Tun­ing. As the team be­hind Bridge­stone Wainuiomata, Paul and Cory are un­likely to be too kind to the rear tyres on them, ei­ther! Look out for a full fea­ture soon There’s not that many tough Fox Body Mus­tangs around, but Marshall Gare’s one suits that de­scrip­tion. He’s owned the car for around 20 years, but has only re­cently pulled it out of stor­age and started to get some miles on it. The car has had a host of changes un­der­neath, such as a diff from The Krysler Shop and a later model front-sus­pen­sion set-up The toys be­long­ing to lo­cal earth­mov­ing con­trac­tor Vic Draper are a bit big­ger than those of most oth­ers. Vic has a good col­lec­tion of vin­tage trucks and ma­chin­ery, and this 1966 R Se­ries Oshkosh is the lat­est ad­di­tion. Vic im­ported it from Aus­tralia with plans to use it for clas­sic truck events in New Zealand. The Oshkosh runs a Cater­pil­lar 3306 six-cylin­der en­gine; the en­gines on the back re­late to Vic’s earth­mov­ing com­pany — a D346 V8 en­gine for a 666 scraper also im­ported last week and two Cater­pil­lar 3306 six-cylin­der truck en­gines

Paul Bai­ley may live in Welling­ton, but, un­til now, his 528ci Hemipow­ered Dodge Chal­lenger has not been seen in the lo­cal re­gion. The car’s black paint be­lies the amount of work­man­ship that has gone into the body, a fea­ture that flows over to the in­te­rior, where the cus­tom dash­board wraps around into the tops of the doors and rear side pan­els. With the car’s teething is­sues now sorted, Welling­to­ni­ans are guar­an­teed to be see­ing a whole lot more of this im­pres­sive ma­chine over the sum­mer months

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