Manning Valley Cruzers Mountains to the Sea Street Rod & Custom Car Run

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Manning Valley Cruzers Mountains to the Sea Street Rod & Custom Car Run celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, with a massive three-day event taking place from Friday 24th August until Sunday 26th August. This year, it is anticipated one hundred and twenty entrants will participate in the event, with the raffle proceeds going to Manning-Great Lakes Early Intervention Centre.

FOCUS spoke to Manning Valley Cruzers President Peter Green about this year’s festivities, which are sure to keep enthusiasts and the general public enthralled with the huge display of Hot Rods, Custom and American Muscle Cars, plus special interest vehicles …

The Mountains to the Sea – Hot Rod Run started 10 years ago in Taree. The event has grown annually since its inception and in 2011 saw 220 contenders from around NSW, plus a number of interstate car enthusiasts, participate. Tell us about the concept behind the event and how it’s grown …

The Manning Valley Cruzers Club was formed 10 years ago by a group of enthusiasts with common interests and a love of their cars. The club now has over 35 members. It was decided to hold an annual run each year to try and promote Hot Rodding in the local area and to also help local businesses and organisations in the Manning Great Lakes. Each year a raffle is held in conjunction with the run, and money raised is donated to local charities and organisations. Previous recipients have been Camp Quality, Ronald McDonald Beach House, Manning Base Hospital Children’s Ward, Nabiac SES, NSW Ambulance and Nita Reed Dialysis Centre.

The event originally started in Taree and attracted some 30 cars, with the popular ‘Show & Shine’ being held at the airport at Cundletown. The event steadily grew each year, with the Show & Shine being held in the main street in Taree – much to the delight of local businesses, as it brought hundreds of people to the area.

It became a problem keeping everyone together in the one area, so it was decided to move the event to Forster, where there are two caravan parks, side-by-side.

Last year we catered for 220 people at our dinner on the Saturday evening, with people from all over NSW and some from Victoria and Queensland also.

Customising cars was popular with well-heeled individuals in the US and Europe dating back to before the end of WWII. What can you tell us about the history of the Hot Rod?

Hot Rodding had its origins in the USA after WWII, with many young men returning home with very little money. They were forced to rebuild old cars from parts they could acquire, often changing engine and gearbox combinations, suspension and differentials and wheels and tyres – hence the term Hot Rod was born for these modified creations. Drag Racing and Salt Flat Racing gained in popularity.

Hot Rodding has now grown into a multi-million dollar industry in both America and Australia, with many specialised shops opening to cater for Hot Rod enthusiasts. In our area we have many businesses catering for Hot Rod and Custom Car enthusiasts, which creates jobs and income. Two such businesses are Down Town Customs in Forster and Rod Bods by Elvis at Nabiac.

What can people expect to take place at this year’s event?

The event kicks off on Friday afternoon at Smugglers Cove Caravan Park with registration for early entrants, followed by a sausage sizzle and ladies trivia night. Saturday morning breakfast is provided for all entrants also at Smugglers Cover between 7.30am – 9am.

At 9am, entrants can travel to Down Town Customs in Forster for a workshop tour by Graeme Brewer, the owner of the shop.

A popular attraction at this year’s event will be the Show & Shine, to be held at the Lakeside Tavern

between 11.30am – 2pm on Saturday, August 25.

On Saturday night there will be a dinner dance, with the fancy dress theme ‘In Uniform’. On Sunday, entrants will head out to Blackhead Bowling Club for barefoot bowls and lunch, following which we’ll bid farewell to our wonderful entrants for another year.

Define the following common Hod Rod terms for the lay person … 

‘Chopped’: Meaning the roof line of the vehicle has become lowered, to make it look sleeker.

‘Suicided’: Meaning the doors have been changed to open from the front, instead of the back. Very dangerous if the door comes open while driving.

‘Flathead’: Refers to the early Ford side valve V8 engine.

‘Stroked’: The crankshaft in the engine has been changed to increase the engine capacity.

‘Blown’: The engine has been supercharged to increase the power.

Thank you Peter. 

Interview by Karen Farrell.

This story was published in issue 66 of the Manning-Great Lakes Focus

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