7th Annual VHRA Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races

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The Vintage Hot Rod Association held their 7th annual Hot Rod Races on the famous Pendine Sands over the weekend of the 15th/16th June 2019.

The weather in the UK so far this June has been damp to say the least earning the nickname of “Monsoon June”, so fingers were being crossed all round weather wise.

Most of those visiting the event stayed local to the sands and this gave the Pendine Sands Holiday Park a real 1950’s flavour with a lot of American iron on display outside the caravans.

Tech inspection began on Friday, and this was where you could see the sheer variety of vehicles that were taking part in the event. From speedsters, to stock cars, to family saloons the full range arrived for inspection. As you would expect the dominant make was Ford and in particular Model A and T based vehicles, which was to be expected at a Hot Rod event.

Friday night saw the predictable overnight downpour but the early start on Saturday saw a really nice sunny, if a little breezy, start to the day. An enjoyable pre-racing bonus was watching the parade of cars making its way onto the beach and into the pits.

After a few test runs by the VHRA staff the racing was ready to commence, albeit a little earlier than planned due to tidal and weather conditions.

The race classes are as follows:

Racing Classes

V – Vintage – Pre 54 engines, inclusive of all Ford flathead V8’s

L – Late – 1954 and later engines

 

4 – 4 Cylinder

6 – 6 Cylinder

8 – 8 Cylinder

U – Unlimited Cylinders

 

B – Blown – Supercharger or Turbo

 

F – Flathead – ALL valves in block, no OHV conversions

 

R – Roadster – Open top factory cars. Roof chops allowed, top must be down.

C – Closed Car – Fixed roof factory cars. Roof chops allowed.

M – Modified – Open top special & shortened bodies, including any non-factory bodies.

S – Streamliner – Closed car special & shortened bodies, including any non-factory bodies.

K – Full Body – Factory cars post 1934. All body styles, roof chops allowed. Full fenders must be fitted.

 

The cars are marked with the class that they are competing in, as can be seen below

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Racing began and ran flawlessly into the afternoon with somewhat of a breeze, but thankfully no rain to speak of.

As you can see one of the downsides of beach racing is the clean-up, but I’m pretty sure that was the least of the competitors’ worries in comparison to the sheer joy of blasting down the course in search of that elusive record time, or just out for the fun of it all.

Saturday night again brought heavy rain and an early start on Sunday, once again the pre-racing parade down to the beach added to the spectacle, even the Police turned up!

The VHRA team did an excellent job in getting the course and pits set up for Sundays racing despite the adverse weather conditions. As you would expect the pits were once again a hive of activity with all the usual pre-race tweaks being carried out.

The rain again kept away on the whole during the early part of the day but the wind was considerably stronger than Saturday. This however did not discourage the competitors from attacking the course with the same gusto as on Saturday. From a spectator perspective traction appeared to have improved.

42

Some folks needed a bit of a helping hand to get up to the line!

The full racing programme was just about complete when the worst rain of the racing days hit the beach, but everyone put a brave face on it and all runs were completed.

All that was left was for all the cars that had congregated at the end of the track to drive back down the beach in “run for home” fashion. Even though it was raining this was a fitting spectacle to complete an excellent event. Roll on next year!

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