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NASC Street Rod Nationals - more popular than ever

British tin made up a fair proportion of the cars on display.  We particularly liked this pro-street Cortina

The 33rd Street Rod Nationals organised by the National Association of Street Clubs (NASC) took place last weekend at the now established venue of Trinity Park (Suffolk County Showground) outside Ipswich.  Now in its fourth year at this excellent venue, the event continues to grow, and in anticipation of higher numbers, the NASC reorganised the showground space to provide a bigger display area.


We must admit it’s been a couple of years since we last attended this premier NASC event and were bowled over by the sheer number of cars, bikes, vans, customs, American cars, VWs and classics on display.  The event certainly lived up to its premise of uniting a variety of different automotive clubs, but somehow we couldn’t help feeling a little misled by the title of the event “Street Rod Nationals” when it looked as if hot rods made up only about 50 per cent of the entry.   Having spoken with Mark Ashman about this, he mentioned that the event is generally referred to as the “Nats” and it has always encompassed a wide variety of vehicles from rods to customs to muscle cars and classics.  They would not be renaming the event. 

This lovely 40s Ford and the chopped and channelled coupe were new to us

As for the weekend itself, we attended on Sunday but talked to others who had been there for the whole weekend.  Apparently the cruise down to the Felixstowe sea front on Saturday was universally praised and now seems to be something of an event highlight – not surprising really when you consider the single file line-up of  702 cars which made it to the promenade.  The route to get there took a different path this year at the request of the local villagers in Trimley-St Mary.  All through the village and on the surrounding roads and lay-bys, people were sat in their deckchairs admiring the huge convoy of cars as they drove past.  The cruise must be something of a logistical nightmare for the organisers, but is no doubt aided by the excellent relationship the NASC holds with the local police. 

They don't come much tougher than this heavily tubbed '57 Chevy.  It was beautifully finished

Adding to the occasion was the bright sunny weekend weather which extended into the show ‘n’shine on Sunday.  This factor no doubt contributed to the huge public turnout - in excess of 12,000 by all accounts. At 1.30pm the showground was at bursting point with 2,700 vehicles on display and owners who arrived later wanting to show off their cars were advised to park up outside the arena and walk in. “The event continues to grow year on year,” explained Mark Ashman.  “We increased the size of the showground but still ran out of space, so we need to have another rethink for 2008.”    

Part of the impressive collection of custom bikes

There was plenty to see, not just the wide variety of vehicles on the showground, but in the choppers and bobbers display and the line-up of old stock cars from the Historic Oval Racing Association – which included one 1934 Ford Tudor sedan! 

This '34 Ford was imported just a few years ago and made to resemble an early British stock car

There was the usual selection of hot rod traders selling everything from parts to magazines and new this year in a separate marquee was a live band - the Cadillac Kings with harmonica player Gary Potts - who played to an appreciative audience.

All in all, the event proved a great success for spectators and organisers alike.  The fact that the event was previewed on national television on Saturday wouldn’t have harmed attendance figures for Sunday either – a great job by all concerned.

As for the winners, well Steve Fletcher's fabulous Ford woody took "Best of Show" and fellow Yorkshire men Louis Turner and Phil Mallas also scored with their respective '34 coupes.  We should have a full list of other winners for you shortly.  

Story & photos: Andy Kirk

It's amazing how you can change the character of a car with a great lowering job

'34 Fords seem to be very much in-vogue at the moment

This looks very much like Stuart Story's '35 5-window coupe with a different number plate?

We remember seeing the immaculate black Chevy truck when it debuted several years ago.  It's just as nice  and now for sale at £25,000

Another tasty pro-street style Chevy

This chopped five-window on whitewalls looked sharp

Not sure if this was an original and expensive SS396 or a clone. Either way it was immaculate

This 50s Ford was shown at the NSRA swap meet in March and seems to have melted since then

Show winners line-up for prize-giving - they included Louis Turner and Phil Mallas with their lovely '34 coupes  

This lovely coupe was tucked out of the way and we almost missed it

Judging from the scrawl on the tailgate, this Model A sold at the show.  The asking price was over £3,000

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