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The NSRA Supernationals – a different perspective
It seems ages ago now that the NSRA Supernationals took place at Old Warden in Bedfordshire. Much has already been written about the event, so we thought we’d take a different approach now the dust has settled and see what the organisers had to say about it. After all, this is the first Supernationals event to be run by the new NSRA committee, voted in last year. Here’s how club Chairman, Darren Roberts, responded to the questions we put to him.
How was your first Hot Rod Supernationals event?
It more or less went to plan. The pre-event organisation work was relatively simple and straightforward, as we were working towards a fixed format, but we were stretched for manpower during the event. We started setting up on Tuesday, I got there on Wednesday, and we all left by late Monday afternoon after we’d removed all of the litter which people leave and various other items. You just wouldn’t believe what we have to clear up – like buckets of poo!
Is there anything you would like to change now you’ve had time to assess the event?
We have quite a few ideas in different areas that we would like to try next year. I can’t tell you what they are just yet, as they will need to be discussed at our next meeting.
Was the turnout as good as you’d expected?
We had a great turnout of people and cars. The rod run to Santa Pod was well supported and the showground on Sunday was very busy. Again, I can’t give you figures right now.
Did the event operate at a loss or break even?
What I can say is that the club is in a stronger financial position today that it was 12 months ago – I believe we are on a much stronger footing.
What do you think of the venue and how the event ran?
We really like the venue and have no desire to change it. I’m really pleased with what we managed to achieve over the weekend. People have been telling us all year that security – or the lack of it – at Billing, for example, was spoiling the event for many of our visitors. We made it a priority to improve the situation at Billing and employed a new security company. As far as I am aware, there were no instances of theft at Billing [this year], which helped people relax and enjoy the event. We adopted the same philosophy for the Supernationals – not that theft is an issue – but more on the basis of ensuring the potential problem never arises. We had a new security company in place and it all seemed to run relatively smoothly. As a result, people were relaxed and the atmosphere was really great throughout the weekend.
So what were the major highlights for you as organisers?
Personally, I enjoyed chatting the night away with friends into the wee small hours of the morning. It was great to meet Jimmy Shine and discover he is a really nice, genuine guy with nerves just like the rest of us. I think Jimmy giving away the prizes was another major plus for the event, and the atmosphere was great too – if you have no atmosphere you have no event, in my opinion.
I’d like to thank everyone who came to the event, Santa Pod for allowing us to take the cruise up to the track, Jimmy Shine for meeting so many rodders and answering their questions – often the same ones over and over again – John Reid and John Price for the commentary, and the hard-working NSRA crew for making the event such a huge success.
Interview & photos: Andy Kirk
Ian Burton's steel '33 Ford took Participants Choice at the event. Ian opted for a smooth contemporary look rather than the current 'in vogue' traditional theme. Apparently the fenders and running boards are hand made - a lot of work
Rear lights run in thin strips at the bottom of the apron
Neil Tadman stitched up the red leather interior complete with Ostrich skin inserts
Exceptionally clean and uncluttered engine bay hides a Chevy Tunnel Port Injection motor
This injected '32 was one of our favourites with a great trad look and stance. It belongs to Craig Dixon
One of the nicest trucks on show was this fab Chevy
Dave Bennett's '33 Coupe was built by Dave Haskell in a traditional '60s show car theme.
There's a warmed over, tri-power-equipped 331 cube Cadillac motor sitting between the rails of the red metalflake coupe which is finished off externally with striping by Ed Wimble
Inside (and sadly the pic doesn't do it justice) is another Neil Tadman interior stitched up with white pearl cloth pleats
Now does this car break down a lot or does it have the neatest tool kit you could image? - We think the latter
The detailing isn't confined to the trunk either on this stand out '32 owned by John Bradley
This Hemi in a Ford Pop seemed to fit a treat - we're assuming it's a Daimler lump though those rocker covers look of Chrylser origin?
Another rod which took our eye was this uncluttered '34 with simple and effective graphics
There's nothing like a cool wagon for hauling the parts and this mildly customised example was very tidy
Snakepit headers (or have they just melted) on this Dearborn '32
Expertly applied flames on Brian Howlett's Chevy
This Rover V8-powered fad T was originally built some 30 years ago. It's been resurrected and is now for sale
This Pontiac custom caught our eye with its beautifully smooth bodywork
John Proctor's blown' Daimler Hemi-powered Model Y was fresh out and had a tough yet diminutive look about it
Nick Williams was there with his cool T along with brother Kev, who is now building a budget Roadster
Andy Smith's fresh out '40 Ford pick-up picked up a Top 10 prize
Neil Hems' little Thames van was another winner