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NSRA Fun Run Debut for Cool New Rides


7.6.05.  It’s been 33 years since the first Billing Fun Run took place at Billing Aquadrome, Northants and the National Street Rod Association continued with their proven format for this year’s event, which took place over the weekend of June 3-5.

An automotive mecca for all American car enthusiasts, but with a firm emphasis, naturally enough, on hot rodding, the event always seems to produce a mouth-watering selection of cars and is seen as the natural venue to debut new and significant hot rod creations.

Rods that fell into this category were numerous, but perhaps the most significant was Keith and Sharon Murrell’s bright red, state of the art ’37 Ford Cabriolet - which looked so good it could have come straight from the Oakland Roadster Show - and rightly walked away with Participant's Choice. 

Adrian Smith and Lynn Stafford's vastly different but equally well executed all-steel five window Model A coupe with gold paintwork, chromed steel rims and whitewalls, time-warped back to a vision of the 1960s East coast hot rodding scene.  Then there was the traditionally executed red ’29 Model A pick-up of Bank Manager Paul Rees.  He built the car himself and walked off with the So Cal Pick of Show award.

Adding a truly international element to the show was the stripped down lakes racer of So Cal Speed Shop’s Tony Thacker and Jimmy Shine.  The car has been shipped over from California for this event and the forthcoming Goodwood Festival of Speed.  It has already gone 201 mph at Bonneville but in a quest to go even faster, the car will be put in the Motor Industry Research Association’s wind tunnel in Nuneaton for aerodynamic testing, conducted by hot rod enthusiast and automotive stylist Pete Stevens.  It will then go back to the US for further record attempts.

We asked Tony Thacker, former Custom Car editor and now long time US resident what he thought about the standard of cars on display at Billing.   “There are some great cars here, I particularly like the execution of some of the English Model B’s, and it’s even more impressive to see such a big turnout when you consider how much more money cars cost to build over here, plus the cost of living and the price of gas – roughly $8 per gallon!  There are some very dedicated hot rodders in the UK and there’s so much more variation at shows over here compared with the US.” 


TOP TEN (no particular order)

Ford Pilot                    R. Jarrett
37 Ford Coupe             Andy Crocket
35 Ford Coupe             Mark Miller
46 Chevy Pickup          Steve Fletcher
1930 Model A              Bob Booth
34 Ford Coupe             Ian Burton
32 Sedan                    Simon Phillips
Consul Capri                Lorina Felicien
32 Roadster                James Coring
58 Fleetside pickup       Stewart Revill

SO-CAL Speed Shop pick, chosen by Tony Thacker
Recipient: Paul Rees, Model A Pickup

Dan Fink Metalworks pick, chosen by Steve Rickets
Recipient: Merv Barnett, ’32 5-Window Coupe

Recipient: Keith Murrell, 1937 Ford Roadster

Chopped UK Model B above with suicide doors and different shape roofline above screen, compared with US version below 

The smooth and knowledgable voice of John Price (speaking) with Tony Thacker (left) 
and the NSRA's David Biggadyke (right) at Sunday's prize-giving

Low riding 1957 RanchWagon with Torq Thrusts was fab

Combining traditional and modern styling in Nigel Lockley's '34 Ford Coupe

Model B pick-up powered by a fabulously-dressed Chrysler Hemi

T'Bird with classic '60s custom appeal 

This perfect looking Oldsmobile was for sale at around £7500 - seemed a bargain for such a straight and clean example

Classic Eastern cardboard styling meets sledgehamer motivation from the West - one hot Trabant! 

The ultimate accessory for a classic Chevy

A complete road-going Fiat Topolino - a rare sight anywhere now - even if it does have V8 power

When you paint a car black the body preperation has to be spot on.  This Chevy Sedan Delivery is truly flawless

Ian Burton's super clean '34 was a winner

Story & photos:   Andy Kirk

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