Established 1976


The Vintage Hot Rod Association attracted plenty of interest on the Pendine sands with their 4th annual speed trial. This 1934 Ford Model A leaves the beach after the first runs and before the tide comes back in.

Johnny Thomas mentioned to me last year that he had been to Pendine to watch the vintage hot rods and how much he had enjoyed it. Now young Thomas is definitely a dyed in the wool veteran enthusiast, but I thought that if Johnny enjoyed it that much, it must be fun so I will have to go.
We did remember to check the dates and make a note to go, which we were able to do on the Saturday straight from the Cothi Brunch. I had arranged to meet up with Keith, Adrian and Patrick Burns at the services, where we were joined by Howard Spence in his pretty TVR. When we arrived at the Cothi Bridge we bumped in to Paul and Ryan Radcliffe with a friend of theirs in another Chevrolet who were also going to Pendine. We were joined shortly afterwards by Gordon and Wendy in their Morgan, so we would be quite a convoy to Pendine.
The journey down to the beach and entry on to the sands was a lot better than I had expected. I thought that a Saturday event would have been rather crowded. Not bad at all. We were soon parked up on the sand and set about looking at all the vehicles on display. The only problem was that we had been told that we wouldn’t be able to see much as the paddock was out of bounds unless you had a pass, and they were all sold out. So we wandered along the beach to see what we could see.

Sedately styled Ford Hot Rod.

Not so sedate Rat Rod ‘La Bomba’

There were lots of Hot Rods that were not competing parked on the sands for everyone to look at, all shapes and types from immaculate street rods to rat rods and oily rag cars.
The level of handmade custom parts was quite remarkable and well executed even on some of the scruffier examples.

Handmade ‘bomb’ fuel tank.

 One-off bonnet emblems.

When we arrived at the paddock fence, we noticed that you could walk around the perimeter until you got to a low safety fence parallel to the track being used and contrary to earlier info, you could in fact see quite a lot, and all for free!

Lined up ready to go at the start. Go! Scrabbling for grip on the sand

The Hot Rods are timed over a flying 110 yard course after a half-mile acceleration section. The course record from last year was 116.03mph achieved by a Ford Model A pickup. Like all good competitors, they were all trying to set a new record, a number of drivers made it in to the 100 club for the first time and overall record holder Matt Farrant raised his 2015 record to 117.02 mph, which was his first run on the Saturday. A pity we missed it, because the ones we did see later were certainly trying hard and pushing their cars to the maximum.

The three amigos. Three friends travelled together to Pendine to watch Babs on a
cold and windy day, in their Frazer Nash’s. As soon as the runs had finished for
the day, they jumped back into the cars and set off for home in the Midlands if I
remember, grinning from ear to ear.

© The Swansea Historic Vehicle Register 2009