Last weekend, I accompanied my dad to the Beaulieu Hot Rod and Custom Drive In Day at the National Motor Museum as a special treat for Father’s Day. The event showcased a wide array of unique vehicles; shining classics were parked alongside roughed-up rat rods and a handful of steampunk creations even made an appearance! As an avid lover of anything with an engine, this event was completely and utterly my dad’s cup of tea and although I wouldn’t necessarily class cars as a noteworthy interest of mine, I also had a lovely time nonetheless. I thought it would be nice to share our little day trip here on the blog and talk about some of the things we got up to!
When my dad initially came home raving about the show a few weeks ago, I knew straight away that I wanted to get creative with a classic look for the event; there’s something really exciting about dressing up and this sounded like the perfect opportunity to try out some 1940s victory rolls! With this in mind, the night before the show I set out to teach myself the basics of victory rolling and in the end I was actually fairly pleased with how it turned out! So, with my hair rolled up and my red lipstick on, I jumped in the car and we headed off in the direction of the New Forest.
Upon arriving at the National Motor Museum, it became apparent very quickly that the event was going to be packed; we had chosen to get to the venue as early as possible, but people were already eagerly flocking to the entrance. Once inside, it was easy to see why: hundreds and hundreds of classic and custom cars were parked side by side in the museum’s grounds, accompanied by their proud owners and skilled engineers. My dad’s eyes glinted with excitement and I have to admit that although I’m not a car fanatic, it was inspiring to see so much creativity interwoven with historical preservation. We began making our way around the vehicles and it wasn’t long before my dad found his favourite: a red Ford T-Bucket. He’s wanted to take on the challenge of building one of these for a long time and he was so enthralled by it that he even asked me to stand next to it for a photograph!
Around noon, when we had finished admiring a steampunk caravan composed of 90% recycled material, my dad and I decided to head towards the museum’s cafe to grab some lunch. However, on the way we became distracted by an engine demonstration of some
slightly incredibly scary hot rods, courtesy of the Hard Up Garage. By far the most formidable vehicle was Hades, which literally spurted fire out of its exhausts and made my ear drums tremble at the slightest rev of the engine (so, no guesses as to why they called it Hades). I was definitely glad of some lunch and a sit down after being positively shaken up by that monster!
After recharging with a sandwich and a cool drink in a shady spot away from the hot sun, my dad and I headed back out to enjoy more of the show as various attractions in and out of the numerous cars kicked off. I watched singers and other musical acts feature on the main stage, danced along with some lindy hoppers teaching basic steps to unassuming members of the general public, and admired professional hairdressers creating much better victory rolls than my shoddy attempt! In addition to this, countless stalls selling refreshments and vintage bits and bobs hummed with a busy stream of customers. There really was something for everyone (a smooth move by organisers to keep the many bored wives and children entertained, I expect!).
By mid-afternoon, my dad and I both agreed that we had seen everything on show and it was just about time to head home. However, before doing so, my dad exclaimed that I had to have a photograph taken with my favourite car from the event. After much deliberation, I decided on a beautiful yellow Ford that had reminded me a little of a car from one of my favourite novels: The Great Gatsby. Although many of the cars had a strict ‘no touching’ notice, the owner of this particular vehicle was generous enough to let me sit inside it!
All in all, we both had the best time at the Hot Rod and Custom Drive In Day. My dad loved his Father’s Day treat and (now a week on) is still announcing occasionally that it “really was the best car show [he’s] been to yet!”. The only thing left to say is a massive thank you to the National Motor Museum and everyone else who was involved in organising such a wonderful day out!
Lots of love, Alissa