Victory Wheelers' Hotrod drive in day.


22nd June 2008

What a crackin’ day out!
Many thanks to the boys & girls of the Victory Wheelers for a very enjoyable day.

After the mudbath of last year's Wheelers show at Broadlands near Romsey, christened by some as Glastonbury for Rods, the club were on the lookout for somewhere a little more car friendly this year. And what better venue could you choose than Lord Montague’s Motor Museum at Beaulieu. It was perfect. Why has no-one staged a rod show here before?
The Wheelers had hoped for maybe 50 cars during the course of the day, but at the last count well over 260 had rumbled through the gates to enjoy the sunshine. Those arriving in customs were given a discount on the normal £15.50 Beaulieu entry fee, paying £10 per person. As well as the rod show, there was also the Motor Museum itself, the stately home, the gardens & the abbey to explore, plus the mono-rail & vintage bus rides, a children’s playground, a restaurant, the James Bond exhibition & of course, the Autoglym Art of Custom exhibition. The Mosquitos, fast becoming the Wheelers’ house band, played two sets during the course of the day & Lord Montague himself was on hand to present the trophies. What more could you want. A full day’s entertainment for a tenner & you get to park your rod up in the middle of it for all the World to admire. The paying public certainly seemed to enjoy the added attraction of so many rods & classics.
The Beaulieu management team were more than happy with the event, even turning a deaf ear to the spirited rolling burnouts of a few drivers as they left. There’s already talk of extending next year’s show to a 2 or 3 day camping affair, making use of Beaulieu’s extensive landscaped grounds. This is a perfect venue with the potential for the get-together to grow & grow. We’re looking forward to telling people in years to come that we were at the very first one.



The Wheelers were approached in early March to provide some hotrods for the press launch of The Art of Custom exhibition, but due to short notice and the season not having started we were unable to help out. However discussions led to an agreement to support Beaulieu with the Hot Rod and Custom Drive In day that they wanted to run in June.
The Wheelers were on site on Saturday evening for a club barbeque, the thinking being that it would be early to bed and up early ready for action on Sunday. However, jovial banter led to too much beer and wine being consumed, so the early start on Sunday was something of a struggle.
Sunday dawned grey, windy and with the threat of rain, so Wheelers’ spirits were not good, (hangovers not helping). By 8.o.clock though the sky was clearing and we were busy setting up, with the first vehicles arriving before 9.00.
By mid morning the place was filling up nicely, the sun was shining brightly, and Wheelers’ spirits were up and looking forward to a successful show. After all the hard work discussing the show with Beaulieu, and trying to promote the show as much as possible, it was fantastic to see such a great selection of rods, customs and classics taking part. Everyone seemed to be enjoying a relaxing day out, and it was certainly better than the mud bath of last year.
Lord Montague had agreed to present the prizes, and as he commented ‘Custom cars are one of the earliest concepts in the history of the motor car in that, before the advent of mass production, it could be said that every car was a custom car’.
For the category winners Victory Wheelers provided framed plaques, with Art of Custom Exhibition sponsors “Autoglym” providing a pack of their products for each and Beaulieu providing the Best of Show trophy, along with £100 and the offer of showing the winning vehicle in The Art of Custom exhibition.

The winners on the day were;

Best Custom
Derek Saunders – 1957 Chevy Truck

Best Commercial
Richard Noble – 1950 GMC Truck

Best American Classic
Keith Ellis – 1961 Corvette Roadster

Best Bike
Steve Holloway – Harley Chop

Best Hot Rod
Dave Sturgess – 1932 Ford Coupe

Best Victory Wheelers Entry
Terry Clifford – “Ratcatcher” Slingshot

Best of Show
Ken Mee – Fordson Gasser ‘Nitro Express’

Beaulieu management were very pleased with the way the show turned out, and we are awaiting their official feedback and a meeting to discuss our options for the future.
Thanks to everyone that came along and supported the event. If you have any feedback please drop an e-mail to

-Terry Clifford, VIctory Wheelers