as we rounded the small picturesque bridge, that sort of announces the start of the Rod camping area, we were greeted by a sea of Rodded Trucks, Rods and Yanks. Some had set up camp and were doing the cool one and a deckchair thing. While others were hurriedly trying to get camp set up so they could join them, to watch the other Rods arrive. Us being the caravan club tried to find a suitable place out of the way so as not to take up a prime spot that a Rod owner was more deserved of, er also my wife wanted us to be near, water, showers and toilets. We soon got settled had a cool one or three and set out on a reccy mission to suss the layout and see what was about. It really does make my stomach turn over with excitement when I see Rods on the move. It's another world, Bikers may stick a finger up at society where we have our own world, that society looks into with a strange look on it's face, as far as cars are concerned that is, we live in another Universe for sure. As we walked round, (whole family), there were more cars arriving or just cruising. I haven't done a Friday at Billing so this was a real eye opener for me to see it evolve into the packed venue it is by Saturday. Some I spoke to had been there since Wednesday.
It was great just seeing all the cars arriving or just driving by. My 2yr old Grandson, loves my Motorbike and Truck and shouts Hot Rod, Hot Rod every time he sees one, which always makes me smile he sounds so enthusiastic. A thought came over me when I was looking at all the fender-less cars. Man how do we get away with it? I just do not know how, but I sure as hell am glad we do, they look so so cool. Steam Roller tyres may be a problem, but surely a pizza cutter crossply don't cause a problem do it? The argument goes something like, they aren't an MoT failure nor are they necessary for it, they are C & U and the law says a suitable construction to keep Mud and spray down. So if it isn't muddy or raining the weather conditions are doing the job, so mudguards/fenders are only needed in the rain. I rest my case me-lud! Long may fenderless Rods Reign. Me I would be to scared of a pull, so though I would love one, mine would have full fenders. *soft git* Well the hottest of days I can remember was slowly cooling down now as the Sun was setting, I knew I had over done it, but it was to late as by now my skin was already tingling. So the cold of the night was very refreshing... aahhhhh that feels nice..
We had a bbq for our evening meal and the dryness of the days heat was finally being quenched with several very cold cans of Foster's.. I had to leave my usual tipple of Stella at home, as a night and day session on that loony juice... who knows what may happen. 5 cans and it is like someone takes the top of your head, and scrabbles all ya brain up, then slams the top back down with a Kabboom!!! So best stay on the cooking Lager while here eh.. Moi sensible.. *hum?* it would certainly seem so.
As dusk fell, some cars started to rumble into the show field, while others were still cruising slowly round the camp site. We all went over to the Marquee see what was going on... and to be fair not a lot was? The Disco sounded loud and excellent quality, the music though was another story and made me cringe with embarrassment..... yep it was crap Ha Ha. That aside there were some nice Rods lined up on the field by the marquee and some cool looking humans, just enjoying the evening crack, not sure if they liked the music if they did then Hey Ho who am I to disagree.
We walked back to where we were camped the long way and spent the rest of the night in our Marquee and believe it or not, this must of been the first time ever we never had the security come and tell us to make less noise.. Must of been the mixture of the Hot day and great outdoors air, that made us retire early to bed at only 1:30am, I am starting to worry now, early nights, weak beer, forgetting what people say to me... oh sheeet were is it heading.
Woke up nice and fresh Saturday morning, ready for a serious bit of Hot Rodding.
I wanted to get a closer look at a few of the Rods and Trucks. Spend a bit of time chatting to a few of the owners, and maybe, just maybe, a drive of one, or two or three.
I was going to deliberately stay off the beer until I had driven a few Rods at least. But the thing with having all your family with you, is you cant go anywhere until everyone is ready. Meaning showered, eaten and pruned.. When there are 6 of you, 3 being women + 2 kids this was going to take some time.
My misses has this ritual to that she just cant open a door and shut it behind her, she sort of does this Hokey Kokey thing, where she sets off, you go out the door, she is following then, she goes back in?? You wait outside for at least 4 more repeats of this Hokey Kokey dance until she finally does come out and shuts the door behind her.
While I waited for our brood to get ready, Dusty asked if I would like a cruise round in his 32 Jalopy, I jumped at the chance. I had forgotten just how cool and just how mad a Rod really is. It sure does rumble hard especially for a RV8. It felt great peering out the chopped screen and just soaking up the whole experience.. How great must it be tooling round in a Top Rod, (sorry Dusty not meant as an insult ya know what I mean)...
It wasn't until 11:15am that my family were all ready to go for a look round, we managed to look round a few of the traders, family ones that is, not Rod ones, we went anti clockwise and passed all the Rod ones strangely enough. It was great to see the Chopper Club there, they had some fantastic looking Chops on show, showing a few different styles which was refreshing.
Sunday. Show ‘n’ Shine.
When we arrived at the top end of the showfield and looked down, I could not believe my eyes, the sheer amount of cars was truly mind blowing.. I have never seen a showfield so chocker, Rods, Trucks Kustoms, Yanks and a few odd balls. But mostly real nice good quality stuff, hardly any Kak, and with such a massive amount of cars that is a true show of the respect this Run has generated over the years.. Also I guess because its held further down south and coupled with real nice weather that must of helped swell the ranks..
We as a family had a long look round, it sure is great letting, the likes of my Son his wife Jenny and my Grandson see what I am into first hand. My son and his wife seemed to be really impressed by the quality and workmanship on so many of the Rods on display. But the heat was getting to them and they wanted to get back home early, so they left and we started a 2nd circuit taking in the Trades stands. I bumped into Ginner and really wanted to pick his amazing paint working brain. He told me about his latest work, which was a Tangerine coloured 39 Ford and how it just came in for some front suspension work and he ended up doing the whole caboodle.. He is one of the coolest guys in Hot Roding, mad as a box of frogs but more talent than Van Gough! He aint on his own mind you in UK Hot Rodding talent, but he sure is up there with the best that's for sure. I gleamed some tips on how to attack my Truck body prep when the time comes.. but I think I need to bend his lug a lot more yet before I will be happy about doing my old slapper of a Truck.. But he was in a rush to catch up with his mates and my gang had long gone... so it was short and sweet but very helpful..
There were quite a few more Bikers there with the Chopper Club and they looked quite at home amongst the Rods and equally tattooed Rodders, I bet they were impressed.. I know I was. Not really a lot else to say?.... it was friggin Hot, it was packed, it had an electric Funday feel to it. There were some beautiful looking women walking round...but shhhh the wife was with me most of the time. I bought some parts from Geordie Paul, enquired about some more parts coming through Kerry Tate, looked at some amazing cars then decide it was time to bugger off home really I was sad to leave, don't know why? I almost had a tear in my eye? Can you remember as a kid when you went on holiday for a couple of weeks, and you cried when you had to leave well it was like that I took one long last look back and the site of all the Rods lined up or starting to head of home, was just so amazing, I think that was what did it.
I dream of coming next year in mine, I hope I make a good job of it, so it can stand shoulder to shoulder with the others that were there and I don't have to hide it away, funny what wizzes though ya head when you start getting a bit emotional...
Again I didn't feel I did everything I wanted to this time either, loads of people I wanted to spend time with I never did, loads of cars I wanted to look at properly and talk with their owners about.. hey maybe next time, bye bye Billing see you next year *sob* Ha Ha.
Photos by Andy