View Full Version : Victory Wheelers Hayling Reunion, 16th May

29-05-2010, 08:08 PM
At Wheels Day earlier this year, I was handed a leaflet advertising this event, but as usual I filed it in the bin afterwards and promptly forgot all about it... until just after Stoneleigh, when I did a quick search on the Interweb. Fortunately, I wasn't too late...

Back in the late '80s I remember going to this event down on Hayling seafront in my little 1966 Vauxhall Viva. Back then the members of the Portsmouth-based Victory Wheelers would congregate at the East end of the seafront road and use the long straight for impromptu street racing and burnouts. It was all generally low-key and good natured, but after a few complaints from local residents the police put a stop to it and the show died out. Hence the “Hayling Reunion”, given extra poignancy this year by the recent death of club chairman “Big Al”, an all round nice guy and a hot rodder of the highest order, by all accounts.

I talked Sean into getting the Javelin out, but he wanted to give it a wash and brush-up before setting off on the short 20 mile trip to the island. Mindful of the rain due later, I headed off early to make the most of the bright sunshine, arriving at the Inn on the Beach shortly after 9:00 am. I was immediately marshalled into the free hot rodders parking (the beachfront car park is pay and display) by a very enthusiastic club official who was greatly taken by the Green Machine. Apparently his cousin used to work as a laminator at ADD in Southampton and he was lucky enough to be able to visit the factory. Anyway, this is what I found hiding amongst the sand dunes...


Crazy T-bucket attracted a lot of attention...


A variety of '30s Fords, coupe, sedan, supercharged '57 Bel Air...


Pontiac basking in the watery sunshine – but the rain clouds were gathering in the West...


Side view of the '57 Chevy. This was one awesome machine...


I was parked next to a Chevy pickup owned by JJ and her hubby. JJ is also a keen trike enthusiast, with a machine based on the mechanicals from a Reliant three-wheeler.



Bringing back memories of my old HA Viva, this one was motivated by Ford power (hence the Escort wheels). Still, its one way of keeping this now extremely rare car on the road. The Viva Owners Club reckon there are probably less than 50 cars left in the UK, mainly due to their appalling rust reputation, but also due to the popularity of the front beam for making hot rods!

(four bolts and you get a crossmember with engine mounts, double wishbone suspension, transverse leaf spring and rack and pinion steering, all on a common assembly.)



A couple of Pro-Street Willys coupes, the latter showing off its Halibrand quick-change differential and Lions dragstrip numberplate – very evocative!


Classic English hot rod – Ford Popular, big V8 conversion, Woolfie slot mags, no mud guards. Oh yes, and no exhaust! I watched this car drive in, it was surprisingly quiet...


Late '60s Porsche 912 is a regular sight at local shows. Beautiful condition, chrome accents, Fuchs alloys and somehow more credibility than any number of late '80s 911 SCs...


I believe this is based on a Morris Eight – but looks just like a classic circle-track racer. Very at home on the sand...


It may say Clockwork Orange on the side, but this bizarre vehicle is in fact Andy Saunders “Runaground”, a Reliant three-wheeler (what else) with a speedboat hull on top. Driven by Cap'n Birdseye, with First Mate and Ship's Dog. Ahoy there me hearties!


Somewhere under there is a 1950's Ford Consul... I like it.


Words fail me. I have no idea why it is called Horse. Unless the singular reference indicates the amount of power available from the two cylinder Fiat engine. It is in fact a sadder version of the VW trikes that use the entire rear body from a Beetle and stick some forks on the front. This is based on the tiny Fiat 127 instead...


A surf-dude's very nice Beetle.


Another well-known local car is this very tasty 1970 Ford Torino Cobra, with the signature rear window louvres (in this case to shade the rear seat passengers from the heat of the sun) and Magnum 500 styled steel wheels. Love the Beast... :oops2: that was an Aussie Falcon...


Another Morris Eight hot-rod, this time with a cuddly coupe body :group:


Hardcore, you know the score. Chrome Gestapo helmet with Mooneyes says it all :D



And the prize for the most hot-rodded Beetle goes to... this fabulous machine. Do you think its running swing axles, perchance...?


Full-length GP buggy, based on a late model Beetle. Chequer-plate trim on the outside of the “bathtub” is a nice finishing touch. I can't say I am a big fan of the full-length buggy, but it does mean you avoid having to shorten the floorpan, a big plus when it comes to keeping your original registration...



This lovely A-series Opel Manta had me drooling. Pearlescent grey metallic paint and period-pukka German ATS alloys made this one of my favourite cars of the day. Even the pedestal-mounted Vitaloni Sebring mirrors look fantastic!

While I was taking a break, Nova Nigel appeared – he lives on the island and came down in his '69 Beetle 1500 runabout. So we had a good natter in the Nova, using it as a sun lounger with a parasol, a role it performs surprisingly well. Manky Monkey spotted us there...


After Nigel left I wondered around a bit more, but the wind and persistent drizzly rain was getting on my nerves a bit, so with no change likely before the end of the day I decided to make a move, departing with a group of customs and hot rods. I kept the canopy open until I reached the road, which attracted a fair amount of attention, but hey! If you've got an opening canopy, you might as well flaunt it!




Manky Monkey

What? You want to know what happened to Sean? Actually, so did I, as he didn't turn up. It turned out that after spending two hours cleaning the Jav, the battery was flat, and then the rain started...


29-05-2010, 10:48 PM
Very nice pics. I'm finding the lowered chopped vw look growing on me. Also like the straight pipes on the classic English hot rod.

Completely concur with driving with the canopy up. Might as well show off the most unique feature of your ride!

30-05-2010, 02:32 AM
Awesome collection of photos & machines. Though the 'runaground' is certainly questionable. lol

'Full length' buggies are the only type you can build here in NSW, Australia, and in a few other states I believe too. It's illegal to shorten the chassis as it weakens the structure of the chassis. Probably due to poorly done 'home jobs' that caused trouble in accidents is my guess. That said, there's a company up in sunny Queensland that make the classic Manx buggy, both the short & full length buggy versions.

The bug rod look is very popular down here, I've seen a few at local shows. There was a nice bug rat rod around a few years ago, saw it frequently on the road and the owner wasn't afraid of the loud pedal either. Saw it once startle a V8 Commodore owner at a set of lights once, he took off, the Bug just squatted down and launched down the road, easily out accelerating the commodore. I don't think the commodore driver was really racing him, but he did take off pretty quickly. Not as quick as the Bug. And it was running a Bug donk, I know that much.

I often drive with the roof up, just when negotiating from my place, through the car park of the local shopping centre (which I live straight behind), and out to the main road. I think the locals are used to it now, but I still get plenty of looks. :D

Big Birds Car
30-05-2010, 07:06 AM
That 57 does look the dogs. I remember going to a few Hayling island do's in the early 80's. On one occassion a group called the low flyers went for a drive to the sea front from the camping area and an hour or so later returned with every one of them having painted their cars sky blue with household gloss paint. A couple of them were unsure if to do it or not but were told it would "wash off" however that was a lie and was an absolute sod to remove when they eventually got home. I also remember a few of the rods getting tickets for having no fenders back then as well, at the time it was a VERY grey area, now you can legally drive without in good weather but should have the means to cover up if it rains.

30-05-2010, 06:15 PM
now you can legally drive without in good weather but should have the means to cover up if it rains.

Ah - I wondered how they were getting away with it. Thanks BBC! So as long as they carry a means of covering the wheel when it rains, they can run without in the dry? Makes sense... in fact, its so logical I'm surprised the authorities agreed to it!