I went to Chopped recently. It’s a hot rod and custom festival in Castlemaine. I’d never been before and had no idea what to expect, but I was hoping that it would turn out a bit like this video, and strangely enough it pretty much exactly was. Right down to the rain, mud and tattooed girls in 50’s garb. Except less German.
The relaxed feel of the place was liberating. The first thing I saw when I went in was a car drive past containing four guys, all sporting leather jackets and beers, with a fifth guy sitting on the boot, also drinking a beer. I didn’t see any officials telling people what to do, other than a guy waving his arms at the start of the dirt race track to start the drag races. The organization was basically “do whatever the fuck you want,” which seemed to work amazingly well.
The entrance rules are also pretty telling of what kind of event it was to be:
- + Pre 1965 traditional style rods and customs only
- + No billet wheels or accessories
- + No I.F.S on fenderless cars
- + Customs must be lowered and have a wheel alteration
- + 1960s and earlier mag wheels only
- + Race cars welcome
- + No VWs
- + Volksrods and era correct VW drag cars are welcome
- + Traditional style American and British choppers and bobbers welcome
- + No Patches, No Colours
‘Cause if there’s one thing that irks me, it’s a hot rod with a $20,000 set of machined wheels. To me, that really misses the point and it seems the organisers of Chopped are of a similar school of thought. Anyway, there were hundreds of cars- too many to photograph them all, but here are some highlights:
This rat pickup had a surprise in the tray. Or lack of tray.
My friend and I thought this was something European but had no idea what. Upon asking the owner we were told that it’s actually a 37 Chevy sloper with 7 inches cut out of the body but the roof left alone. The white balance in this photo is fucked. Deal with it.
This 1950 Ford deluxe coupe was left in bare metal finish. There has been some pretty impressive panel beating work done on this. At first I thought the whole body was custom, but it’s actually a restored body that must have had a huge amount of rust in it. Large areas have been patched, including the majority of the body lines. It’s so well done that you have to look closely to tell.
Note the speedholes in the front crossmember. (Edit: A more knowledgeable mate of mine has informed me that it’s not the crossmember, it’s the axle).
“Lstrytd,” the hearse complete with pinstriped coffin inside about to race a Valiant. After it started to rain, the dirt track became a mud track and it was so slick that driving from one end to the other generally involved 5 or so direction changes and riding a motorbike was out of the question. When people got out of bogged cars, they had trouble standing without falling over. This didn’t stop people from racing, though.
Gallery below. Enjoy. 🙂