HOT ROD SHOW: Nelson's Leslie Stobie with his 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster, modified from a four door into a three-window coup. Leslie was among those exhibiting at the 2017 NZHRA National Hot Rod Show over the weekend. Photo Jessie Johnston.

Hot rods take over Trafalgar


Nelson hot rod club, the Fifeshire Street Rodders, played host to this year’s NZHRA National Hot Rod Show, which saw more than 50 vehicles exhibited at Trafalgar Centre over the weekend.

Owners from all over the country came to Nelson to show off their customised cars, which were at various stages of their restoration or modification journey.

Stoke resident Leslie Stobie has spent the last 20 years working on his 1947 Chevrolet Fleetmaster and says the only thing on the whole car that hasn’t been modified is the firewall.

“It’s had 13 inches added to the door, four inches out of the length of the body, 4.5 inches out of the roof and the bonnet has been hinged sideways. ”

“The front grill has been handmade, the boots had 2.5 inches cut out of it, it sits on an HQ ute chassis, powered by a 454 Big-Block Chevy, Turbo 350 and Ford nine-inch rear end,” says Leslie.

But still, Leslie says the project is not finished yet as it needs some more panel work done to it to endure the car really shines.

Originally from Motueka, Leslie’s brother had suggested the car to him.

After a visit to see the “rusty Chevy that was probably heading to the tip,” Leslie purchased it and began modifications.

“I just like cars, this is the third Chevy that I’ve owned, but the first one that I’ve done this much work to, there’s not another one of these in the world,” says Leslie. “Currently, I’m also working on a 1949 Vanguard Stationwagon and a caravan.”

Fifeshire Street Rodders president Lex Chapman-Stone says the event received a great turn out from the public and hot rod owners, with some travelling from as far as Cromwell and Whangarei.

The event concluded with a prizegiving where Paul Bailey from Wellington received the People’s Choice award for his Dodge Challenger.

Judges also named him the overall winner of the the show, after scrutinising every inch of his vehicle.