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Then of course there’ve been all the people who kept us up with the play on the Street Rod Nationals their club/s were hosting.

Some years the Street Nats Preview columns may have only run for two or three months, but always good to read whether you were attending or not.

The most ambitious by far was the five Wellington area clubs who instigated Project 34 in conjunction with their staging of the ‘92 Nats in Masterton.

Project 34 was launched in the Feb 1991 issue of HRM and was a two-fold assignment, first to promote the Street Nats and secondly to showcase the build-up of a street rod conforming to new Ministry of Transport reg’s aimed at low volume vehicles.

Danny Neilson and Darryl Gates were the project managers.

In the Sept 1991 issue it was announced that Project 34 was to be the Lucky Door Prize at their ‘92 Nats.

One hell of an incentive to attend!

The rod’s build-up concluded in the June ‘92 issue with a colour pin-up, a review of the 16-month project, and announcing the winner, Karen Cursons of Upper Hutt.

She is still the registered owner of the rod today.

The magazine itself did produce a number of their own project cars.

The first, in 1971, was a ‘63 Renault Caravelle built to demonstrate how easy it was to modify and customise a car in NZ.

It may seem an unusual choice of model but it avoided any Ford-v-Chev rubbish.

It was in neutral territory.

Someone thought it was quite cool because it was even stolen from outside the magazine office.

Project Compact which first appeared in August ‘75 explained how to build a low-buck fast V8 sedan with superior handling.

November ‘77 was the first issue featuring their Street Machine Safety Theme based on a ‘73 Chrysler Regal coupe.

This was the era of the Starsky and Hutch look-alikes, but the project concentrated on comfort and superior handling, as well as power.

The biggie was Project T, first appearing in the January ‘73 magazine.

This project would have inspired more people to build a hot rod than anything else in the country.

The likes of Wild Honey and Vandal would have created a huge desire among many, but Project T actually showed you how to build one.

The step-by-step guide to building a T-bucket would have been the catalyst for the majority of buckets built in NZ.

The magazine developed a two-leaf plan and guide, and mailed out nearly 900 sets over the years.

In August ‘77 issue the T plans were updated under the heading “Project T Revival”.

Project T became “Project Track Roadster”with smallblock Plymouth in the November ‘78 issue.

The longest build-up series of them all was ‘ReinCarnation’ of a ‘39 deluxe Ford coupe, running through 52 issues from August ‘93 to May ‘98.

Originally Rob’s,it went to Ken Logan a mile away in Red Beach, Hibiscus Coast, 21 years to the month from when Rob beat Ken to buying it.

They’d been close friends all that time and still are.

It’s typical of so many liaisons.

Today Rob realises that the magazine is apart from the norm of publications, which generally produce a title to the unknown masses.

This is most likely because the mag has always been a single publishing concern run by rodders for rodders and drag racers plus customisers in our small dominion.

“It’s the opposite of others” Rob reckons, “because we’ve never been a publisher-to-reader syndrome. We are a fraternity.” 

On the subject of plans, the Aug 68/Sept 68 issues had a four-page article on how to build an Altered on a budget.

Dec 68/Jan 69 magazine contained scale drawings for an in-line 4 or 6 cylinder dragster,followed by plans for a V6 or V8 dragster in March‘69 magazine.

Just what you need today to build a Nostalgia front engined digger.

The features all had brilliant illustrations by Rob Campbell, which have a style very similar to that of Art Ward.

Makes you wonder if they may be the same person. People have been able to subscribe to HRM from day one.

The second issue contained a sub form that entitled you to six issues for eighteen shillings,post-free.

The magazine has never been retailed outside of NZ except for a brief flirtation in the late seventies to Australia.

But current subscribers are throughout Australia, Ireland, England, Bahrain, Scandinavia, the Netherlands, USA, Canada, and a number of European countries and around the South Pacific islands.

Subscribers are not necessarily all expat Kiwis, but folks who enjoy reading a magazine which has a point of difference from all other hot rod titles.

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New Zealand Hot Rod Magazine