Thousands flock to Orewa for love of cars

The festival celebrates all cars, caravans, motorbikes or trikes of American origin as well any made before 1978.

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The rumble of engines livened up Ōrewa on Anniversary Weekend, when around 500 hot rods cruised into town for the 11th annual Rodders Beach festival, held from January 24 to 26.

Co-organiser Sharon Morris says just like last year, an estimated 50,000 people attended the event, braving the heat that continued to head upwards towards 30°C.

While the total amount raised at the annual Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust fundraiser has not yet been tallied, the high turnout has organisers hoping that last year’s total of $60,000 could be reached again. This was the highest amount raised in the event’s history, and enough to pay for a year’s worth of helicopter rescues in Rodney and the Hibiscus Coast.

The event is free for the public to attend, and raises money through car entries, appeal boxes and several auctions, which this year included a Rodders Festival-themed beer bowser that sold for $2750.

There was plenty of opportunity for enthusiasts to view the hot rods, including at Friday’s Vintage Picnic at Ōrewa Reserve, and Sunday’s Show ’n’ Shine where the Hibiscus Coast Highway turns into an impressive car show.

Aside from the cars, entertainment and events including the Miss Hibiscus Vintage pageant and the new Vintage Bake-off were a feature, as well as plenty of musical performances.

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