Vintage & Classics

October hot rod races to once again pit vintage cars against sandy South Wales

This 1929 Ford Model A is driven by Matt Ferrant on the beach ahead of the annual London Concours and Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races.

Photo by James Mitchell

With track racing all by halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races October 3-4 dates on the calendar are something unique to look forward to.

The event sits squarely at the intersection of vintage vehicles and speed. On Pendine Sands, it's about hitting top speed rather than a short sprint.

At the event over 150 pre-1949 modified American cars meet on the beach to compete for class records and entry to the 100 mph club. One participant will be crowned "King of the Beach".

Malcolm Campbell Pendine Sands Crowds surrounding Sir Malcolm Campbell (1885 - 1948) on July 21, 1925 in his Sunbeam after he had broken the world record for the mile and kilometer at a speed of 150.368 mph on Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire. Photo by Getty Images

TheSands have a rich history when it comes to auto racing. The seven miles of shoreline that meets Carmarthen Bay in Southern Wales served as the host of the annual Welsh TT motorcycle event starting in 1922. Its firm, flat surface was considered straighter and smoother than most any major road at the time, making it an ideal setting for car racing.

Malcom Campbell, a British speed racing enthusiast, set the world land speed record of 146.16 mpg on the beach in his Sunbeam 350HP car nicknamed Blue Bird in 1924. That car now sits in the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu, Hampshire, England. Campbell would go on to set nine records through 1934 culminating in a run at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, which saw him become the first person to surpass 300 mph in a car.

The Vintage Hot Rod Association (VHRA) brought speed back to the sands starting in 2013 with their annual Hot Rod Races. Ahead of the races, several of the models will be shown off at the London Concours, slated for August 19-20, 2020.

According to a release, Matt Farrant, the three-time King of the Beach will be bringing his 1929 Ford Model A Roadster pick-up to display. The car is an early 1960s style street roadster. His goal is to run a 12-second quarter mile on a dragstrip. He's already clocked 119 mph on the sand. Despite being race-ready, the car serves valiantly during the year as a daily driver, often taking Farrant and his family on road trips.

Rebecca Dunn 1930 Ford Model A Rebecca Dunn has piloted this 1930 Ford Model A on the sand.Photo by James Mitchell

Rebecca Dunn, will bring her 1930 Ford Model A Coupe to the London Concours. The Model A is a mishmash of brands underneath. It has a Desoto Hemi 330 cu-in engine at its heart with Lincoln brakes, Buick finned drums, and other parts from Ford and Plymouth. According to a release, "On the sand, there are only two women who have managed to break the 100 mph barrier in their own cars and Rebecca is one of them."

Chris Rawlins has a 1932 Ford Streamliner that takes its styling cues from 1940s-era California dry lakes modified hot rods. It gets its power from a Ford Flathead V8 and has a Ford gearbox and rear axle. It features a modified canopy from a WW2 T6 Texan aircraft. For a number of years, Rawlins has pushed the limits of his hot rod, entering the 100 mph club and securing a number of class wins.

Tickets for the London Concours are now available and start at £40. The Pendine Sands Hot Rod Races are free to spectators.

Trending News

 
 

Supercharged V8 pickup

Watch the Ram TRX Lap the Nürburgring

The TRX looked awkward but completed the lap.

BTGDale via YouTube

The Ram TRX is a cartoonish truck with specs that would make most people shy away. Its size, sound, and imposing appearance live up to the hype laid out on the spec sheet, and its Hellcat-derived powertrain demands attention. The truck is one heck of an off-roader, too, but a recent YouTube video proves it can dance on a racetrack, too, though not as gracefully as the low-slung cars it passes.



The YouTubers took the TRX to the imposing Nüburgring in Germany to test its mettle on track. Unsurprisingly, the big Ram rolls over kerbs and is able to blast past several cars on the track. The biggest problem for the truck is its brakes, which end up cooked halfway through the lap. In between a few blasts of NSFW language, we can hear the driver note that his brake pedal is "about halfway to the floor," though he did retain some functionality after letting things cool off. The 6,400-pound truck would likely cook all but the most hardcore motorsport brakes.

The truck appears unmodified and looks to have just over 1,000 miles on the clock for the lap. Of course, the TRX looks about as at home on a track as a Mini Cooper would rock crawling, but the truck's 4.5-second 0-60 mph and 702 horsepower from its supercharged 6.2-liter V8 are more impressive than many sports cars.

Trending News

 
 

The Passport was lightly modified for competition.

Honda

Honda recently announced a line of off-road-oriented trims and packages for its vehicles. Called TrailSport, the trim brings rugged appearance upgrades to the Honda Passport and will eventually offer more performance upgrades for other vehicles in the automaker's catalog. To further prove its mettle in the off-road space, Honda built a 2022 Passport rally truck to compete in the American Rally Association race series. The truck debuted over the weekend in Michigan and had a reasonably successful run for its first time out.

2022 Honda Passport Two Honda engineers handled driving duties.Honda

Importantly, the Passport's drivetrain and suspension were left untouched for the rally. The 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6, nine-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and suspension in the rally vehicle are the same components that you or I would see if we bought a new Passport today. Honda did add a transmission fluid cooler, but even then, it's the unit that everyday buyers can get with the available towing package. The SUV's interior was stripped and modified for safety and performance.

2022 Honda Passport Honda is pushing deeper into the off-road with its TrailSport trims.Honda

Honda did upgrade the Passport's wheels and tires for the event by fitting 17-inch BRAID Winrace T rally wheels and Maxxis RAZR M/T or A/T tires. The automaker also made modifications to the SUV's underside with custom 1/8-inch thick aluminum oil pan and rear differential skid plates. High-density panels protect the fuel tank and other sensitive components, while Carbontech XP12 brake pads and high-temp racing brake fluid slow things down.

2022 Honda Passport The Passport's interior had to be stripped and modified for the event.Honda

The ARA National and Regional Championship Series events feature modified street vehicles that travel at speeds well in excess of 100 mph. The courses include gravel, dirt, mud, and snow, and cover hundreds of miles. The Honda Passport rally vehicle was first driven by two Honda engineers and ran in the top ten out of 42 teams. Honda says that a tire de-bead eventually slowed the team, leading to a delayed finish.

Trending News