Rattletrap Australia – A Bitchin’ Day at the Beach!
Hosted by the Drag-Ens hot rod club, Rattletrap Australia is an event loosely based on The Race of Gentlemen event in the USA. Over 2,000-plus spectators with motor oil in their veins were treated to the sights, sounds and smells of racing as it used to be. With traditional hot rods, specials and motorcycles battling it out over the sands of Crowdy Heads Beach on the mid North Coast of New South Wales – it was as fun as hot rodding gets.
Held on a perfect autumn day (they’re approcahing winter down unda) with the sun shining brightly the event got under way around 9.30am. Passion and fun was the order of the day with competitors and spectators alike getting into the spirit of the event, many dressing accordingly.
Fifty pre-war hot rods, nearly all of them flathead V8s and four-bangers, a bellytanker, and a dozen old motorbikes greeted the flag girls (and one guy) to battle it out for bragging rights over the eighth mile course. The time trails lasted all day with every entrant getting multiple runs in over the course of the day with speeds slowly increasing. Unfortunately for a few competitors, their racing ended early with mechanical issues including one competitor coming to a halt mid-track after the tail shaft dropped out.
For those competitors not lucky enough to be selected to be part of the time trails or not fitting the criteria for the racing, a section of the beach was set aside for a hot rod show with around 100 or so cars turning up, many traveling from interstate to attend the event.
With the start line tower ending up in water around 3.00pm the day’s proceedings came to a conclusion. The tide does have final say when it comes to matters at the beach! All of the competing cars were assembled around the start line area allowing the spectators to get up close with the drivers and their vehicles. While this was happening the presentations for the day were completed down the beach.
As the event is more about fun than it is winning a race, a scant few trophies are handed out with the winners being Julie Douglas (Douglas family Army Style) for Best Dressed, Dick Bushell in his ‘48 F1 for the Top Hot Rod in the carpark which was chosen by the local surf club. Top Bike went to Scott Gittoes with his 1957 Triumph 600 and rounding out the awards was James Rodriquez in his 1927 Ford Speedster winning Top Hot Rod.