The NZ Hot Rod Association was formed in 1960. They tried hard to promote the sport but by 1962 there were still only two clubs joined up in the north island, Auckland and Hamilton Hot Rod Clubs. North Shore followed, then Wellington and Hawkes Bay, yet by 1967 there were still only nine clubs in the country. But things were about to change.
In Early 1967 four hot rod enthusiasts got together to establish the nation’s first hot rod magazine. In a way they were entrepreneurs but not for empire building wants; they simply saw it was timely for our own rod mag as the seed was blossoming. Their magazine catered for any hot rodding and fledgling drag racing plus ‘fringe’ autosport activities of the time like hillclimbs, speedway and Allcomer racing at the Grand Prix, which was seldom recognised by NZ’s other magazine, Motorman.
Pep Talk: Ken Lawrence Dec 68/Jan 69
Club Corner: Ralph Wright April/May 68
Sketchpad: Kevin Jenkinson June 69
Wilson’s Words: Robert Wilson Aug 70
Warrington Goode: June 71
Up-Hill: Peter Hill July 72
Neale Spiel: Rich Neale Aug 73
Happens to be Harrop: Fred Harrop Nov 76
Marshall’s Murmurs: Peter Marshall July 77
Watson on Wireless: Colin Watson May 78
Playtime: Louis Edwards June 78
Guideline: Alan Stacey Sep 83
Guideline: Bruce Hubber Feb 87
Oz Update: John Van Daal Oct 87
DJ Lady: Debbie Jarvis Sep 92
Trish’s Territory: Trish Duffy June 94
Landspeed Attempts: Chris Harris July 94
Paul and Liz are to be commended for producing a world class magazine. They stepped right out of their comfort zone just by purchasing the magazine and then immediately totally changed the way it was produced. They were ahead of most of us by producing the magazine digitally yet had no prior experience in the publishing industry, just experience in hot rodding and running a business.
Glenn O’Connor of Naughty Prawn UK has been responsible for the design and layout for over 16 years. But to achieve their goal of producing a magazine with outstanding crisp photos they had to convince the correspondents to ditch their film cameras. When Paul suggested this to Craig Stare the response was “That’s the last bloody thing I need”. I think the answer was the same when Paul suggested he should purchase a faster computer. But times change and the content of this bumper issue includes material from correspondents who have embraced the computer age and relish the thought of not having to spend large amounts of money developing prints. Lastly I have asked Paul to select two of his favourite magazine covers, one from the Campbell era and the other from those he has produced.
The October 1972 issue featuring Barry Greer’s Ardun powered T Bucket was his favourite. The February 2007 issue with Dave Alexander driving his Chrisman Special was his pick of the covers he has produced. NZ Hot Rod magazine is still on a growth curve and is regarded as a “high end” quality publication by renowned hot rodders in the US. There are numerous publications in the US for these people to compare it with and it gets a definite thumbs-up. Particularly when they read about events in their own back yard that appear in a NZ magazine months before any local magazine.