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Valla Hot Rod Run 2016 – 40th Anniversary

Valla Hot Rod run 2017 1932 Ford tudor
With additional writing by Francie Flathead. Photos by Semigloss Productions

Valla Hot Rod Run celebrated its 40th anniversary event last week and it couldn’t have gone off with a bigger vroom!

The iconic rod run is held every September/October at the small coastal town of Valla, just outside Nambucca Heads in New South Wales. Known simply as ‘Valla’ to all attendees, it’s an event staple for many Australian hot rodders, and according to organisers is the number one free entry, week-long hot rod run in Australia, and most Valla tragics would agree. What more could a hot rod-loving person want than camping at the beach, cruising around all day, beers, mates and some good laughs.

Valla Hot Rod Run 2016
Sydney club The Drag-ens run the huge event and do a fantastic job at keeping everyone busy and entertained. The theme for this years run was 70’s fever.

The event starts officially on the first Sunday of the week long event, with Sunday being a relax day, with a 70’s disco and ‘port and talk’ event in the evening.

Monday is the start of the corrals for the week, and this year the Tudors were first. This is a chance for all Tudors to be displayed, followed by cruising of the park for the afternoon. These daily cruise afternoons are where most drivers battle it out for the coveted trophy of ‘Top Cruiser’.

Valla Hot Rod Run 2016

Tuesday was the much-anticipated Raleigh Raceway events, which sees entrants compete in the lap dash, go-to-whoa and best burnout. It was great to see so many rev-heads (girls and guys) get out on the track and burn some rubber. Tuesday night featured the junkyard fashion parade and karaoke competition. Wednesday was a breakfast cruise to nearby Coffs Harbour, followed by a drive-in movie night later back at the park.

Valla Hot rod Run burnout comp

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Thursday was a fun day of raft racing where teams had to build their own raft, as well as the shoe box swap meet. Thursday night was bingo, followed by an adults only Cards Against Humanity card games.

Valla Hot Rod Run raft racing

Friday’s cruise from Valla to a small town called Bowraville for the billy cart derby was a highlight.

Valla Hot Rod run 2017 1932 Ford tudor

This year the Drag-ens added the extra challenge of ramp jumps and obstacles to the course, so as you can imagine there were some pretty spectacular wipe-outs. The variety and creativity of this year’s carts was amazing: there were The General Lee replicas, mini VWs, shopping trolleys and some very seriously engineered old-school cart designs.

Vintage Billy Cart Derby

Valla Hot Rod Run 2016 billy cart derby

Valla Hot Rod Run billy cart derby

The 40th Anniversary milestone was celebrated in style on Friday evening with fireworks and a performance by popular rockabilly band, The Flattrakkers.

Saturday’s show n shine in the main street of nearby Nambucca Heads hosted almost 400 hot rods, followed by the awards presentation on Saturday night and sad farewells for everyone until 2017.

Pinup girl Valla Hot Rod Run 2016

Valla Hot Rod Run Nambucca Heads show n shine 14614334_10157549639460710_564102117_o 14599796_10157549608545710_921574940_o

2016 was one of Valla’s best and a fitting tribute to the 40th anniversary of the event. The Drag-ens Hot Rod Club run an amazing event. If you love hot rodding but haven’t tried Valla, lock yourself in for 2017. Get more info at The Drag-ens website.


Anna D'Amour
Miss Anna D'Amour aka Bree Kaehler is second generation hot-roddder, born into hot rod culture, which fueled her love of classic cars, the pinup lifestyle and mid-century culture. Bree is a qualified teacher, and when she’s not wrestling rug rats she’s posing up a storm with her pinup modeling, having been published in both international and Australian publications.