Toranas, Valiants recall days of glory

By Marc McGowan
HUNDREDS of hot rods converged on Autopro Narre Warren on Thursday night to celebrate and showcase the beauty of the four-wheeled machine.
It was the third time Autopro has held the event, run in conjunction with the Channel 31 program Rodder’s Life.
Michael Dascoli, the host of Rodder’s Life, approached Autopro store manager Peter Louder about running the event last year and it has grown from there.
“It has worked out really well for us,” Mr Louder said. “It opens the doors and brings people into the store and fills up the car park.”
The car park in front of Autopro and those adjacent were full to the brim and the thoroughfares were stacked with onlookers.
It was a car lover’s delight with Toranas, Valiants, Mustangs, Chevrolets, Mercuries, Monaros and Customlines, to name a few, adorning the event.
“I’d love to have one of the cars out there, but my favourite is the Mustang convertible,” Mr Louder said.
The cars were judged and categories were broken into hot rods, customs, classic American, classic Australian and vintage.
“People talk about the event and word of mouth is probably our best advertising,” Mr Louder said.
“A lot of the people who talk about it want more of it.
“We have jumping castles, Santa giving away showbags and stickers, and we have prizes for some of the rodders; just some gift packs and apparel.”
Pakenham car nut Alan Clark loves events such as these, but laments how a few individuals can ruin it for everyone.
“It takes people back, it gives you an insight into the way things were,” Mr Clark said.
“We have a lot of them but, due to the hoon factor, the genuine enthusiasts are losing their will to go.
“I heard it could be the last one because of the hoon factor. Someone only has to lose it and people can die.”

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