If you’ve been reading this blog from the beginning, the Rolling Blokes will need no introduction. If you haven’t, and don’t know, the Blokes are a group of traditional-style hot rod owners from the South Coast of England. Two years ago, we had the pleasure of going on their first weekend, The Jalopy Gathering, and what a great event it was. We won’t re-cap on it here, but suffice to say that at the time they said it would probably be a bi-annual event due to the amount of organizing time that’s always involved. So 2015 saw the second ‘Gathering’, mainly centered around a reliability run for pre-49 traditional cars, though this time the event had been moved from the Blokes home county of Hampshire, to neighbouring Dorset.
Our little local group met up on the Friday morning at my place ready for the run down, though since my ’34 wasn’t yet ready, I was riding shotgun in Russ DeBarr’s ’28-29 Sedan for the weekend. I must admit I missed not having my own car there, but with Russ never shy of sparing the horses or stamping the loud pedal of his 383 stroker powered sedan, it was a damn fine second best.
Although we were headed to a campsite just outside the seaside town of Swanage, those of us arriving early had the extra attraction of an afternoon visit to Jim Turnbull’s Royal Kustoms at its new address, where Jim and Julie were hosting an open afternoon with refreshments and a free diagnostic tune up for those that wanted it. Jim is the leading Flathead engine builder in the UK, and there’s not much he doesn’t know about setting these motors up, so this was a great opportunity for those that were there.
We’ll be adding a separate blog post up on Royal Kustoms soon, so in the meantime here’s a few pic’s from the afternoon. Jim stayed open well into the evening for those coming down later, after which, a few beers in the campsite bar were the order of the day (or evening).
Saturday morning started with an overcast sky and light rain that had drifted in from the coast and over the Dorset hills meaning it was a damp start for the hot rodders assembling in the field to collect their route instruction for the roughly 60 mile mystery tour of this, one of the most scenic parts of Southern England. The route hadn’t even been planned by the Rolling Blokes themselves, having had local VHRA member John Harrison plan the run, since he lives in the area, meaning that as host club, even they didn’t know where they were going!
The Reliability run’s route was planned to deliberately avoid the main roads of the area, and it took us through some lovely little villages, down some single track forest backroads, and through some beautiful English scenery that only this area can offer.
Soon it was time for a pub lunch, before we headed off again, with the promise of ice cream beside the sea later in the afternoon.
Something about this shot of Martin Griffin’s sedan, and Chris Hosegood’s roadster sums up the day for me, and although there will be a version of this report in Custom Car magazine, they rarely choose the best pics for some reason, but that’s ok, it means you get to see them here for free! Likewise this pic of a fuel stop mid afternoon on the way to Lulworth Cove, a massively popular pic on the social media picture site, Instagram, but not chosen for publication. Must admit I was a tad surprised…..
You’ll be pleased to know we did get our ice cream at the seaside, and not having been to Lulworth before, it really is a great spot with the hot rods able to park on the sloping field behind the village only a short walk from the cove itself. We even managed to catch a shot of a few of the Blokes (and a bird), trying to obscure the picturesque view…….
From Lulworth, it was more winding hills along the coast towards Corfe Castle and the campsite, before everyone gathered again for a great BBQ laid on by the campsite owners, later on that evening.
The following morning there was breakfast cruise down into Swanage at a beachside cafe, before everyone headed off back home. A great end to a fun weekend.
Thanks Rolling Blokes, another really cool Jalopy Gathering with some cool cars, great people and with the emphasis really on the driving, totally our kind of event.
If you want to view more pics from this event, we’ve now posted them in our gallery section. Click on the images to enlarge or run as a slideshow.