Rattletrap: The Coolest Hot Rod Meet You’ve Never Heard Of

by Kyle Smith
3 June 2024 2 min read
Rattletrap: The Coolest Hot Rod Meet You’ve Never Heard Of
Photos courtesy YouTube/Fortyone30

The lust for days past is something that no generation seems to be immune from, especially when viewed through the lens of recreating a certain scene. Hot rods racing on the beach will always be cool, and the Race of Gentlemen in the US has captured the hearts of Americans, but some Australian enthusiasts are giving them a run for their money with a vintage racing event called Rattletrap. 

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Fortyone30 customs, a hot rod shop in Toowoomba, Queensland, posted this video of Rattletrap VII, which took place in May. Hundreds of vintage cars and motorcycles gathered, along with a healthy crowd that turned out just to see the show. It’s all put on by the Drag-ens hot rod club. The group started in 1962 with just five members and has not only grown but stood the test of time, much like the cars the group loves. In fact, the group loves hot rods and building them so much that if you have a project car that doesn’t make progress at an appropriate rate, your membership could be in jeopardy. Harsh, but fair.

Rattletrap beach racing

Especially when you consider the group is putting on such cool events as Rattletrap. What use is a large membership of cars sitting on jack stands when you have a whole weekend on the beach to drive fast? 

Rattletrap was started in 2015 on the excitement brought from watching videos of other similar events. The idea to create a period-correct event for Australian hot rodders was born. A location in Crowdy Head, New South Wales (partway between Brisbane and Melbourne on Australia’s east coast) was selected, and during a scouting mission the club was met by a group of surfers who kindly told them they were in the wrong place. Happily, though, they took the petrolheads down to the right spot, and the event has flourished since.

As someone who lives in a very sandy environment and has to deal with cleaning and repairing the damage caused by the infinite amount of tiny rocks that blast paint and break down into a grinding paste on any moving part, the thought of building an era-correct hot rod and then taking it out to do burn-outs on the beach is a little tough, but then a video like this makes me think the clean up and wear would probably be worth it for the experience. After all, who can put a price on time travel?

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