Street rod cruises to classic win

Rod and Carol Hadfield with their winning 1934 Ford Tourer.

Rod and Carol Hadfield with their winning 1934 Ford Tourer.

Castlemaine's reputation among the street rod fraternity is in top cruising order after local street rod identities scooped a significant win in the recent Victorian Hot Rod and Cool Rides Show at Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building.

Rod and Carol Hadfield entered their recently completed 1934 Ford Tourer and came home celebrating a class win.

The well-known local street rod exponents were delighted with the success of their rare tourer and Rod says he had to fend off three serous offers from fans keen to relocate the classic machine to their own garage.

"The highest offer was for $100,000," says Rod who is no stranger to success at the annual hot rod show which at 53 years is the longest running annual exhibition to be held in the iconic Royal Exhibition Building's long and colourful history.

In fact Rod, who caught the street rod bug at 16, has been loyally attending the show for the past 51 years.

"It was 51 years ago he entered a 1934 Ford Coupe," Carol notes.

"It was the first car he'd built and he won top coupe with that. So that was top of the class and that's what he's done this year with the 1934 Ford Tourer."

The '34 Ford Tourer features a 350-cubic-inch Chev V8 and four-speed manual transmission and drew a continuous crowd of admirers during the show.

Rod bought the car in Melbourne way back in 1982, bringing it back to Castlemaine where its entire interior was transformed.

"It would have gone to America if I hadn't bought it I think," Rod says.

"We built it into a street rod. We changed the whole running gear. It's really only the outside skin that's original now. There's lots of work gone into it.

"There's only about 40 left in Australia. It's a very rare car."

Rod's substantial collection of street rods and custom cars attracts tour groups and admirers from far and wide.

Now his long and yarn-rich career is soon to be shared far and wide as the Hadfield's daughter, Daylesford librarian Allison Hadfield, recently finished writing her father's biography.

Carol says the book, recording Rod's life and street rodding tales, is being published in Sydney and will be launched in Castlemaine in coming months.