HELSINKI INDOOR SHOW BY NIGEL LOCKLEY
19 of us set off last Thursday the 18th April heading for Helsinki for the FHRA American Car Show, the cars had been shipped the week before from Tilbury docks via 3 40 foot containers.
Organising the UK cars is Zane Llewellyn from Bristol, Zane oversees the loading and securing of the cars & bikes and all the organisation at the UK end. Travelling out this year was myself with the 34 Zipper, Jim Turnbull’s Blown flathead 32, Mel Chave’s 32 roadster, John Unsworth’s 37 Pickup, Bob Booth’s 5 window model A, Daniel Parker’s Moon Truck and Steve Clutterbuck’s Drag Bikes.
We all arrived at Helsinki airport met by a member of the Finnish Hot Rod Association then all Checked into the Holiday Inn, which is joined to the Helsinki Fair Centre – a bit like a small version of the NEC. Once refreshed we then opened the containers and set up the cars in the Show hall. We were given a large display area part of The FHRA stand in the main American Car hall. The show is like a large version of Extreme Wheels with three main hall areas – American cars and drag cars, Tuning cars and Bikes and Choppers, with a good mix of trade stands. The Show ran from Friday midday to Monday 4 pm and was attended by approx’ 70.000 + people.
With the cars set up and a few days to spare we all went about exploring what Helsinki had to offer, although the weather was good, clear and sunny, the Harbour was frozen which was a very unusual sight to see.
Back in the show on the Friday and Saturday it was packed, you could hardly see the cars for people. There was a good mix of traditional rods and classic American cars in our hall, two display areas of Corvettes a few top fuel drag racing teams, Legend cars & tractor pullers to name a few. Other highlights were a 69 Blown Dodge Charger which won visitors choice, a 39 Lincoln Custom, a chopped and channelled model A and a Chrysler 300c concept car. During the show days there were various live bands and also a Miss Hot Rod Competition which took place over three days.
Monday soon came around and the prize giving was held just before the end of the show, we did well taking three of the top ten awards for the American car section, that was myself for my 34, John Unsworth with his 37 pickup and Jim Turnbull with his 32 roadster. After the show had ended at 4 pm it was a short drive out of the hall to reload the 3 containers for the journey home, despite the rain and the traffic Jim had a photo shoot to do so he had a blast around the block before putting the 32 away. All loaded and sealed we all headed for the bar and our last night in Finland before flying home on the Tuesday.
The FHRA certainly know how to put on a good show and looked after us Brits whilst there, Zane also puts in a lot of work to get the cars etc sorted for the trip and all the organisation beforehand, I will look forward to going again one day!
Check out Nigel's own web site at www.freewbs.com/hotrodder34
Also there is a full report here http://www.bootsoop.freeserve.co.uk/helsinki_2006.htm by Zane Llewellyn (not sure how you spell his last name).
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