Nats the way to do it!

As happened last year, we ( that's me and the wife) only decided to go to the Nats a week before. Reason: already had to much time off work and just really couldn't afford it! But when ya start thinking about life and how it seems to pass so damn quickly and the system has had us over on our retirement investments "big time" yeah no sign of ever being able to afford to retire. we said fuk it lets just go and worry about it later.

We had been told of a free night offer at the Orwell Truck stop on the A14 that had been negotiated by the NASC, so that would save us £50.

We set off from sunny Cumbria and it was sunny beautiful weather all the way to Brum then the heavens opened and it was to stay that way until well into the Friday morning. One stop for LPG but two to exercise the dogs was all we did so only took us 7hours. One stop at the services when getting LPG, made me smile, the young lad behind the counter said " Nice car mate" " cheers" I replied... " It's a Kit Car isn't it"......" no it's not a Kit Car its a 1955 F100".. " Looks like one of them off TV"... I smiled.. " you know them off Custom builder or something like that".... " American Hot Rod " I interjected." Oh yeah like one of them".. " yes it does doesn't it" I said and smiled and left... *Hum*? Kit Car eh!!! Been called that before to, had one guy ask me if it used to be a Ford Pop to... ;o) Anyway on to the Nats!

The thing I love about the Nats is the fact it is on for 4days, so no wasted Sunday just waiting for the show and shine to end so you can pack up and face the journey home... The Sunday is like the Saturday a full on day and night, Monday being a leisurely paced de-camped before the journey home.. it is so much more relaxed, though driving with a caravan on the back of a 1950's Truck on a Bank Holiday Monday isn't all fun ;o).

We arrived at the Orwell Truck stop around 7pm, just expecting to find a place to put the caravan, have a meal and then retire to bed early ready for the Nats Fun the next day. The truck stop was quite full with wagons and loads of normal cars, only saw one other vehicle that looked like it was going to the Nats and that was quite a bit later on .. it was a large motor home with a blue Chevy truck hitched to the back (mind you when we got to the nats the whole car park could of been going, so many std cars there...but I digress).

I am useing artistic licence here by useing a photo from Saturdays photo pile of the Truck stop. As I didnt do one of the Thursday night stay as it was dark and peeing down! But you can get the idea. We just parked our Truck and Caravan in a Truck bay and enjoyed the night there.

We parked between two wagons but didn't really feel that relaxed there. So we had a scour round and decided to park in the upper truck park, we dropped the caravan legs, got some water and that was us. We had another reccy round and found a camping field nearby but we could never of got the truck through the dip in the field, and a caravan site that sounded like it was full of hooligans, with a car revving and then screaming round the site, or there was a race track in there, we didn't go to find out.

When I came back to the Caravan and Truck I was just soaked as it was really whooering down. A dodgy looking character with a strong Irish accent shouted " Now den, what's a Truck like dat wurf" ?.... I thought fuking hell here we go... so I said in a piss off way " WHAT?"...... He says " Now what's a truck like dat wurf then"... " oh what ever anyone is prepared to pay".. we pass a few more pleasantries and he retires to a caravan in the field by us.. I was a bit on edge now, but once inside the truck stop I started to enjoyed it.

The place was real cool, drinks were reasonable and the meals were to. Great band playing and the atmosphere was fantastic, with loads of people coming in dressed for a posh night out! Me and the miss's were in our scruff, but after 5 or was it 6... or maybe 7 drinks we couldn't care less. The band played a loads of Beatles tunes and other 60's songs and played them well, it was definitely a great way to spend the Thursday night and if we go to the NATS next year this will definitely been on the agenda to, we were there until well past 2am... great night!

Up fairly early Friday, tried out the posh bogs ;o)... full english at a very reasonable price, great mug of coffee and we were ready to do the 1.4miles to the Nats.

On arrival we were met by some real friendly NASC volunteers who do a superb job, of making the Nats such a well run event. Also to my surprise I saw Dan Donnati drive in, in his superb 34 Roadster (Best in Britain winner) I didn't have my camera primed or at hand so you gotta trust me on this one, it was driven into the Nats, not sure how far but it was definitely driven in and was wearing its wet weather gear to, well fenders anyway, no roof.

While many were already camped when we arrived some were still struggling with the weather.

We soon set up camp with the guys we have got to know well now and their wifes. They were arranging the caravans and tents so we had a large empty circle in the middle for us. Friday is mostly a set up day with people arriving all the time. One thing that really did strike me was the mass's of std cars, and young people. It was not looking much like an event that earns the title of The Street Rod Nats that was for sure and a bloody shame really as the NASC put on a fantastic event, full of entertainment for rodder's at a perfect venue.. but if the people who have Street Rods wont come or do come but bring their daily's then there is little they can do, you can put on an event but you cant make Rods turn up.

The place mind was as busy as ever, though to put things in perspective, the weather was shyte and had been down here apparently all the previous week. In our little group alone three had brought their daily's and left there Rods/Trucks at home, so other's may have done the same. Though to be fair there were a few nice cars driving round that though were not strictly street rods they looked cool. With the odd sound of a freight train horn in the distance every now and then, I didn't realized the site was near a commercial Freight train track ;o)...

I remember we were camped by a load of std looking Yanks maybe the AACA... man did the women with them have some perfect arse's or what, whoo hooo, made an old man very happy indeed ;o),,,, "Hey dirty old men need love to ya know" ;o)... I didn't look at their cars much as std yanks don't do anything for me.. but oh yes a pert bot sure does... now pass that tissue! Well that passed on a few minutes didnt it eh!

This 30's Studebaker? was one of the first rods we saw when we did our first walk about and was "for sale maybe" said the sign.

Just a few of the Brack Pack, to be honest apart from a few rods scattered about if it wasnt for the Brack Pack and the Tim Hammonds built Street Rods of Dan Donatti, Steve Fletcher (2 of) and Ian Burton, Street Rods would of been very thin on the ground, no slight on the event or organisers just people either didnt bring them in big numbers or those that owned them didnt bring them.. shame!

Struggling now to remember what else we did through the day Friday??? I think we just walked round taking a few photos and talking with a few people, oh yeah we loaded up with provisions for the weekend at Sainsbury's, had a meal at the two for one place up the road then went to planet Strongbow, listening to the bands and having a good laugh with the gang we were with.

Hard as Hell 32 Coupe was welcome sight as we had a walk round.

Gorgeous 60's F100 just so perfect.

Bitchin 32 as they say in Rodding circles, just noticed the larger diameter front wheels? Not sure if this is deliberate, my strange camera angle of some other reason.

Great looking Van really stood out, real nice!

Graffiti artist meets a customisers I guess.. wild machine, sure glad it was trailer'd rear view or any view must be virtually none existent!!

The bands ;o)... right Spillage I am afraid to say were plagued with sound problems that made them sound dire, but by the time the Glitter band came on all was OK.. I feel sorry for the Glitter band with their association with Gary, they are a great band in the own right and were good entertainment. not my favorite kind of music but they were great fun, and good to listen to all the old songs from the 80's again with everyone singing along, a good party atmosphere. It was again a fairly early well behaved end to the Friday for me and the wife.. so until Saturday that was us!

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