One of the best aspects of the UK hot rodding scene, is that there are regional and individual clubs right across the country. Most of them started out with a group of great friends who were into rods and customs. Then over time, these smaller clubs have grown and become recognisable names within the scene.
One club that most will be familiar with is the A602’s – aptly named as the club was formed around the A602 in Hertfordshire! The A602’s was formed in 2008 by a group of like-minded hot rodders, who decided it was time to take an informal monthly meet-up into a fully functioning car club. Ten years on, it’s great to hear that all the founding members are still active within the club.
We caught up with club Treasurer, Daniel Webber, and Event’s Coordinator, Grant Pinney to find out more about the A602’s.
Dan, Grant, you are both really active within the club, who else is in the team?
We have 8 official committee members. Stewart Jones is the Chairman; Cy Paskell is the Secretary, Julie Kilby is the Membership Secretary, Mark Bellringer & Sandra Reeve are the Trade Coordinators and Paul Robson is our online Guru. But the club’s ethos is very much run by and for the members.
How many members do you have?
Currently 176 fully paid members. Although, we are primarily based in Hertfordshire around the A602, there are members as far as Cornwall, Ireland and even Canada! We are a very family orientated club and the children have the own social group and check in with each other to find out who’s going to what shows. It’s great because let’s face it, they are the future hot rodders.
For those that might not know, tell us a bit about the cars that are covered by the club?
Predominantly, the cars in the club are hot rods, classic yanks, customs and muscle cars but really… anything cool goes. You do not need to own or be building a car to join, although I strongly believe you will find it hard to keep the non-owner status for long once you see what you’re missing out on!
It’s only £25 to join for the year so it’s well worth it. Club members receive a t-shirt, members pack, discount to our yearly Christmas party, exclusive access to the club Facebook Page, added to the club text and email blast list informing them of events/meets etc, and access to a wealth of knowledge and skills throughout the member base.
We have heard that the A602’s have a pretty awesome Christmas party each year…
Yes! Myself and Grant really enjoy organising the yearly Christmas party. Each year we have a different theme, which is optional, but we tend to find our members pull out all the stops for a chance of winning our Best Dressed Award also known as the ‘Golden Turkey Award’. We’ve had a Hawaiian Christmas, Spots & Dots, Rockin’ in Red, A Day at the Races, I’m Dreaming of a Black & White Christmas to name but a few…. This year’s theme is, “It’s on the Cards”’. We try to choose a theme that is very much down to personal interpretation to keep things interesting as people arrive on the night. It really is a great event not to be missed, full of fun and games and general silliness, with a decent four course meal and hotel accommodation to boot! For the last two years the club has gained such presence that we now book out a whole hotel exclusively for A602 use. CL: We do love a good fancy dress party…
And what about you?
I have been involved since 2010 and currently own a 1957 Pontiac Starchief pillarless custom, running a 454ci big block Chevy. Sitting on air and 20” rims – you can’t miss its purple and white two-tone metal flake finish paint! It’s nicknamed the ‘Purple People Eater’.CL: You know we love purple!
Grant has been a member since 2008 and was the 5th member to sign up, not counting the committee. Grant currently owns two vehicles; a 1949 Chevy Styleline called ‘Lowla’. The car has an interesting back story as it’s right hand drive due to the fact it came over here from Australia. Grant also has a 1927 T-Bucket named ‘Baby-T’.
Money no object…?
Mine would have to be a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado, gloss black, red leather interior. Grants would be either Nick Butlers ‘Revenge’ or a 1951 Mercury Leadsled. CL: Revenge gets our vote!
Tell us a bit about the events you run throughout the year?
So, we start the year with our AGM in January. We then have a monthly breakfast club, currently held at the Shuttleworth Collection in Old Warden on the second Sunday of the month. We have a monthly meet night currently at the Three Horseshoes Pub in Hooks Cross, just off the A602, on the third Wednesday of the month.
Then in February, we have a Scalextric drag racing competition. We also have an Easter event for families and a “Rocking with the 602’s” Jive & Band event in spring. In June, we had our first “602’s at the Pod”, where we exclusively hire the famous Santa Pod drag strip for a day of racing fun and frolics.
In July we have our annual “On-Tour” trip abroad – this year was the fifth year! Then there is a quiz /roller disco or mystery surprise night in October, a bowling night in November and of course the Christmas party in December. CL: Sounds like you have a great social calendar!
Finally, our big event of the year is the Autorama in September, which has been running for nine years.
How much planning goes into the Autorama event?
A fair amount I think it’s fair to say! Everyone gets involved, it’s a joint effort from all the committee and the members.
What is the best bit about the event?
Seeing people of all ages and all walks of life together, enjoying a common shared interest.
CL: That’s what it’s all about…
We are also proud to have supported the Herts Air Ambulance, Beds Air Ambulance, Valley School, Great Ormond Street Hospital and other charities throughout the years.
Are there any parts of your events that stand out for you over the years, any close calls?
“On-tour” really springs to mind! There have been a couple of close calls weather wise with Autorama, but, taking 20+ members and their partners on a road trip of epic proportions across various parts of the UK and Europe, including breakdowns, and meeting individual accommodation expectations, has been a huge learning curve for us both.
What other events does the club attend during the year?
Yes, loads. We attend Wheels Day, Herts Auto Show, Cars in the park, NSRA Fun Run, American Speedfest, Hot Rod Hop, Hot Rods & Hills, NSRA Hot Rod Supernationals, Revs and Rhythms and Atomic. There are more, but too many to name… we really do get about! Grant in his position as events co-ordinator is responsible for the vast majority of the events and meets we attend so we keep him busy! CL: A few of our favourites here too!
Dan, Grant in relation to the A602’s, what do you feel most proud of?
We really enjoy going to places and seeing people, not necessarily members, wearing club merchandise and seeing the infamous deck of cards logo and 602’s artwork. Actually, we are also proud of the sheer size of the club.
A controversial one, what’s your view on driverless cars?
Where’s the fun in that?!
So, what’s next for the A602’s?
This year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the club; the 5th anniversary of the “on-tour” and our 9th Autorama. It’s the first year we have traded at a few of the shows and you can now purchase and complete a membership form online. We are already in the process of planning next years on tour to Holland…
So, here are the people behind one of our favourite clubs. Working hard behind the scenes to run a great sociable club for their members. A602’s, thank you for being our car club of the month and we look forward to seeing you all at an event soon.
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