The smell of burned rubber and smoke wafted through Mount Maunganui's industrial area yesterday as punters in their hundreds lined up to watch classic bikes and cars on show.
The action was part of a Bay of Plenty Coastal Cruisers Hot Rod Show which showcased about 150 mint-condition American muscle cars, bikes and trucks.
Among them was Paul Collins' 2006 Orange County Chopper. The bike, with painted blue and orange flames, is believed to be just one of two such machines in New Zealand.
Mr Collins said it was his "baby", worth $60,000 to $65,000. The Bethlehem family man said he saw an ad for the event in the paper and was keen to get involved.
"I thought it would be a good way to get out into the community and meet people."
Mr Collins had two other vehicles on display at the Cruisers' Cherokee Pl clubhouse. They were a red 1964 mint-condition Firebird 400 and a white 1964 Chevy C10 longbed stepside.
But it was the bike that was the showstopper, with people taking turns to snap photos of themselves sitting on it.
By noon, the area was packed with people and families making the most of the displays.
President Mike 'Roach' Cochrane said the turnout was fantastic and way up on last year's event.
"Last year it was raining so that really quietened things down. No one wanted to get their bikes wet. But this year, the sun's out, it's great."
Car enthusiasts and bikers from across the North Island took part, including bikers who travelled up from Wellington. The event was the third of its kind in Tauranga.
"Motorcycle clubs traditionally hold a poker run but it has been getting harder and harder to get a weekend where it wasn't clashing with anything else," Mr Cochrane said. "So we thought we had the facility here with the clubhouse and the reserve. We also have car clubs that use our building - the Bay Rodders and NSRA [National Street Rod Association] - so we have a pretty good core group that we can rely on for events like this."
Burnout displays with Harley Davidsons were a crowd favourite, with huge clouds of smoke wafting over punters.
The event was more about bringing together like-minded car and bike enthusiasts rather than making money, Mr Cochrane said. Entry was a gold-coin donation, which covered event costs and aided the three clubs.