The MetroCentre is known for lots of things; being the biggest shopping centre in the UK, having a huge 3D IMAX screen in its Odeon cinema and for not actually being connected to the Tyne & Wear Metro. But as a meeting place for some of the North East’s finest American and classic cars? This was news to my ears.
Hot Rods, as it is known, has been running for a number of years despite various attempts to stop it happening. The second Wednesday of every month during the summer sees a range of American muscle, classic British and anything and everything in between descend on the retail park. Following a tip-off from a petrolhead colleague, I decided to head down and take a look what all the commotion was about.
Naturally, I left the Polo a fair distance away and walked over. Wandering through the car park leading towards Toys-R-Us and McDonald’s (those two American icons) it was obvious something car-related was going down. The revving of engine, the smell of exhaust fumes and the random performance and modified cars dotted around signalled we had hit the right place. With such an array of motoring delights on offer, it’s perhaps easiest to let the pictures do the talking.
What I liked most about the meet was that various types, genres and ages of car mixed in together without prejudice or discrimination. As a casual observer, it was inspiring to see muscle car, Mini Cooper, Mazda MX-5 and others lined up together. It seemed more a celebration of enthusiasts, rather than a clique built around one marque or model. If you happen to be in the area next time it’s on, I would wholeheartedly recommend stopping by.