Car enthusiasts descend on Lower Hutt to dispel stereotypes

Thousands of car enthusiasts have descended on a Lower Hutt car park to show off their modified rides.

But these are no illegal street races. Hardpark fans are on a mission to show New Zealand the good side of the motoring community.

This is a community rallying together, trying to prove that not all modified cars are owned by 'boy racers'.

"The guys that are causing the mayhem, you're wrecking it for everyone," says organiser Falgoon Patel. "You're not giving the next generation the chance for this culture to continue."

Just before New Year, Christchurch and Mt Manganui were overrun with vehicles evading police and breaking the law throughout the night.

For events like Hardpark, revving engines and ripping burnouts is all part of the fun - but Mr Patel says it needs to be legal.

"We've worked with the wider community, the police, the council, to make sure the activity that gets all the negative press is shut down for this weekend."

When done the right way, a few officers are all the police presence you need. Those attending weren't fazed by them being here.

"The police aren't here to party poop it," one told Newshub.

"They're just here to help if you know what I mean, just to stop people from being silly."

"The guys that are in the press get into cars and they think it's cool, but they just ruin it for us to be honest," says another. "It makes it really hard."

That's why meets like this are so important to Mr Patel - they help cement a future for fellow car lovers.

"I'd like to see another generation take it over and keep it running and running and running," he says. "I'd like to see more events like this pop up around the country."

That way, all that burns out are the tyres.


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