The unexpected sights at Kumeu's Hot Rod Festival

More than 1000 classic cars roared into Kumeu on Saturday for the 25th anniversary of the town's Hot Rod Festival.

The festival has unexpected sights at every turn. There's the shiny chrome and loud engines, but also taxidermy, pin-up girl fashion, and a sea of straw hats - vital for the passionate car lovers braving scorching temperatures for the event.

"I've got petronalia, I've got taxidermy, I've got pottery, I've got early NZ history, jewellery, art," said stall owner Tony Richardson, who also had on hand a 1928 Harley Davidson advertisement that he describes as "rare as hen's teeth".

With roughly 35,000 people coming through the gates over the weekend, it's come a long way since a few guys started it in a paddock 25 years ago.

One of the founders, Ken Galvin, who hates electric cars, said it is a family day.

"It's a good culture. I respect everybody that comes in the gate and I really respect and thank them for coming."

Matt Jukic's 2011 Dodge Challenger was one of the VIPs, which he has spent about 1000 hours rebuilding.

"[I] just ripped it apart and did it the way I wanted it, a giant Hot Wheels car. We're all big kids at the end of the day."