Car lovers will be able to take a trip down memory lane and see what treasures they can find at an upcoming event.

The 38th Central North Island Swap Meet and Car Show Spectacular will feature vintage, veteran, classic cars and hot rods.

Rotorua Vintage and Veteran Car Club committee member Roger Nelson says the Swap Meet started in 1980 when an international rally, organised by the New Zealand Vintage Car Club was held at the Rotorua Race Course.

The organisers of the day decided to hold a swap meet at the same time, which entails car buffs bringing along old and not-so-old car parts to sell or swap, he says.

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"It was so popular that the Rotorua Vintage Car Club carried on with the event which has been held annually to the present day.

Over time the format has changed to include classic car parts, Hot Rod parts, old car books and memorabilia including model trains, plus trade stores mainly involving model cars, new and replica car parts.

He says a few years ago, the Swap Meet Committee decided, 'why not have a car show as well?' - mainly of old and classic cars.

At present, the car show itself attracts about 100 cars which are all given a number, and at 12pm on the day, a number is drawn out of a hat for a $100 prize.

"As far as the Swap Meet goes, providing the weather is reasonably fine, we would expect over 250 sellers to turn up, plus trade stores, to buy, sell or swap those hard to come by bits and pieces to finish restorations.

"I think the public come along to see what they can pick up, such as old tools, all sorts of clothing and things that are collectable.

Committee member Terry Wadsworth says he will have his 1975 HJ Tabletop - also known as a Holden One Tonner - on display at the car show.

His interest in vintage cars started when he was about 20 and he has now restored about 18 cars in total.

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"It's just great to be out in the garage by yourself. It's a great pastime, I just really like it.

"It's an expensive hobby though - it's quite costly at the end of the day."

Terry says the Swap Meet and Car Show is a great day out for everybody.

"You never know what you will find there on the day. It's quite amazing what you see there at times."

He says it is also a great event for children to attend, with accompanied children free.

The proceeds from each Swap Meet goes toward the running of the club and to help stage the Car Show at the Lakefront in January, with all proceeds there going to St John's Ambulance.

The details
- What: 38th Central North Island Swap Meet and Car Show Spectacular
- When: Sunday July 8, 7am to 2pm
- Where: Stock Car Raceway, Paradise Valley
- Admission: Seller's vehicle and driver $10 per site. All others $5 per person, accompanied children free.