Apples Kemp will never forget her 60th birthday.
It was the year a shiny yellow 1932 Ford Delivery Hot Rod was delivered outside her house in Alice Springs.
It was also the year she entered her car in the Show ‘n’ Shine at the very first Red CentreNATS in 2015.
Apples said her husband David bought the hot rod off a couple in Mount Gambia, South Australia, a month before the first festival in wheels rumbled into Alice Springs.
“He showed me a picture and asked, ‘Do you like that?’ I said, ‘Wow, I love it.’ The next thing I knew it was it parked in our driveway.
“I couldn’t believe it. It’s a special car with an original body build which is hard to come by.”
Apples didn’t win that year, nor has she won in following years but as this groovy grandma pointed out “that’s not the point of entering”.
“There’s such an incredible atmosphere. It doesn’t matter if you have a bucket of rust or something really special you’re part of an incredible event with so much camaraderie and good will. It’s like belonging to one big, happy family. I love it.”
Apples, who was busy celebrating her 31st wedding anniversary getting her beloved hot rod ready for the sixth Red CentreNATS, has no desire to put the brakes on her enthusiasm for gleaming paint and polished chrome.
She is a member of the Aces and Eights car club and, along with her husband, has competed in the Finke Desert Race.
“There’s an unmistakable feeling you get when you ride in a hot rod and I’m looking forward to sharing that with a friend of mine during the street parade,” she said.
“She’s never done it before and I can’t wait to see her reaction. It’s mind blowing. Alice Springs people are the best. They come out and support the event and that’s all part of the fun.”