The valley echoed with the roar of engines as the Lawrence Quarter-Mile Drags took off with a screech of rubber on Saturday.

Thirty-nine competitors in high-performance, street-legal vehicles lit up the 400m strip of Waipori Rd, cordoned off by local emergency services for drivers to stretch the legs of classic and contemporary cars against the clock.

Morning rain had threatened to cancel the event but the Lawrence micro-climate came to the rescue and by 2pm the fastest overall time was 11.54sec, clocked by Milton’s Steve McClay, despite issues with his 1980s Corvette’s supercharger.

Alexandra’s Steve Buttar, a former NZ super-street drags third-place getter, was at the Lawrence quarter-mile for the eighth time and clocked 12.3sec in his 408 cubic-inch Valiant Charger.

“That’s not bad, but the road’s a bit cold yet from the rain,” Mr Buttar, who came fourth, said.

Deceptively domestic looking motors like fellow Alexandra driver Bill Currie’s two-litre Hyundai Kona (13.93sec) and Falconer Smith’s Balclutha BMW M5 (11.66sec, second place) were alarmingly quick, and three generations of quarter-mile club president Bill Bazely’s family were rocking a range of Holden Commodores.

“This is our first gig in two years, due to Covid,” Mr Bazely, who clocked 13.93sec in his 6.2-litre Clubsport, said.

“The community help has been outstanding and we’re really happy the proceeds go back to our local emergency services.

“Some of these cars are doing well over 100mph [161kmh] by the time they hit that line just 440 yards [402m] away. If you can get a good, flat run without skidding the wheels and keep your boot right up it and everything goes to plan, you should get a good time.”

Sign of the times . . . Michael Bateman’s Milton RX3 (14.59sec) was a crowd-pleaser.
Top of the line . . . Falconer Smith’s 4.4-litre Balclutha Beemer ran 11.66sec, placing second. PHOTOS: NICK BROOK