Event > Beach Hop 14
The 14th annual Sony Beach Hop event was held once again at the beachside town of Whangamata from the 26th-30th of March. This was our 4th trip to the Hop, and I'd have to say it was my favourite so far. We arrived just before sunset on the Friday evening, after travelling at a leisurely pace from Hamilton and stopping off at Paeroa for some fish and chips on the way.
Some friends of ours had kindly given us access to their bach over the weekend as they weren't able to come along themselves this year, so we were in a prime location just one street over from the centre of town.
After settling in with a bourbon and Coke, we wandered across the road and watched Friday night's parade of vehicles, surrounded by smiling families and the sound of V8s revving and rock 'n' roll music. What a perfect way to end the working week!
Saturday morning began with the arrival of a few family members who had never been to Beach Hop before, so we made a plan to see as much as we could with them throughout the day.
There were many car shows situated around town at various times, including the hugely popular Meguiar's Main Street car show, the Repco Pre-49 hot rod show at the Whangamata Club carpark, and the Century Batteries classic car show - each of them presenting a slightly different group of car makes and styles.
1955 Chevolet Stylite
1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS
One of the highlights of the day was the Vintage Caravan magazine-sponsored retro caravan show at the Whangamata Area School. Retro caravan restorations have really taken off in the last few years, and the quality and attention to detail was just as high as the cars themselves. You could poke your head inside each of the caravans on display, and even have a wander around inside one if you were lucky!
Saturday night is usually a pretty big party, but with the amount of walking and hours in the sun, we were quite content with having dinner by the beach and a reasonably early night so we could do it all again the next day.
The sun rose again on Sunday morning, and we were treated to another perfect day of warm, dry weather. We've had a mix of sun and rain (to various degrees) at every one of our previous Beach Hop experiences, so we were very thankful for this extended period of classic kiwi summer weather.
1968 Dodge Super Bee
After a short walk to Williamson Park, we were greeted to even more cars on display, as well as live bands such as Auckland's 'Recliner Rockers'...
...and some very interesting products and crafts in the marketplace and swapmeet areas.
The top 10 cars and bikes as voted by the public on the previous day (out of a total of 1000 entrants) were on display at the Whangamata Reserve, and I was pleased to see that several of the vehicles that stood out to me during the weekend were there, including this amazing 1948-style Chevrolet Custom COE.
Although it has been built as a car-transporter, I'm not sure if we'll ever see a vehicle parked on it's mirror-finish treadplate decking?
Every inch of this truck was immaculate, and the subtle modifications all worked together to create a stand-out show vehicle that wowed the crowds all weekend.
Once again the public could vote for a car or bike in top 10 - this time by placing money into the bin next to their favourite.
1950 Dodge Fargo Power Wagon
1964 Pontiac Laurentian
1947-style Ford Jailbar
1959 Chevrolet Biscayne
The car and bike that raises the most money takes home the two overall prizes, while all proceeds go directly to the local Surf Life Saving Club. What a great initiative!
I'd like to say a big 'thank you' to Siggy Eichholz and Terri Cave, who provided these great photos from the event. This was something we had pre-arranged, which meant I was able to relax for a change and enjoy the weekend purely as a spectator. We've got plenty more photos in our Facebook album here, and you can check out more of Siggy's photos from other motoring events at SE Photography.
The dates for Beach Hop 15 have already been announced, so we look forward to heading back on the 25th - 29th March 2015.
- Brent Shaw