Beach Hop 2014: Day four — Whangamata

16 June, 2014


And then it was Saturday, which is generally considered to be the main day of Beach Hop and best described as orchestrated chaos.

A series of parades take place starting from different locations and ending in different locations. The end points result in various individual car shows, each of which is up there with any of the biggest shows in the country.

The Meguiar’s Main Street Car Show had the Ultimate Pass holders parked in prime position on Whangamata’s main street, alongside drag cars doing fire-ups as part of the Castrol Edge Crackle Fest, bands playing, and crowds like never before.

At the opposite end of the main street, in the Whangamata Area School grounds, was the Vintage Caravan Magazine Retro Caravan Show. When this part of the event started there were just four caravans on the field; four years later, there were an astounding 85 caravans taking part.

It was difficult to imagine a better Repco Pre-49 Hot Rod Show than last year, but the turnout was so impressive that it was hard to pick just one stand-out.

As always, the day was rounded out with a series of stage shows, and the one part everyone was waiting for, the chance to win one of the three Beach Hop promo vehicles. The lucky winner was Terry Scott of Auckland who chose to take home the 1966 Mustang. A “blind” auction was held for one of the two other vehicles: a Zephyr and caravan combo or an XP Falcon wagon. An Auckland couple topped the bidding and chose to take home the Falcon. Graham Jack won the Zephyr and caravan.

Look out for coverage in our next issue, on sale Monday April 7, and our full 122-page coverage in our 2014 Beach Hop Annual, on sale late April.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.

Super Leicht Gullwing

It’s fair to say that nothing much in the classic Mercedes world gets past Mercedes-Benz Club stalwart Garry Boyce so it wasn’t surprising to learn that around 15 years ago he had sniffed out an extremely rare 300SL lightweight Gullwing as well as a 1958 300SL Roadster hiding away in the Waikato. The cars were not for sale but Garry eventually managed to persuade the owner to allow him and his restoration team to take a look at the Roadster. They discovered a very distressed but largely unmolested car. The car was so original that the body had never been off the chassis, meaning most of the parts and fittings were still present and correct, as they had been fitted by the factory.