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Repco Beach Hop 16 day two: Waihi

6 April, 2016

The second day of Repco Beach Hop 16 (March 30), was what most would have associated with previous years’ day one — the Go Waihi Warm Up Party. As always, entrants assembled their cars outside the Ford NZ Reserve (Williamson Park) in Whangamata, before departing Waihi-bound at 10am. 

The bulk of Waihi’s Main Street, as well as myriad side streets, was taken over by ‘Beach Hoppers’ in their classic vehicles, as well as the uphill Cornish Pump House reserve. A bonus was the live band — Tim & the Rockets — playing inside the old Cornish Pump House, providing some very welcome entertainment. 

Not only are there enough cars to take up a whole day’s worth of browsing, but the Waihi day is pretty well known for the ‘drag race’, which is “something you don’t want to miss” according to the official Beach Hop programme. This is where a team of usually very hairy blokes dressed in drag have a race down the street. 

It’s not pretty, but it sure is a barrel of laughs, and a fine way to unwind from what was actually a very hot and sunny day. Of course, knowing how the weather would turn out over the remainder of Repco Beach Hop 16, that great atmosphere helped make our memories of Waihi even fonder. 

We’ll have full coverage in our NZV8 Beach Hop Annual 2016, which will be out in mid May — or you can pre-order a copy here.

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

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.