In Novem­ber last year, Kaik­oura was rat­tled by sev­eral large earth­quakes that caused wide­spread dam­age, not only within the sea­side com­mu­nity but also north and south along State High­way 1 (SH1) and the main trunk line. Much of the high­way was cov­ered by mas­sive slips that cut the town off for sev­eral weeks. Un­til the in­land road was cleared, the only way in was by sea or air. With the Kaik­oura Hop 2017 fast ap­proach­ing, the or­ga­niz­ers worked closely with the agen­cies in­volved in the clean-up to en­sure that the roads south of the town would be open to traf­fic for the event. Roads north re­main in a far greater mess, and they will not be opened be­fore the end of 2017.


For those ar­riv­ing early to Kaik­oura Hop, the in­land road was the only way in, as SH1 didn’t open un­til 1pm on the Thurs­day. Those who did ar­rive early had a good op­por­tu­nity to look around town at the dam­age caused and to book into ac­com­mo­da­tion. The race­course in South Bay was Hop head­quar­ters for the week­end, and around two dozen cars parked up there for a get-to­gether at lunchtime on Thurs­day. A cruise was held in the even­ing. Fri­day dawned with a mag­nif­i­cent sun­rise, set­ting the tone for the Hop. Peo­ple began head­ing out to the race­course around 8am, just to park up and catch up with friends. A poker run left at 11am, with a large con­voy of ve­hi­cles head­ing out af­ter re­ceiv­ing their first card. The ve­hi­cles made three stops, re­ceiv­ing an­other card at each, be­fore head­ing back to HQ for the fi­nal card. A small prize­giv­ing was held at 3pm, be­fore ev­ery­one kicked back for drinks.



Rain could be heard hit­ting the roofs in the wee hours of Satur­day morn­ing but was al­ready clear­ing by the time most peo­ple crawled out of bed. By 8am, the gate at­ten­dants at the race­course were flat out get­ting the huge queue of cars in and parked up for the show and shine. With the shake-up that Kaik­oura has ex­pe­ri­enced, or­ga­niz­ers weren’t ex­pect­ing huge num­bers but were pleas­antly sur­prised by the turnout. Thanks to Dave and his team at Kaik­oura He­li­copters, we were given the op­por­tu­nity to view the scope of the show from the air, and counted close to 400 cars on show. Due to the short­age of ac­com­mo­da­tion in Kaik­oura this year, on ac­count of the earth­quake, many peo­ple chose to make a day trip to the Hop. Through the day, over 100 more cars ar­rived, park­ing out in the car park be­cause there was sim­ply no room on the course. At 2.30pm, just be­fore the Miss Kaik­oura Hop Retro Pinup com­pe­ti­tion was due to start, a big black cloud moved over­head and dumped a lit­tle rain on the pro­ceed­ings, send­ing a few peo­ple to their cars and out the gates, but most just headed for the bar. Twenty min­utes later, the sun was out, giv­ing us a beau­ti­ful af­ter­noon and a suc­cess­ful pin-up com­pe­ti­tion saw 46 lovely ladies vy­ing for the win. The judges had a hard job nar­row­ing the field down to the Top 10, let alone de­cid­ing the even­tual win­ner, but Miss Kitty Kaos, aka Kirsty Hopewell, was even­tu­ally crowned the vic­tor. Af­ter this, the prize-giv­ing was held. Sev­eral spot prizes were given away — some peo­ple miss­ing out on theirs be­cause they had been chased off by the rain — be­fore we headed straight into the Top 10, or, in this case, or­ga­nizer Doug’s Top 10, which turned out to be 11, bring­ing a laugh from the crowd. Quite a mixed bag of ve­hi­cles made the list, rang­ing from an Austin A30 panel van and cus­tom Ford Pop to a Model A pickup and bagged Im­pala. With the show over with, a cruise around town as the sun was set­ting was fol­lowed by the Shake, Rat­tle, and Roll party af­ter dark.


Sun­day dawned cold, but this time it was due to clear skies. Again, cars gath­ered at Hop HQ whence they left at 10am for a shed tour. Quite a con­voy headed north just out of town to view an awe­some col­lec­tion of cars, mak­ing it back to the race­course in time for the fi­nal event — burnouts. These events have gained — or lost, de­pend­ing on how you look at things! — a lot of trac­tion in re­cent years, mainly due to our Aussie cousins, who lead the world in the art of fry­ing tyres. This year, the burnouts moved lo­ca­tion next door, to the prop­erty of Har­mac Con­crete. Craig Mackle and his team at Har­mac Con­crete are in the process of con­cret­ing their en­tire yard to stop the dust from an­noy­ing their neigh­bours and took the ini­tia­tive to set up a pad for the com­pe­ti­tion at the same time. Sur­rounded by large con­crete blocks, and with a large banked area on one side, the pad had no short­age of places from which to view the per­for­mances. Six cars showed up to cre­ate smoke. Once the skies had cleared, Bren­don Hibbs of Burnout Bo­gans was awarded the top gong. With Bren­don’s V8-powered Anglia cre­at­ing plenty of smoke and mak­ing full use of the pad, there was no doubt in the judges’ minds who had per­formed the best.

No sooner had the award been pre­sented and peo­ple be­gun fil­ter­ing out the gate, than in rolled an old-school kus­tom twin-spin­ner. Cov­ered in dirt and dust and with the wind­screen on the pas­sen­ger side miss­ing, the thing looked as though it had just been dragged out of a shed where it had been sit­ting for 30 years. The of­fi­cials de­cided to al­low the ve­hi­cle onto the pad to see what it could do — much to the de­light of the re­turn­ing crowd. Driver Johnny Clarke drifted the car around the pad with one arm out the win­dow, for all as if he were out for a Sun­day drive — ac­tu­ally, when you come to think of it, he was! Things were go­ing well for young Johnny un­til he went a bit wide, caus­ing the rear to come into con­tact with one of the con­crete blocks, which sent the doors on the driver’s side fly­ing open. If that wasn’t enough, the poor old mo­tor cried enough, spew­ing hot coolant all over the pad. Although the award had al­ready been handed out, a small prize was given to Johnny for such a great dis­play, and the crowd cer­tainly ap­proved. We cer­tainly ap­proved — of the way Kaik­oura Hop 2017 panned out from start to fin­ish. Roll on 2018.

A huge crowd gath­ered on Fri­day morn­ing for the poker run. With the first and last card be­ing cho­sen at Hop HQ, the other three were col­lected at dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions around town

Gra­ham Wil­son is the lucky owner of this ’68 Dodge Charger, brought from Texas in 1990 and used as a daily-driver un­til 1997. A full restora­tion of the Charger was be­gun in 1999. The en­tire car was dis­man­tled, me­dia blasted, and re­built. Power is pro­vided by a 440ci that has been stroked to 500ci, backed by a 727 TorqueFlite and Sure Grip rear end. That bright hue is called ‘Vic­tory Red’, and it pro­vides a stark con­trast to the un­der­stated in­te­rior, which has been lay­ered in tweed and vinyl

This 1955 Ford F100 has been in the care of its owner for 41 years, dur­ing which time it has un­der­gone two re­builds. A far cry from the way it left the fac­tory 60-odd years ago, it is now powered by a 429ci big block Ford, backed by C6 auto and nine-inch rear that has been nar­rowed by a sub­stan­tial eight inches. Rolling on Cen­ter Line rims mea­sur­ing 15x7 inches up front and 15x10 inches out the back, this thing looks tough. Would you be­lieve that the metal­lic gold and candy red and yel­low stripes have been on the truck since 1985!? Now a lit­tle worse for the wear, through stone-chip­ping more than any­thing, this car is the po­lar op­po­site of a trailer queen This is just a small part of the Satur­day even­ing cruise, which took cars out to the end of South Bay and back in around town

This beau­ti­ful 1970½ Chev Ca­maro at­tracted its share of at­ten­tion on Satur­day. It runs a 454ci big block that’s been punched out to 461ci, with the power sent to a GM 12-bolt diff via a TH400 A ’59 Ford Galaxie Sky­liner, with its fac­tory-fit­ted re­tractable hard­top, is not a com­mon sight on our roads these days. Be­long­ing to Vince and Di Singh, this one at­tracted many looks and com­ments. The car is sim­ply stun­ning

Vonda, Doug, and Jeff form the team that brings us Kaik­oura Hop each year, and, as you can see, it’s a very laid-back event Thanks to Kaik­oura He­li­copters, we got to view the show and shine from the air. What a view! These guys were kept busy all day on Satur­day, of­fer­ing $50 flights from the race­course us­ing two he­li­copters

Robert Quint had his 1939 Busi­ness Coupe at Satur­day’s show. The tra­di­tional 350ci small block Chev is built with a cruise­friendly four-speed auto, backed by a Chev 10-bolt — a very re­li­able com­bi­na­tion Derek Tyson is the lucky owner of this black beauty — a 1934 Ford Vic­to­ria that he has owned for 18 months. The car made it into the Top 10 last year, but had to take a back seat this year

Win­ner of this year’s burnout comp was Bren­don Hibbs (right) with his V8-powered Ford Anglia. Here, Craig Mackle (left), the owner of Har­mac Con­crete — which pro­vided the burnout pad — and event or­ga­nizer Doug O’Cal­la­han (mid­dle) present the award

Miss Kitty Kaos, aka Kirsty Hopewell, over­came 45 other hopefuls to be­come the win­ner of this year’s Miss Kaik­oura Hop comp

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