KAIK­OURA HOP

THE EIGHTH AN­NUAL RUN­NING OF THE KAIK­OURA HOP HAD THE EARTH SHAK­ING WITH PLENTY OF CARS AND GOOD VIBES

NZV8 - - CONTENTS - WORDS AND PHO­TOS: ROD DUNN

It’s hard to be­lieve, but this year’s was the eighth run­ning of the Kaik­oura Hop, held over 13–16 Septem­ber. From hum­ble be­gin­nings, the Kaik­oura Hop has now ce­mented its place as a must-do event on the New Zealand car-scene cal­en­dar. The past cou­ple of years haven’t been easy for the or­ga­niz­ers, with not only a huge change of venue but also the up­heaval that Mother Na­ture caused with the 7.8-mag­ni­tude earth­quake that struck the re­gion just after mid­night on 14 Novem­ber 2016. Last year, the or­ga­niz­ers faced un­cer­tainty with the loss of so much of the town’s ac­com­mo­da­tion, not only through the dam­age caused by quakes but also be­cause much of it was oc­cu­pied by the hun­dreds of work­ers who had moved to the town to help with the re­build­ing of the main coastal road. As hard and as try­ing as all that has been, this year’s event left no doubt about the Hop’s pop­u­lar­ity, with hun­dreds of reg­is­tered en­tries and thou­sands of peo­ple through the gates on Satur­day for the Show and Shine.

The fes­tiv­i­ties kicked off on Thurs­day morn­ing with the NPD Cruise to Pic­ton, which left the race­course that served as home base for the event. The sun was shin­ing, and the drive up the coast road gave en­trants the chance to see the amaz­ing progress that has been made since the earth­quake dev­as­tated the road north of Kaik­oura. Once in Pic­ton, the cars as­sem­bled in a car park and awaited a num­ber of North Is­land en­trants com­ing off the fer­ries. The cruise then headed for Blen­heim, where Marl­bor­ough Clas­sic and Cus­tom Restora­tions kindly opened its doors for ev­ery­one to look around. The evening’s en­ter­tain­ment was a drivein movie, and the movie cho­sen was Smokey and the Ban­dit, in hon­our of the re­cently de­ceased Burt Reynolds. Bril­liant sun­shine again greeted ev­ery­one on Fri­day morn­ing, as ve­hi­cles turned up at the race­course for the start of the Poker Run — well sup­ported again this year. This laid-back day gave ev­ery­one a chance to catch up with peo­ple and just to re­lax. In the evening, the Pen­rite Cruise de­parted from the race­course to thread its way around the town. For those who wanted a night out away from the cars, there was live mu­sic from the Route 66 band at the Groper Bar. Satur­day dawned bright and sunny, with not a breath of wind. Cars started ar­riv­ing at 7am, want­ing to get a good spot at the Show and Shine. From then on, cars just kept pour­ing into the grounds, as did mem­bers of the pub­lic, want­ing to take ad­van­tage of such an awe­some day.

By mid­day, close to 750 ve­hi­cles were on dis­play, with more still ar­riv­ing. As well as many trade and mar­ket stalls to browse through, there were plenty of food ven­dors on hand so that peo­ple could sat­isfy their hunger pangs while lis­ten­ing to the su­perb mu­sic of Route 66. The great team at South Pa­cific Heli­copters was do­ing scenic flights, with $25 from ev­ery ticket go­ing to the lo­cal St John branch. View­ing the show from the air was a whole new way to see it, and a good way to get the feel of how big the Show and Shine has be­come. A new event this year was the Pit Stop Chal­lenge, in which teams of four had to push a car, jump out and change a wheel, then push the car a fur­ther dis­tance, all the while try­ing to beat the clock — fun for en­trants and spec­ta­tors alike. The early af­ter­noon saw the Miss Kaik­oura Hop show, with a large num­ber of en­tries again this year.

With it be­ing such a hot day, the show started to wind down around 3.30pm, some spec­ta­tors choos­ing to re­turn to their ac­com­mo­da­tion for a cou­ple of cold ones and to chill while watch­ing the All Blacks get beaten. For the more en­er­getic, the sell-out Rock ’n’ Roll Dance on Satur­day evening saw many peo­ple rock­ing it out to the tunes of Boom Boom Deluxe. The past few years have seen the Sun­day morn­ing start with a garage visit, but the or­ga­niz­ers changed it up a bit this year, and held a sec­ond Show and Shine day, which turned out to be fairly pop­u­lar — although, with some en­trants head­ing home early, num­bers were lower than on Satur­day. Once again, the trade and mar­ket stalls were op­er­at­ing for those who hadn’t had the time to

look around on Satur­day. The Grid Girl Comp, in­tro­duced this year, had just two en­trants, with the win­ner go­ing on to be the of­fi­cial starter at the burnouts later in the day. The num­ber of en­trants for the burnouts was up on last year’s comp, with 12 cars putting on a tyre-fry­ing per­for­mance. With vary­ing de­grees of suc­cess, each en­trant had the chance to put on their best dis­play — although some did not have a good day. We saw ev­ery­thing from cars not hav­ing enough power to smoke, guys kiss­ing the wall, and a cou­ple of me­chan­i­cal is­sues, the even­tual win­ner be­ing Michael Ledger­wood in his V8-pow­ered Toy­ota. Once the smoke cleared, it was time to call an end to this year’s Kaik­oura Hop and head home. With the event go­ing from strength to strength, we sug­gest you make sure to put it on your cal­en­dar for 2019!

THE NUM­BER OF EN­TRANTS FOR THE BURNOUTS WAS UP ON LAST YEAR’S COMP

John and Maria Af­fleck call their ’38 Chevro­let sedan a ‘resto rod’, and rightly so. Hav­ing bought it as a vin­tage car that had been done up, the cou­ple de­cided to turn it into a rod but didn’t want to paint it, so the body was lifted off the frame and set aside while most of the mod­i­fi­ca­tions were done to the frame. It was blasted, then a cus­tom K-frame was added. It now runs a 2003 VX Com­modore-sourced LS1 with most parts, in­clud­ing the brakes, diff, steer­ing, and drive­shaft, com­ing from var­i­ous Com­modore mod­els. The in­te­rior was re­done in two-tone to match the out­side. “It’s great to drive, which is what we wanted,” said John. “You just get in it and drive” Here is a ride that is not for the faint-hearted. Cus­tom built over 18 months, this beast runs a 350ci small block Chev en­gine and TH350 trans. A Fal­con rear holds those mas­sive Mickey Thomp­son tyres apart

Over the years, the Miss Kaik­oura Hop and retro/vin­tage dress­ing up for the Hop have be­come very pop­u­lar. Here are just some of the lovely ladies who went to the ef­fort of dress­ing up for the oc­ca­sion Although they had been to the Kaik­oura Hop be­fore, this was the first time that Aussie-based Ki­wis Greg Fitzgib­bon, Derek Roberts, and Marty Steel had at­tended in a rod. The trio, who made the trip over from Bris­bane, had a great time in the tub be­long­ing to their Christchurch mate Derek Tyson

This year’s burnout win­ner was Michael Ledger­wood, seen here after be­ing pre­sented with his award by event or­ga­nizer Doug O’Cal­la­han and Grid Girl Comp win­ner Shonny McCormick Our Fri­day pick: It’s al­ways hard to sin­gle out one car at an event like this, but we heard this thing be­fore we saw it and knew that it was some­thing spe­cial. If your at­ten­tion isn’t grabbed by the paint colour, then the blown small block will do it. Known as ‘Lola’, the ’32 three-win­dow coupe be­long­ing to Lyall and Lucy Stewart is stun­ning. The body is chopped four inches and is fit­ted with ’48 Chev tail lights. That stun­ning colour is cour­tesy of seven lay­ers of candy ap­ple red, while nine coats were laid down to create the flames, and then there’s met­alflake over the top. The in­te­rior is done in leather, while the pow­er­house is a 350 Chev topped with that awe­some-look­ing Weiand 6-71 blower and backed by a TCI Street­fighter Street and Strip TH400 trans­mis­sion. With Amer­i­can Rac­ing wheels fin­ish­ing the pack­age off, it’s not hard to see why the car is pop­u­lar!

Our Satur­day pick: Ti­maru-based Frank Bray and wife Lyn have one hell of a ride. The cou­ple pur­chased their ’53 Buick Su­per Riviera coupe resto rod al­most ex­actly as it’s seen here, and have made only a few tweaks to it. The car is run­ning a 401ci Nail­head en­gine that’s been nicely de­tailed with plenty of paint and chrome. Other than the beau­ti­ful two-tone paint, the thing that makes the car stand out is its stance. The coupe is sit­ting on a ’69 Ca­maro front clip and runs a ’70 Chev­elle rear end. It has all-new glass, and the in­te­rior con­sists of a cus­tom-made billet steer­ing wheel and new leather trim over 2004 Pon­tiac GTO seats

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