Bulging crowds at Beach Hop

Whangamata was hopping mad with thousands of young and old car enthusiasts as the town’s famous Sony Beach Hop 13 event revved up at the weekend.

Shiny cars, loudly-grunting pick-up trucks and brightly-coloured caravans were planted on every spare patch of ground around town.


Visitors and locals alike enjoyed the sight, sound and smell of Beach Hop at Whangamata on the weekend. Photos: Merle Foster.

Classic Car competition entries line up to participate in the Beach Hop’s grand parade on Saturday.

Beach Hop fans line the main street to get a glimpse of classic cars at their finest.

Parked up and on display.

A sign on the windscreen says `please don’t touch’ the Dodge.

Around 1000 cars – made in the years from 1923 to 1971 – entered the annual competition, with 200 of those from the Bay of Plenty region, accompanied by an estimated 1000 extra classic vehicles that cruised into town to visit the hop.

For car-lovers the Beach Hop is a time to show off their newly renovated sets of wheels, while others gathered ideas for their own hobby back home.

An estimated 100,000 visitors enjoyed the sights, roaring-sounds and fume-ridden smells at five-day event.

As the grand parade of Beach Hop entries made their way down the main drag of Whangamata at 11am on Saturday, an estimated 50,000 people lined the street to get a glance of what was on offer.

Competitions included a Retro Beauty Show, Hop Idol featuring people singing songs from the 1950s and 1960s, a Junkyard Fashion Show  with entries made from car parts and a Rockabilly Tattoo Competition.

Beach Hop creator Noddy Watts says a 1965 Ford Falcon Futura Coupe, 1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero Ute and 1960 Retro Caravan were up for grabs.

On right: Caren Glazer of Mount Manganui poses with her 1962 MK II Zephyr Saloon.

Orewa couple Bob and Melissa Nightingale visit Beach Hop in their 1971 Chevrolet Chevell.

An unlikely passenger joins the grand parade.

Someone’s trash waiting to become another person’s treasured classic car renovation hobby at Whangamata’s Sony Beach Hop 13.

The hulk stands on the back of a 1948 Ford Bonus pick-up truck at 2013 Beach Hop.


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