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Day three of Repco Beach Hop 15

1 April 2015

The rain that started the previous night hadn’t disappeared as we’d all hoped. Instead, the morning dawned damp, and that’s how it’d stay for most of the day, besides the odd reprieve.

That didn’t stop the Castrol Edge Thunder Cruise to Onemana taking place, and cars turning out en masse at the meeting point before hitting the road.

One of the many cars gathered was Ed Trybula’s ‘PROFAT’ Monaro, a car, which in theory Ed should have completed more than two decades ago, but was finished just in time for the event. Although it looked like he’d struck mechanical problems with the blown and injected big block, he was simply uncapping the headers.

Another car to catch our eye was Aaron Beck’s ‘KUDA’. Looking like something out of Mad Max, the car’s engineering is really something else, and needs to be seen in person to be appreciated.

This became more evident when he popped the hood for us, and the already present crowd came in for a closer look — all amazed with what they saw. We’re looking forward to bringing you a full feature on the car when it’s completed, which is closer than it looks.

When it came time to hit the road, the Beach Hop Mercury was again the lead car, this time with a new accessory — a sign that there was to be the first-ever Beach Hop wedding later in the day.

Not far behind was Eddie, making plenty of noise, despite not being totally sure that driving the car — with over 700hp and steamroller-sized rear tyres — in the rain was the best decision.

Some of the spectators who lined the roads may have thought that sitting out in the rain for hours wasn’t their best move either, but every one of them we spoke to said that they had a great day.

Obviously some were a touch more prepared for the weather than others, which may have helped.

The wide range of machinery that spectators got to witness is what kept them out there. Included at the extreme end of that was David and Jenny Miles’s amazing 1942 GMC logging truck. If bigger is better, then this thing is the best! The attention to detail and paintwork on it is every bit as good as any show car that we’ve seen in the country.

Speaking of amazing paintwork, Wellingtonian Mark Coffey’s ’57 Bel Air still looked as good as when it debuted last year. The new scoop sticking out through the hood indicates that he’s added the supercharger he mentioned when we saw him last.

On the more subtle end of the scale was this amazingly restored Nash Statesman, the first restored one we’ve ever seen, and maybe the last. It had made the trek to the event from Dunedin, some 1300-plus kilometres away.

Once we all arrived in Onemana there were cars galore, including this mirror-wrapped oldsmobile. If there were an award for most-touched car, this would have been in for a shot as people felt the need to see how it felt. The answer was that it felt wet …

The only vehicle that may have had more hands on it over the course of the vent was ‘Chuck Da Truck’, which, just like last year, came with chalk and instructions for people to leave a message. Very cool idea!

Being the Castrol Edge Thunder Cruise, it came as no surprise that Karl Boniface was there with his Castrol-sponsored Nitro Flashback funny car. It’s always funny watching people do the ‘nitro step’, leaping backwards when the throttle is pushed during fire-ups.

The weather didn’t deter some less-covered drivers, such as Stacey Roper, who drove her ’27 Roadster out despite the rain, and managed to keep a smile on her face the whole time.

Come a mid-afternoon downpour though, the crowds decided that enough was enough, and headed for town so that they could prepare themselves for a big night of cruising ahead. One of the most popular cars to be lapping town was Aaron Tucker’s ’58 Chev and caravan combo, which was cruising complete with neon lights glowing in the back.

Look out for more galleries over the coming days, and dont forget you can pre-order your copy of our 112-page Beach Hop Annual 2015, which comes complete with DVD by calling 0800 727 574 or by hitting this link.