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Community spirit: scenes from Waiau Pa Hop 2016

23 August 2016

Waiau Pa Hop is a special kind of event. Maybe it’s the welcoming atmosphere that you only really feel at events run for the benefit of the community, or perhaps it’s the quality of the cars that turn up each year, or the masses of people that invariably show up for a look — whatever it is, it’s special, and this year was no different.

As soon as you got near the vicinity of the event there was a huge cluster of spectators in and around the parking area — it was clear that this show was going to be good. The Waiau Pa Hop organizers certainly picked a picturesque location in Clarks Beach — just add a big turnout and behaving weather, and you’ve got yourself a show that caters to just about everybody.

Of course an event like this is all about the cars, and there was no shortage to choose from. One of the obvious standouts would have to have been Reece Fish’s tough ’56 Chev — the quickest street car in New Zealand — a legit seven-second car that was driven to the event; how cool is that?!

On the total opposite end of the speed spectrum was this wild Monte Carlo low-rider. The car was owned by Carnales member Fergus Hope of Peninsula Panel and Paint, who built and finished it to an amazing standard, before putting it on the market. We’re presuming it was driven here by a new owner who will no doubt be very keen for summer to roll around.

If sedate was more your kind of thing, there was no shortage of that either — check out this beautiful ’52 Chev, a car that stands out on account of just how unmodified it seems.

Yes, there were plenty of stunning examples of unmodified classics to be found, including this arrow-straight ’70 Holden Monaro HT GTS, almost certainly still running the original 253ci V8 power plant.

We can’t mention power plants without drawing attention to one of the most attention-grabbing ones there — Peter Ganley’s blown and injected 489ci big block Chev in his ’69 Camaro. With BDS EFI and a reversed intake plenum, the set-up not only looks great, but gives Peter all of the benefits of a blower with none of the drawbacks.

But if you were after attention-grabbing, you simply couldn’t look beyond Luke Ennion’s ‘Little Menace’ bubble car. The little hot rod is a completely custom build, done almost entirely by Luke, and no matter how many times we see it — not that many, admittedly — it just never, ever, ever gets boring.

The ‘BIMMBO’ Pontiac Star Chief is another beautiful car that we’ll never get tired of looking at.

Although, speaking of getting tired, if you did find that happening to yourself, there’s no reason why you couldn’t enjoy a quick recharge …

Then again, as they say, prevention is better than the cure!

But while Waiau Pa Hop might tire you in terms of the walking that you’ll find yourself doing in order to check out everything the show has to offer, it’s not an event we’re ever going to get tired of. It’s something that we can only see getting bigger and better every year, and for an event created to support the community, that’s a very good thing!