Now in its second year, the Waiau Pa Hop is an event growing at a remarkable rate. Having learnt from their 2014 meeting, the event’s team of organizers worked hard to make the 2015 Waiau Pa School fundraising event both bigger and better. And they succeeded in emphatic fashion, with the number of entrants increasing from around 30 cars in 2014 to more than 150 cars in 2015.

Anyone who has been involved in fundraising will tell you that it’s hard work. But thanks to a few local car enthusiasts, combined with the generosity of a selection of local Franklin businesses, the event ran like clockwork, despite the inclement weather’s attempts to steal the show. When the gates first opened at 9am, there were already a stream of cars lining up for the show, with the paved parking lot filling rapidly, forcing a number of surplus cars to be relegated to parking on the venue’s grassy fields.

Attendees were presented with some awesome sights, including hot rods, classic cars, muscle cars, a number of former NZV8 magazine feature cars, a bouncy castle for the kids, and even a motorized couch — there really was something for everyone.

The car park held what was practically another show in itself, with the entire supporting roadside lined with an innumerable amount of fantastic cars owned by those attending the event. This extra, and somewhat unexpected, display of cars simply added to what was already a great spectacle.

The day’s soundtrack was also a diverse one, thanks to the many local musicians who took their turn on the stage — their music only interrupted by the alternative sounds created by the rumble of various V8s firing up. Sadly, Les Herst never managed to get ‘The Phoenix’, his nitro funny car, to start — damaging the starter beyond repair when the car unfortunately backfired. Despite this, the sight of two funny cars on display was appreciated nonetheless.

There were also a number of cruises during the day, giving people a chance to ride in some cool cars, followed by the widely anticipated V8 Sound Off. Factor in the great food and beverages on offer during the daytime, and the dinner and dance at night, and you can bet that a good day was had by all who attended. While this meeting is still in its infancy, the Waiau Pa Hop is now a real fixture on the local hot rod, classic, and muscle car owners’ calendar.

Thanks to all who came together to make such an event happen, especially for such a good cause of the education of local children. We’re definitely looking forward to Waiau Pa Hop 2016!

Kevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw loves most forms of motorsport, having had a crack at rally driving, drag racing, and four-wheel driving over the years. Over the years he has owned a diverse mix of vehicles from Range Rovers to T-buckets. While awestruck by the power vehicles in the import scene can make, he still prefers an old V8, and he currently drives a ’56 Bel Air that is an old New Zealand–new survivor, which sometimes tows a 1969 Concord caravan that is currently being restored. Also in the shed is a BB Chev-powered 1926 T roadster pickup, which is a long-term project hiding in the back of the shed. In my professional life I have spent 20 years in IT, 10 years as a self-employed builder, and my day job now is in operations / fleet management looking after 400-plus trucks around New Zealand. I've been a contributor to NZV8 since 2010.