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Kaikoura Beach Hop 2014

2014 Kaikora Hop

So Bonita and myself had an early start at 6:00am on the Saturday with my first port of call the workshop to pick up the Harman Motors VE. Once it was loaded we carried on to Amberley to catch up with Chris and his 1971 Chrystler Pacer, Violet and Lex with their VE Commodore “SCARY2” and Paul with his 6L VZ ute. From here it was an easy cruise to Kaikoura. We arrived at the domain just before 9am and could already tell the Hop was going to be bigger and better than any other year. We were quickly ushered in and parked up. It seemed to only take another half hour to fill the remaining two thirds of the domain. The quality of the cars was only second to the atmosphere. Everyone was friendly and the weather was warm. It was great to see so many of our customers showing their cars. The hours flew by and at 3pm the cars started moving off for the cruise. This was quite spectacular with an estimated 1,400-1,500 specialist cars all on the move. The cruise turned into chaos quite quickly with no clear direction. Kaikoura was quite simply over run with hop goers all lapping around very happily.

Whilst Chris wanted an early night and stayed at the cabins, Bonita and I got some fish and chips and went to the drive in movie. This was the first time I had ever been to a drive in and I quite enjoyed the freedom the car gave us to chat as opposed to sitting in a theatre shoulder to shoulder with other movie goers. I think I have found my new favorite way to see movies.

On sunday morning we made our way north of Kaikoura to Hapuku for the first ever “Kaikoura Hop Street Drags” With Chris driving the Harman Motors VE, I gave a hand to relay times to the time keeper. After a couple of runs had been made I tried to talk Lex and Violet into running “SCARY2”. They countered my banter by tossing me the keys and telling me to show them how it was done. I made 2 passes in their car. Their VE has had the typical Harman Motors treatment and I knew it was what I consider to be a “fast car” but it really showed its muscle and more importantly its response over the 1/8th mile street track. After I had made my 2 passes I really wanted to see Violet behind the wheel making a good pass. So after a little persuasive banter from Lex and myself she agreed to give it ago. I handed her the helmet and ran through the staging process and made sure all was ok with the race organizers. Well what happened next was simply quite awesome. Violet staged the car with no burnout and pulled up to the line with a gentle touch. The flag was raised and she launched. The car ran true and I could really hear the cam sing. As it turned out Violet had just made one of the days fastest passes and had indeed posted the highest speed at the end of the 8th. I was so pleased to see one of my cars being used the way I had intended it and giving such joy to the owner. It really was a buzz and gave me much more enjoyment than running the car myself. I really take pride and enjoyment from seeing a car I have tuned being used and driven for pleasure after all we don't build “normal” cars here.

A big thanks to all the Organizers, Supporters of the “Kaikoura Hop” and an extra big thank you to all our customers that took the time to come with us or even say hi at the show.

And of course, well done Vi, you made my weekend.

James McMullan

Performance Technician

Harman Motors