The Kaikoura Hop is just two weeks away, but it’s no holiday for organiser Doug O’Callahan.

With the annual car show returning to the South Bay Racecourse from September 13 to 16, Doug and his partner Fonda Novis have taken annual leave to give their full attention to running the event.

“It’s pretty exciting. We’re looking to have a reasonably busy few days, and registrations are very comparable to last year.

“We’re still a little back on the big numbers we’ve had in the past, but it’s looking good for the next couple of years.”

Doug says new sponsors have come on board and there is set to be plenty of media coverage of this year’s event, with TV3 set to film the event for one of its car shows and several motoring magazines set to attend.

As well as organising the event Doug and Fonda have five cars of their own entered in the show, being held over two days, Saturday and Sunday, for the first time.

“They might get a quick wash, but they will be dragged along as they are.”

The challenge of owning extra cars is remembering to register them and take them for a warrant of fitness, with Fonda’s Valiant Charger due for a warrant in two weeks.

“We really need to have a calendar for all the registrations and warrants,” Doug says.

“Maybe the smart thing would be to sell a couple of them and just have a few cars, but ‘more is better’, they say.”

The Kaikoura Hop kicks off on Thursday, September 13, with a cruise to Picton to meet cars off the ferry. There will be a shed tour on the way back to Kaikoura, with the cars set to arrive in time for an evening drive-in movie at the racecourse.

Friday’s programme includes a town cruise and live music at the Groper Bar.

The main event is the car show, which will be held at the racecourse on Saturday and Sunday, with a horse race, trade stalls, markets, music, a licensed bar, the Miss Hop competition, a pit-stop challenge and V8 simulators in action.

There will be another cruise around town on Saturday evening, before the rock’n’roll dance, while Sunday’s programme will also include burn-outs.

Doug has been taking rock’n’roll dance lessons with his “two left feet” and plans to organise a rock’n’roll dance weekend next winter.

“A few small events in the winter would be good for the town,” he says

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