Classic cars and retro caravans draw in thousands

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Organisers of Classics at Ohope are hailing this year’s event, as the most successful one yet.

The event at Ohope Beach Top 10 Holiday Park on Saturday, brought together more than 8000 people from far and wide in a celebration of classic cars and retro caravans.

Just under 500 vehicles were showcased during the event, including Ford Mustangs, Falcon GTs, Hot Rods and Retro Caravans.

Ocean Ford Whakatane dealer principle and organiser Stephen Hermansen says the whole town was transformed during the celebrations.

"It exceeded all expectations. This was the second year running and we knew it would be bigger than the first year but we probably didn't expect it to triple in size.

"It created a massive vibe for the town too. Cars were lined up down the street, there were a few hundred other cars outside of the show and it created a massive vibe throughout the region.

"Everyone spotted these cars and caravans being towed around the town. It was a massive day for Whakatane and Ohope."

Ohope Beach Top 10 general manager Mark Inman agrees the event was great exposure for the town, with some visitors coming from as far as Nelson.

"That's the joy of hosting these classic cars and retro caravans, people will travel far and wide to join an event like ours.

"Rumours on the streets during the weekend were that we had started the arrival of Beach Hop - and that's the thing we've put ourselves on the map now and we're starting to compete in that market."

Stephen says to top it all of, the event has also helped to raise about 10-thousand-dollars for Ronald McDonald Charities.

The charity provides free accommodation and support to the families of children who are sick in hospital away from home.

"The Eastern Bay is a fantastic community, and it's done it's part to help this fantastic charity.

"There are so many families throughout the country who rely on support from Ronald McDonald House Charity and for us to do our bit to help them is awesome."

Stephen has thanked all who entered into this year's Classics at Ohope along with the entire community for their support of the event.

Sam Gardner