The volunteers of Repco Beach Hop are the lifeblood of the event and they meet all year round to ensure the festival runs smoothly and safely.
This November the crew mourned the death of Neville Sharpe who was part of the team since 2002. Neville was a hot rodder from the early days in New Zealand and was a wealth of knowledge with great stories.
He also was a drag racing record holder.
Neville lost his wife Jill in April, they met as teenagers and spent a long and happy life together.
"They always marshalled for the crew on a busy intersection for the Grand Parade which we've now dubbed 'Nev's Corner'," Noddy Watts shared.
Just before his death Nev was presented with a Repco Beach Hop 20 crew shirt and cap - and he smiled and said "I've got the set".
There are many volunteers making the event possible - from those selling merchandise at Beach Hop Central at the Whangamata Club, to the people directing cars.
Among the 40 or so volunteers directing cars, you'll find Des Harrison. It's a job he's done since retiring to Whangamata from Auckland three years ago.
"We start by lining them up at the rugby field ready for Waihi on Wednesday and it's the same on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It's great fun if you're into cars, and they're a good bunch of guys and we have a lot of fun."
The role is completely unpaid, and involves 7am starts rain or shine, although Des says he can't remember a rainy day yet.
"You see everything. Mostly everybody is happy, they're usually mature people together for one common cause - that love of American cars. Every year there are new cars that guys have spent absolute fortunes building."
Des organised the big Anzac parade in Auckland for 30 years and says he wanted to help out only as "a worker bee" when he moved to Whangamata.
"The fun part of it is that people are here for their holidays, they save up to come here just for the Beach Hop."
Des has owned and sold three cars himself that he sees around town. "I've always had Chev Coupes, Corvettes and I had a black Pontiac Firebird that I sold recently."
Des' wife Barbara is among the team selling merchandise in the "shop", at Whangamata Club, so the couple are both busy all week.
"We had friends come to stay last year and we never saw them because I was out in the morning and then came home after watching the parade, and I'd go to bed while they stayed out."