While some soon-to-be parents start working on the baby's room, Sophia Trybula's dad Josh set to work on his baby girl's transportation options.
At 15 months, Sophia was possibly the youngest classic car owner at this year's 21st birthday Repco Beach Hop – because she's owned her custom 59 Impala since before she was born.
Sophia proudly displayed her wheels at the inaugural Thames Power Cruise day last Thursday, where this year's 21st birthday hop giveaway 1956 Ford Thunderbird wooed thousands of event-goers among the bands, fashion and cars.
It was day two of the five-day Repco Beach Hop festival of 50s and 60s cars and fashion, which travelled from Waihi to Whangamata and was anecdotally the biggest and best yet, according to Repco Beach Hop president Noddy Watts.
"The fact that we did it four months after the last one with everything else going on personally, I'm pretty proud of the team of volunteers."
Noddy's partner Andrea Ross has been receiving cancer treatment in recent months, and at a packed Williamson Reserve aka Ford Reserve in Whangamata on Saturday night, Noddy choked through his words of gratitude to the crew that had donated time as always to help with the event.
Some $13,500 was raised for the Lions Cancer Lodge in Hamilton where the couple have stayed, with donations from the winner of the car bonnet with a Greased Lightnin'-themed Sandy and Danny character painted on it. Winning bidder Ron Macrae voluntarily raised his $7000 bid to make it a $10,000 donation.
Minutes later, the baby pink Thunderbird – named Sandy – was drawn and went to Ron's wife Irene. Incredulous on stage, Noddy knew that Ron himself had won a Beach Hop car in 2004.
Another $2500 was raised from the auction of crew member Wayne Montgomery's collection of crew shirts, and winners of the Harcourts Hop House – Verne and Michelle – added their $1000 prizemoney to the sums being donated from programme sales to Whangamata's emergency services.
Repco also donated $10,500 to Canteen from an auction for an airbrushed car boot. Proceeds from $5 programme sales will be donated to local emergency services.
Noddy said there were many highlights.
"We really enjoyed Thames for the first time, the caravans night light show at Whangamata Area School was just magical, the JCD Customs and Marine pickup trucks show had 55 pick-up trucks, which is probably the biggest collection in New Zealand, and all the shows went really well."
The event will return to Thames rather than Whitianga, next year with improvements to traffic management.
A vintage beauty contest and junkyard fashion show were both hotly contested on Saturday, as were the Hop Idol finals at the Ford Reserve.
Talented women knitted car innertube tyres and wove car seatbelts into dresses, modelled by girls aged from 3 years upwards.
Coastal Rockers Whangamata – who've been involved in the Hop since its beginning – took over Port Rd on Saturday for a rock 'n' roll march with clubs from around the country, then set up outside the library at the dance hub to rock 'n' roll, hand jive and hula hoop.