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St Heliers fills with classics, customs, and kids toys

2 December, 2014

The first Monday of December may mean different things for different people, but for us it’s always the day of the annual ‘Toy Run’. The Toy Run, which is hosted by North Shore Rod And Custom Club, actually doesn’t include a run at all, but is more so a giant park up of generous car lovers keen to make a difference for kids in need.

Taking place at Vellenoweth Green, St Heliers, Auckland, the event sees the hundreds of vehicle owners present making a gold coin donation to the Salvation Army upon entry, as well as many of them donating a children’s toy, which is then given to charity to be used as a Christmas gift. While the event has been going for many years now, the toy donation part (and the event itself, if we’re honest) isn’t all that well promoted, so while many toys were donated we did think that aspect could be pushed a bit more.

Regardless, the NSRCC did a great job on the night coping with the 300 or so cars that arrived, even going as far as providing a lolly scramble and presents for the kids in attendance, and credit must be given to them for running a great family-friendly event.

Mark down the first Monday of December in your diary for next year, as the event is well worth heading along to, regardless of if you’re driving a custom or classic car, or are just keen to take a look.

Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.