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Top-shelf metal on display at Big Boys Toys 2015

29 October, 2015

Big Boys Toys is, without a doubt, New Zealand’s biggest mainstream ‘bloke-fest’ — a massive expo dedicated to all the things that make Kiwi blokes feel warm and gooey inside; chiefly, fast cars and power tools. There will be some amazing gear on display, but if the exotic supercars, showroom Euros, CrossFitters, and boats don’t tickle your fancy, we’ve got you covered.

On display we’ll have a range of cars — cars built and restored by regular Kiwi car enthusiasts — covering our three motoring titles, New Zealand Classic Car, NZ Performance Car, and NZV8, as well as a stream of our new TV show NAC Car Culture

The NZ Performance Car boys have managed to sort out a pretty wild machine to show off this year — Daynom Templeman’s outrageous, and only just completed, BMW M3. This thing is a real deal, pro-spec drift car, powered by a nitrous-equipped 2JZ-GTE pumping out over 1000hp, and with a dozen Santa sacks full of top-shelf gear — think Wisefab steering and suspension gear, Kevlar body parts; the works. Make no mistake, you’ll want to see this weapon right up close. 

Eight cylinder power is taken care of with Mike Bari’s brutal 1971 Chev Chevelle, as featured on the cover of NZV8 Issue No. 123. No stranger to tough street cars, having built a street-legal nine-second Ford Capri back in the ’90s, Mike’s latest creation is about as tough as they come. Not only has the Chevelle’s ample bodywork been massaged to perfection, it’s also been built 100-per-cent correct to run easy single-digit quarter-mile passes. They should come in due course, courtesy of a mammoth 598ci big block Chev, aided by a progressive port and plate nitrous system. The whole car is a masterpiece in engineering and finish, and one that you should see to believe. 

Last, but not least — except in size — is the diminutive Fiat Abarth 500 on display for New Zealand Classic Car magazine. Roger Bourne purchased this example, a 1963 Fiat Abarth 500 with a full convertible roof, from Trade Me, before getting it completely restored. The boot lid covers a larger Fiat 126 engine, which has been rebuilt and modified by the team at Marsh Motorsport — while it won’t run four-second quarter-miles, it sure is a neat, and very cool, little cruiser. 

In addition to the cars we have on display, you’ll also be able to watch episodes of our new TV show NAC Car Culture, usually broadcast from 2pm every Sunday on TV3, and you can pick up some pretty sweet subscription offers to our motoring titles while you’re at it.

Penny’s Pagoda – Mercedes Benz 230 SL

We scouted out a few different locations for photographing this car, but they all had one thing in common. At every stop, people could not help but come up and compliment owner Penny Webster on her stunning Horizon Blue Mercedes 230 SL.
There’s something about the ‘Pagoda’ Mercedes — so-called because the distinctive dipping curve of its roofline echoes that of the famous Eastern tiered temples — that encourages people to speak up.
Many classic cars attract a second look, but in most cases people keep their thoughts to themselves. It was striking how many people felt the need to express the warmth of their feelings about this car.
The expansive glass cockpit, the friendly, subtle lines, and its simple three-box shape seem to encourage openness among passers-by.

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.