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A jumbo-sized toy shed celebration

6 June, 2016

Rotorua’s well-known performance workshop, The Toy Shed, has recently moved to larger premises at 106/112 Riri Street, to be shared with parts supply business Proparts. With both businesses belonging to well-known Rotorua petrolhead and drag racer Russell Lowe, the move to combine them made sense and offered the opportunity to increase workshop size at the same time. 

Part of that increase in space was required due to Russell also acquiring Carburettor Motors, which has been incorporated into The Toy Shed. The result is a massive 1700-square-metre complex housing all three related businesses under the one roof. With more workshop space, a dedicated dyno area, and parts supply all at the same place, the business has become the perfect one-stop shop. 

To celebrate the move, The Toy Shed is hosting an open day on July 16, the day before the annual Rotorua swap meet. The event will run from 9am through till 5pm and will feature top doorslammer and funny car fire-ups throughout the day. 

Apart from the address, all contact details for the business remain the same — phone: 07 348 5314; email: [email protected].

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.