W o to o
It started with a rusty old wreck of a trike.
Bill McNabney had his mother in mind when he bought it. Its corroded frame needed sanding, holes needed filling and any dead metal cut away.
After adding the final lick of paint and installing a new seat Bill’s first trike restoration was complete.
And his mother wasn’t getting it.
“I changed my mind after I finished it,” the Whitford resident says.
“After that I found some more and went on from there.”
He now has about 3500 items neatly arranged in a purpose-built green shed a stone’s throw away from his rural brick home.
Welcome to “Bill’s Antique Toy Collection”.
The majority of the pedal cars, tractors and old trikes were collected while he lived in Waitakere city before moving east two years ago.
There are also more than 1000 dolls, about 200 barbies and wicker prams included, but he doesn’t spend much time on those.
His favourite item is a sparkling red and white Austen Pathfinder pedal car – its polished leather seat was stitched up in the 50s or 60s, Bill reckons.
He picked it up in Levin four years ago.
“They’re hard to find, that kind of car and in such good condition.”
Rachael Locke says her father has always wanted a space to show his collection.
“He started collecting them 20 years ago and when the children moved out he started putting the collection in the house.
“He’d find rusted old pedal cars, sand them back, bog them up and then paint them.
“He even takes them to Resene paints and gets the original colours.”
The museum is not yet open to the public but car clubs or school groups are welcome to book a visit. Entry is by donation.
Periodic open days could also be an option in the future.
Bill says kids really enjoy it and “they make a mess too”.
“There’s no point in owning this stuff if people can’t see it.”
For him, collecting antiques is simply something to do.
“People play golf and go fishing, I collect toys,” he says.
Call 530-8130 for more information or email mc firstname.lastname@example.org.
In his element: Bill McNabney shows off his collection.
Bill’s favourite: Showing off the engine of his favourite pedal car.
Miniatures: Matchbox cars make up part of the antique museum.