W o to o

Central Leader - - News - By Matt Bowen

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 nab­ney1@kol.co.nz.


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.

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