Bill loved life, and machines
Bill Troughton loved nothing more than cruising country lanes at a snail’s pace.
The Matamata man was well known for his vast collection of vintage cars, motorbikes, tractors and everything in between.
He died suddenly, but peacefully, on December 2, aged 82 and as per his wishes his estate - including the massive collection - will be auctioned off at the end of April.
The Field Marshall requires some especially oldschool starting tools - a 12 gauge shotgun cartridge and a burning wick.
The blast from the cartridge pushes the piston into life while the heat from the burning wick warms the fuel in the injector until it’s hot enough to run on its own.
It’s this sort of mechanical novelty that has seen many items in the auction valued at upwards of $50,000.
Troughton’s love for vintage vehicles started about 40 years ago.
He joined the Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club and Vintage Car Club, and visited swap meets around the North Island, finding precious collectables as he went.
He loved to share his collection. Often schools and other clubs would visit the farm to see the vintage vehicles.
Bill’s eldest son David said his dad never wanted the collection to be used as a museum and it would have made him happy to know it would be auctioned off to people who shared a similar passion.
‘‘Not one of us, individually or collectively can take this on.
‘‘He wanted everything to be used, not just sitting here. Everything here has a value, if it’s not monetary value, it’s sentimental,’’ he said.
Youngest son George said his dad was passionate about life, right up until the day before he died.
‘‘It would be 5pm and time for a beer,’’ said George.
‘‘He would walk around a shed, and work on a motor and he was like a little kid, his eyes would just light up.
‘‘He was right in his element and loving it.’’
His dad continued to work the farm he loved, despite having two artificial knees and he celebrated his 80th birthday with a tandem skydive.
‘‘I think he appreciated life. He died with his boots on, he loved the farm, the tractors and the ground work. He was never sitting still.
‘‘Two things I can take from him was his sense of humour and outlook on life.’’
Bill’s estate will be available to view on Friday, April 21, with the auction on Saturday, April 22 and 23. People can view the estate at abauctions.co.nz. He is survived by first wife Faye, as well as five children David, Sam, Kylie, Jack and George, and five grandchildren.