Bill loved life, and ma­chines

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - REXINE HAWES

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.

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