The first Monday of December is a date most Auckland-based hot rodders and classic car lovers tend to remember, as it’s the date of the annual Toy Run.

The event is hosted by North Shore Rod and Custom Club, and takes place at Vellenoweth Green in Auckland’s St Heliers, an upmarket beachfront suburb that looks directly out at Rangitoto Island — this year the event was held on Monday, December 7.

With intermittent showers throughout the day it was touch-and-go as to whether the event would proceed as planned, or the pin would be pulled. Thankfully though the afternoon dried out enough to make the magic happen.

The magic, so to speak, were the donations that were raised for the Salvation Army. Both in terms of financial, as well as toys being donated for kids in need over Christmas. 

With the Sallies being the benefactors of the event, their brass band was out playing plenty of Christmas-themed music, as well as offering entertainment for the kids, such as DIY face-painting.

It’s the cars that most people come to see though, and the range this year, as always, was nothing short of mind-blowing, even more so for the local residents who don’t usually get a chance to see cars like these.

Included in those on display was the first of the new right-hand drive Mustangs that we’ve seen legally on the road. As you can imagine, plenty of people took the chance to check it out.  

It’s not just the cars of American origin that were attracting all the attention though — take this very tidy Mini for example.

As much as checking out the cars — like Johnny Parker’s always-impressive ’59 Cadillac and the ’57 Chrysler Imperial parked next to it — sometimes it’s the smaller details that are worth spending time to admire.

Just look at the tail lights for example, the ’59 Cadi’s rocket-inspired lights are pretty iconic, but we’re suckers for the details on ’50s Mopars. 

Helen Vance’s recently purchased ’59 Buick Electra is another such car. We love how angry it looks, and, again, the detail work is just amazing.

Then again, maybe it’s just ’50s cars in general, as this patina-laden ’59 Chev was one of our favourites of the whole event — despite the bad photo.

It’s not just the factory-fitted details that are worth the time to absorb though; take for example the gauge cluster in Hugh Green’s roadster.

It’s always great to see past NZV8 feature cars out and about, and there was no shortage of them at the Toy Run. John Poulton made the trek down from Whangaparaoa in his ’34 Coupe ...

As did Paul Servantie, braving the showers without a roof — brave call.

Besides the past feature cars, there was plenty of other metal that caught our eye — some due to the perfect finish, like Howard Bond’s and John Dellamura’s pair of ’36 coupes.

And others caught our attention just for their cool stance, despite being a bit more rough and ready like Steve Philps cool little pickup — another personal favourite of ours.

And that’s the great thing about the event, regardless of if you’re into show-quality finishes, patina, or Pommy classics, there's something for everyone to enjoy. 

Besides the cars and catching up with people, the fish and chips from the local shops aren’t too bad either!

Well done North Shore Rod and Custom Club, we’ll see you there again next year.

Todd Wylie

Todd Wylie has been involved with NZV8 magazine since before the first issue was printed, and has been the editor for the last eight years. Growing up in the heyday of the Jap-import scene, he's not adverse to Japanese vehicles, having worked for NZ Performance Car previously, as well as owning a few well-known examples. These days he cruises at a slower pace in a 1956 Cadillac Coupe and dreams of building a Model A tudor.