It’s one of the key events in a New Zealand petrolhead’s calendar, was Big Boys Toys 2020 a reflection of the year gone by or was it a celebration? It was most definitely a celbration and after the year gone by, we needed one!
One of my favourite things about BBT is that it brings together all sorts of car enthusiasts. There were supercars, muscle cars, JDMs, classic cars, motorbikes and electric cars! All of these stands had their own admirers and some even garnered a new following. Anyway, let’s go through the different categories that were there and see what’s what.
The new stuff
As is the theme for BBT, there were plenty of new cars there including some that had the covers lifted off for the very first time. At the Toyota GR stand, there was the GR Yaris that was unveiled. A sharp looking hot hatch inspired by the rally stages, it certainly looks like it will be bonkers to drive. We already know that Toyota’s current chairman is a motorsport fan so it’s great to see the company honouring its racing heritage. The GR stand also featured a GR Supra and a GR spec CH-R, a new trim line available to car buyers who want the sporty looks without the performance and fuel bills that come with it.
Ferrari also unveiled an incredibly rare Pista Spider in orange which makes it one of two in the world. They also revealed the Pista Piloti, an even more track focused Pista which is only available to members of Ferrari’s driver programme. I was surprised by how little fanfare this stand got, it was extremely easy to take uninterrupted photos later on and the crowd were not really giving it a second look. The same wasn’t true for the Toyots GR stand.
Apart from these two big unveils, Suzuki also had a stand where they showed off their new Swift Sport and Vitara Turbo! This year’s headline movie car was a replica Bumblebee Camaro from Transformers 3, I am a big Transformers fan so this was pretty special to see.
Tech and hobbies
BBT offers a great platform for various niche retailers to display their stuff. There were shops selling boutique New Zealand liquor, medieval merchandise, art made from old vinyl records, camping equipment and the lot. Apart from that, there was the more mainstream stuff like car care products, drones and of course the vape shop where you’d expect to find the Honda & Subaru owners. Lastly, there was the hobbies shop! This place really generated a large crowd and while it claimed quite a bit of my hard earned money last time, I couldn’t even get in this time because of the crowd so I had to settle for not adding anything to my collection. I was really pleased with the turnout here because 2020 has been a hard year for businesses as we all know so seeing these sellers there was brilliant and they were selling A LOT!
The extreme sports show
As you would expect, no motoring show is complete without an adrenaline fueled performance by some daredevils on bicycles or motorbikes. Fear not because this was well and truly there. I was a bit early to the show so I witnessed the stunt motorbike riders doing wheelies and such to warm up their bikes. Once the show got underway, we first started with the drift cars who coughed up a lot of smoke through donuts and drifts. It was a great sight to see and I have to commend those Japanese cars, they can really take a thrashing. The cars in question were a Nissan Silvia S14 and a Lexus. Next up, it was the turn of the motorbike stunt team. A team pioneered by three teenagers who did wheelies, drifts and everything in between on their blaring loud Harley Davidsons.
Impressive. However, the best was yet to come. The BMX riders demonstrated their skills through flips and tricks, there were many spectacular tricks which I cannot name, the pictures should do some justice though. Then you had the motocross riders. They really did put on a show, pushing the limits and the number of flips they could do. The crowd really loved these guys even though their bikes were belching out smoke.
To finish off, the athletes put on an ‘anarchy show’ where they all appeared together and proceeded to do stunts, drifts and everything they could to get the crowd roaring. It definitely worked! Though the crowd were left fanning away the fumes afterwards, an event that opened up the stage to dads who employed the good ol “wasn’t me” gag while pushing away the smells.
My favourite part of this adrenaline filled show was the announcer. I know all shows have one of these and this one certainly had a talented announcer. You could pick him out because he had a mic in his hand and a pass around his neck but I’m not talking about him. I am talking about the man who could only be described as homeless looking who had a mic to himself somehow. It definitely seemed like some substance other than petrol was fuelling him as he kept shouting “YEA” each time an athlete landed a trick. It was definitely one of those only in New Zealand events where people probably realised that he wasn’t official but hey, how much damage could he do?!
Thanks for reading! Words and pictures by Matthew Dsouza.
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