Plenty of Kiwi blokes have sheds, but not many sheds house a multi million dollar collection of classic cars and automobilia. Hamilton businessman Tom Andrews has turned his shed into the Classics Museum at 11 Railside Place.
We counted more than 60 cars plus motor bikes, petrol station memorabilia, and a treasure trove of bonnet emblems, badges, tricycles and pedal cars. The vehicles on display come from the owner’s private collection as well as car clubs.
I’ve picked a selection of some of the more unusual vehicles in the museum like the 1964 Model 770 Amphicar – a car and boat in one. The Amphicars were built in West Germany and this one is the first of 98 right hand drive models produced. They’re named Model 770 because the Amphicars have a top speed of 7 miles per hour on the water and 70 miles per hour on land.
The candy coloured 1958 Nash Metropolitan comes complete with what looks like the original baby seat on the passenger side. The Nash Metropolitan was made from 1954 – 1962 and it was the first American car specifically marketed to women.
The 1958 Isetta Motocoup was made under licence by BMW in Germany. This single rear wheel model was made for the British market where it could be registered as a motorcycle.
The museum also has an Austin J40 pedal car, the pedal cars were built in England in the Austin Junior Car Factory. The factory opened in 1949 and was a not for profit venture providing employment for disabled miners. Over 32,000 pedal cars were made by the time production stopped in September 1971. The pedal cars were used to teach road safety to children and have working headlights and a horn.
The Classics Museum is open 7 days from 8am to 3pm. Admission is $20 adults, children $8. You can also dine in the 50’s themed Jukebox Diner next door with its chequer board floor, Chevy condiment counter, and Foxton Floats on the menu.