Classic car convoy for annual toy run in Tauranga

Kailey Sawyer in her family’s 1923 Ford T, ready for the annual Tauranga Toy Run on December 1. Photo: John Borren/SunLive.

Bay of Plenty car clubs will join forces this afternoon to collect toys and donations for local charities ahead of Christmas. Plus, the event doubles as an opportunity for car enthusiasts to see classic cars, hot rods and street machines.

Bay Rodders is holding the annual Tauranga Toy Run on Friday, December 1, at Tauranga Marina carpark and is asking locals to get involved by bringing something for either Tauranga Hospital or Waipuna Hospice.

The event has running for more than 20 years.

“We gather at Sulphur Point from 5pm onwards, so anyone can come along and donate either some coins for the hospice or something for the kids in hospital,” says Bay Rodders president Keith Sawyer.

The toys should be unwrapped, new and preferably something to distract the kids – like puzzles, books, or games.

“In past years we’ve raised $3000 in sponsorship and donations for Waipuna and stuffed two trucks full of toys for sick kids in Tauranga Hospital,” says Keith.

“That’s amazing but we always hope to do even better.”

Keith says the cars then convoy to the event’s major sponsor, Fraser Cove shopping centre, from just after 6pm. World’s End Bar & Restaurant has a special deal for the event and there’s also support from The Lakes Automotive and Linkup Paints Bay of Plenty.

“One year we had around 400 vehicles making the drive but usually we get around half that number,” says Keith.

“We have our own 130 members with their 70 hot rods, classics, muscle cars. Plus, all the other clubs and the publics cars as well. It’s quite the spectacle.”

And it’s not just local car owners. Enthusiasts from Matamata, Whakatāne, Cambridge and Waihī come over for the occasion.  

“We’re so grateful for all the local support. It’s for a great cause.”

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