Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


The Quirky Trucks & Fire Engines Of Variety Trillian Bash

The Quirky Trucks And Fire Engines Of The Variety Trillian Bash

A two-faced bus, a zebra-striped foam-squirting fire truck and a Jeep with teeth are just some of the quirky vehicles that take part in the annual charity road rally

Click for big version.

Teams from Auckland•Cambridge•New Plymouth•Ohakune•Tauranga•Whangarei

Route Auckland•East Cape•Huntly•Mangakino•Murupara•Gisborne•Rotorua• Tauranga•Te Kuiti•Waikaremoana•Waihau Bay•Waitomo•Whakatane

A double-fronted American school bus, a zebra-striped fire engine and a Jeep with teeth, spines and a smoke machine – just some of the trucks that regularly take part in the Variety Trillian Bash, a road rally with a difference that delivers grants to kids in need, and fund-raises for Variety – The Childrens Charity along the way.

That bus was built using parts from two 1958 Bedfords and it’s powered by a Chevy V8 under one bonnet – we suspect the fan atop the Ohakune-based bus powers a karaoke machine rumoured to reside within. Past themes include a submarine, a banana and veggies, but a new one is promised for this year’s Bash, which kicks off on March 15.

Also getting a new theme will be Whangarei’s Team Taniwha, the 1978 two-door Jeep Cherokee Chief Sport with its 5.9-litre V8 engine, its roof spikes and front bumper-mounted teeth, its animal soundtrack and the dry ice that pours from beneath its grille is being retired. The now Team Taniformer has obtained a dispensation to go a bit newer than the usual rules allow, provided it comes up with an awesome theme. The 1993 Toyota Landcruiser already has an air horn and roof-mounted wakeboard speakers; its paint and other quirks remain under wraps for now.

But the Pop’n’Good-sponsored Foam – Friends On A Mission – 1972 Ford D1013 fire truck will retain its zebra stripes, and the tanks full of foam that are always a hit with the kids. And of course New Plymouth’s Scooby Crew – complete with Scooby-Doo and characters aboard – retains its 1977 Chevy van, painted to suit the cartoon characters it carries. 

The Tauranga Medics’ Japanese Toyota ambulance is one of a limited run of 100 fitted with a Lexus V8 engine and it’s a fully operational ambulance, staffed by Maria – a nurse – and Les, a former St John’s paramedic who provides medical coverage for events. They’ve found a knack at bucket-shaking, their record an epic $1960 in four hours down Taumarunui main street. Most memorable Bash moment? “TV star Suzi Cato singing to a small boy and his grandmother who had been waiting at the roadside in the middle of nowhere to watch us go past.”

And then there are the fire engines. Tauranga’s 8th Tribe, with its 1981 Kidicorp-sponsored International fire truck, is partly funded by sponsored theme parties. Resene’s 1967 TK Bedford fire truck is currently getting a repaint in the care of team captain Marc Sands, who’s been bashing for over 18 years because he and his friends like helping disadvantaged kids and having fun doing it.

Marc recalls a young boy with leg calipers and crutches. “We took him for a wee ride round the school grounds in the truck. The delighted look on his face was amazing, and when the ride finished he walked up to me on shaky legs – with no crutches – and gave me a huge cuddle. My crew are a bunch of softies, but I can’t figure out why I cried – and after 19 years I have a lot of those sorts of stories, enough to fill a book.”

The fire engines are always a drawcard for the kids – and for local fire crews who are known to come out and issue a water-fight challenge to the likes of Argus Fire’s 1987 Mitsubishi fire truck, the Every Little Boys Dream truck, the Rainbow’s End fire appliance, Cambridge’s Mooloo Crew Ford, the Pink Truck’n hot-pink International and Tron’s 1969 Ford fire engine which fought its last fire in 2002 – at Murupara Kindy – and which will this year have Elmo aboard.

And last but not least, there’s the famous Fishpot Café fire truck, a 1960 import from Los Angeles with an 18-litre engine and a 31-metre ladder that’ll reach 10 stories. But that deserves a tale of its own. Watch this space!


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Minister of Finance: Plan Shows $100 Billion Infrastructure Projects

Finance Minister Bill English has today launched the Government’s Ten Year Capital Intentions Plan (CIP) which shows a pipeline of $100.9 billion worth of infrastructure projects over the next decade. More>>


Werewolf: Safe Landings Gordon Campbell on the safety challenge to the Wellington runway extension.

The safety-related legal challenge revolves around the size of the 90 metre long Runway End Safety Area (RESA) being proposed for the runway extension. More>>


Environment Commissioner: We Need To Work Together On Climate Change And Farming

“The debate around agricultural emissions and the ETS has been polarised for too long,” said the Commissioner. “But the ETS is not the only way forward – there are other things that can be done.” More>>


NZ Super Fund: Seeking To Put A Market Price On Climate Change

Oct. 19 (BusinessDesk) - The New Zealand Superannuation Fund says it will devise a set of rules to assess investment winners and losers under climate change, a strategy that could rule out fossil fuels or producers such as current portfolio member Exxon ... More>>


Rejuvenation: Parata Will Not Contest 2017 Election

Education Minister and National List MP Hekia Parata has today announced that she will not be contesting the next election. She advised the Prime Minister of her decision earlier this year. More>>

Prisons Grow: Government Approves Plans For Increased Prison Capacity

Despite significant progress in reducing crime the number of prisoners has increased faster than projected. This is because the proportion of offenders charged with serious crimes has risen, meaning more people are being remanded in custody and serving more of their sentences in prison. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Plastic Bag Activism, And Street Harassment

Amusing to see the Act Party experiencing another outbreak of young fogey-ism. What has aroused the ire of Act Leader David Seymour this time is the introduction of a Greens private members bill to the ballot process, calling for a 15 cents levy on plastic bags to reduce pollution. More>>


Unclear Weapons: US Navy Ship Cleared To Visit NZ For Navy's 75th

United States Navy ship, the USS Sampson, has been given clearance to visit New Zealand next month by Prime Minister John Key... “The process for considering the visit by the USS Sampson is the same as that used for all ships attending the International Naval Review." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news