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Race Car Driver Amalgamates Big Boys Toys And CRC Speedshow

New Zealand’s largest automotive event, the CRC Speedshow, will no longer take place in July but instead form the motorsport arm of the Big Boys Toys expo in November.

The two expos will now sit together under the overarching Big Boys Toys brand after both were purchased by lifelong motorsport enthusiast Shaun Varney.

Varney has competed in motorsport for over a decade, including the NZV8s and a number of GT championships. Last year he finished third in the Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour Race, racing behind the wheel of a Holden Commodore.

Varney says the amalgamation is strategic as well as practical, with many exhibitors and attendees forgoing one show for the other in recent years due to their similar offerings. The new format will mean that the 45,000 collective attendees across both shows can get more for their dollar.

“Big Boys Toys will now effectively be two shows for the price of one - by bringing Speedshow into the format we’ll be able to offer punters, sponsors and exhibitors much better value for money,” says managing director Varney.

“In all likeliness we would have had to cancel or postpone a standalone Speedshow in July as a result of Covid-19, so we’re confident the new combined mid-November expo will provide the public an opportunity to enjoy an epic event after the various cancellations over winter.”

The change of ownership also sees a shift in vision for Big Boys Toys, with an aim of making it more diverse and inclusive, with more pockets of interest in 2020 and beyond.

“Big Boys Toys and CRC Speedshow have amazed crowds of Kiwis for a combined 34-years but in a new social climate the time is right to shake things up with a bigger, better and more elevated offering,” Varney says.

“We’re looking to invest in fresh features to deliver a premium event that appeals to everyone, not just the blokes, and is fun for the whole family.”

“Planning is still in the early stages but we’re excited to announce more information on the format and exhibitors later in the year.”

Previously owned by SMC Events, Big Boys Toys roared into New Zealand’s cultural consciousness in 1997 with a goal of providing face-to-face interaction between Kiwi males and their favourite brands.

Attracting upwards of 30,000 people, past shows have seen halls packed with classic and contemporary cars, innovative electronics and gaming, food and entertainment.

Created by Auckland race driver Keith Sharp, CRC Speedshow first ran in 2007 and was the largest automotive and motorsport event in New Zealand. Prior to Varney’s acquisition it was owned by businessman Bruce Anderson.

The new look Big Boys Toys is scheduled to take place at the ASB Showgrounds, Greenlane, Auckland from 13 – 15 November 2020 (Covid-19 permitting). Tickets go on sale 1 June 2020. For more information visit

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