Neatly located at 3 George Street, an address that’s in an accessible side street on the perimeter of the quaint central Auckland suburb of Mt Eden lies a very special Toy Shop. It’s a place where the worry-free dream of having your European or British motor vehicle cared for and kept in pristine health comes to life and a dream that’s underlined with a whole raft of ‘peace of mind’ assurances.
You see, The Toy Shop is where fastidious Master Toy Artificer Trevor McCarrison and his team of well-trained and equally passionate mechanics, take pride in lavishing motor vehicles, both classic and modern day, with the thorough care and attention they undoubtedly deserve.
I was invited along to meet the Toy Shop family, an experience that included a tour of their immaculately clean, purpose-built workshop, a glimpse at the plethora of vehicles undergoing specialist care and treatment, and topped off with some welcomed attention from their trusted pooch/honorary mascot, Leroy Brown. Watching them merge the use of high-tech modern diagnostic equipment with the precision craftsmanship required for these timeless automobiles was a quite a treat. There was a reassuring sense of calm as I ambled from bay to bay, the team are efficient but unhurried, focused but relaxed, in short, they were diligent professionals at work. The ‘tour’ concluded with a brief chat with their very hands-on director. I say brief, as Trevor is constantly on the move, overseeing and tinkering with the variety of projects that are always on the go.
With over twenty-five years personal experience to draw on, it’s safe to say that Trevor is a knowledgeable perfectionist. Originally from Wellington (but we won’t hold that against him), he evidently lives and breathes premium marques and it shows in the resulting workflow.
What does a typical day look like in the workshop?
It changes every day, but the reason we designed the workshop the way we did, is so that the front workshop space can cater for vehicles in for routine maintenance work, like servicing, WoFs, tyre fitting and wheel alignments. Whereas the top workshop is set up for larger projects and diagnostic work. At the moment we’ve got a Defender in for extensive interior repairs, a Maserati undergoing an interior restoration, a Jaguar timing chain repair, a BMW head gasket job, a Maserati engine replacement and a Range Rover Sport TDV8 turbo replacement underway.
Why such a love of cars?
It probably started out like any other boy’s obsession with cars I suppose. We’re talking pre-internet. Yes, I’m that old. So, there wasn’t much to do in small-town New Zealand, except get into trouble with cars. But over the years it grew into a serious passion, and I’ve been tinkering with cars ever since.
What do you look for in your team?
Our team makes this place what it is. Over the years we have honed the qualities we are looking for when it comes to adding new members to the team. Firstly, I would say attitude is king – work ethic, pride in a job done right and attention to detail. And then, a head for problem solving and diagnostics, and a vast knowledge base and love for the marques that we care for.
Why the focus on European and British vehicles?
The Toy Shop has always had a focus on British and European vehicles. In earlier days, The Toy Shop took care of the British side, and The Toy Shop Continental the European marques. Now it all happens under one roof. But for me, when I think about my ultimate five-car garage, they are all Euro and British marques. It is the detail, style and engineering, which is still unsurpassed in my opinion. Check out Trevor’s ultimate five-car garage on the new Toy Shop blog https://www.thetoyshop.co.nz/blog/ultimate-five-car-garage/
Biggest achievement so far?
There are a lot of highlights in terms of the vehicles we have cared for over the years. But I think the real achievement for me is the clients whose cars we have looked after for years, and who, through our shared love of their vehicle, have become personal friends of Anne and myself. That makes the challenges of running a small business worthwhile.
From a ‘simple’ service, timing tweak or wheel rebalance, to a full-on chassis-up rebuild, The Toy Shop has the technology and know how to bring your prized possession up to tip top condition and with available upgrade options, often even better than when they first left the factory. It’s a well-versed, family-owned operation that’s backed by The Toy Shop quality promise, supported with MTA assurances, and endorsed by a whole host of customer testimonials.