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No, we haven’t gone back in time, Horopito Motors in New Zealand is real. And packed full of classic Fords.

horopito motors

Words and photos Bryn Musselwhite

The modern world is a great place to be, riding on the very crest of the techno-logical wave and being present at the point in time when every new development is made, that’s a good thing and anybody that wants to live in the past must have a screw loose.

Once in a while, having a taste of what it was like to live a few decades ago is an incredible thing, and that’s how we feel right now, stood here on top of a small hillock looking out over about a thousand rusting cars in the Horopito Motors yard. There’s a volcano overlooking us, and we’re surrounded by rusting shells, covered in colourful lichen, old stickers, rare badges and decades of decay.

There are over 4500 cars here, in sheds, fields, under trees and partly covered. In the centre of this sprawling empire is a warehouse-cum-workshop, covering roughly half an acre. Half of this has an upstairs floor where spare parts for every model you could imagine can be found.

If the yard closed today, itemising the millions of items in stock it would be a lifetime’s work. That said after half a lifetime here, Colin the boss knows the whereabouts of whatever you should need.

Colin also knows what stuff is worth, so he’s no pushover on prices and isn’t in a rush to sell container loads abroad. However, if you need an unobtainable part for that project, contact them. And if want to take a walk around one of the most evocative car yards we’ve seen in the world, then Colin will be there waiting in a bygone age.

To download the feature as a PDF, click here: Rust Never Sleeps

This feature first appeared in the October 2008 issue of Classic Ford


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