News And Media Clippings

’37 Cabriolet on The Hot Rod Show

Video of the appearance of Stu & Glynis’s ’37 Cabriolet on The Hot Rod Show back in 2015 has recently become available online.

NAC Car Culture visits Big Shed Customs

Cal from NAC Car Culture visited Big Shed Customs on his way back from the Kaikoura Hop in September 2016. At the 15:30 mark is where the workshop feature starts.

NAC Car Culture interview Mark at the Kaikoura Hop

Cal from NAC Car Culture interviewed Mark with the Cab Over at the Kaikoura Hop. At the 6:05 mark is where the interview begins.

Big Shed Customs USA Road Trip

The Ultimate Roadie

Diary of Big Shed Customs trip to the USA

Read about the events that unfolded during the epic journey of the Big Shed Customs truck in October/November 2015. This article was published in the April 2016 edition of NZ HOT ROD magazine.

Big Shed Road Trip – Read the article »

First place for Big Shed Customs in World of Wheels Custom Auto Show, Birmingham, Alabama

Big Shed Customs Cab Over was at the World of Wheels Custom Auto Show in Birmingham, Alabama, 12 – 14 February 2016 and won the following awards:

  • 1st place – ISCA Total Custom (International Show Car Association)
  • 1st place – Best Truck


Custom Builder from New Zealand Tours US with His Creation

This article appeared in Ebay Motors Blog.
By Mark Bach, 11th December 2015

On Tour with custom truck

New Zealand’s Mark Stead usually works on three to four builds a year in his 40,000 square-foot shop. Assisted by one-full time employee, Stead does all the work himself on the cars, except for upholstery. So when Stead decided to build his own truck, he realized it would require working after normal shop hours. He committed 30 hours a week to get it done over the course of about two years.
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Big Shed Customs on The Hot Rod Show

Big Shed Customs featured on episode 2 of The Hod Rod Show which aired on Face TV (Sky 083) on 8th May 2015.

First New Zealand vehicle featured in Snap-on calendar!

Mark Stead of Big Shed Customs is delighted that his ‘Empty Pockets’ custom cab-over-engine truck is featuring as the January vehicle in the 2015 Snap-on ‘Tech Toys’ Innovative Customer Vehicles calendar. The calendar features twelve amazing, no-holds-barred, rare, radical, and fun custom vehicles from Snap-on customers around the world. A quarter of a million copies of these highly sought-after calendars will be distributed. Mark’s custom truck is the first New Zealand vehicle to be selected to appear in this prestigious calendar. Not only does the Big Shed COE feature as the January vehicle but it also takes front and centre of the calendar cover!

Lone South Island custom entry at Speedshow

The following article appeared in

GREEN MACHINE: Mark Stead's hand-crafted cab-over custom truck is the lone South Island entry in the custom show at the CRC Speedshow in Auckland.

GREEN MACHINE: Mark Stead’s hand-crafted cab-over custom truck is the lone South Island entry in the custom show at the CRC Speedshow in Auckland.

Mark Stead’s mean and green cab over custom truck is the only South Island custom show entry at Auckland’s CRC Speedshow.

Stead, who owns Big Shed Customs in Blenheim, is lining his distinctve truck against about 50 others of the country’s top custom vehicles as he defends the custom car/pickup category award won at last year’s event.

Besides the Speedshow award, Stead’s hand-fabricated vehicle can also boast a top five at the 2013 Whangamata Beach Hop, and top 10 hot rod at the 2013 Street Rod Nationals.

The truck has even featured in Australian Street Machine magazine which Stead says very few New Zealand vehicles feature in, and even fewer trucks.

One of this greatest satisfactions is proving nay-sayers wrong, with the fact his project could be done.

The hugely popular custom show is a “show-within-a-show” at the eighth annual Speedshow.

Stead has revealed that it was only a “spooky coincidence” last year that led him to making the trip north.

“Last year we received a text from a close friend saying she had seen an advert for the Speedshow and we should look at it. About an hour later, the show’s director, Ross Prevette, phoned to ask if I would like to be involved. It was one of those spooky coincidences in life that you cannot ignore.”

Now 49, Stead has been around car restoration as long as he can remember.

“We have my father’s 1928 Plymouth in the shed nearing the end of its restoration. It was the car I came home from the maternity hospital in, so you could say it started then!

“Custom work is my real passion. There are a couple of vehicles due to be finished later in the year that have major modifications that we are proud of. The owners are absolutely rapt with what we have done.”

As well as cars, he’s interested in motorbikes and plans to bring a custom chopper, which fits nicely on the back of the cab-over, to a future Speedshow.

The Speedshow, which runs this Saturday and Sunday, also boasts a second show-within-a-show in the Classic Show featuring around 40 of New Zealand’s finest original and restored classic cars and motorcycles.

“With a record 28 new car and motorcycle brands represented at the show, fans can indulge their passion for exotic autos like Ferrari, Lotus, McLaren and Maserati, or for those with a valid motorcycle licence, join Harley-Davidson for a test ride straight from the show and back again,” Prevette added.

“We’ve also got high speed motorsport in miniature with the North Harbour Radio Controlled Car Club’s inaugural New Zealand Indoor Offroad Championship.

“Sell or buy a car or motorcycle in our special Park ‘N’ Sell Zone for competition, classic and custom vehicles, and indulge your passion for automobiles and motorsport at the speedshow.”

NZ Rodder: Shed Raid

This article was published in March 2014 edition of NZ Rodder magazine
Story and pics by Alistair Davidson

Shed Raid Pic 1
It’s a good job that Blenheim’s Big Shed Customs is actually located in a big shed because demand for the company’s services is such that floor space in the well equipped shop is in short supply.

Mark Stead is a panelbeater by trade. His apprenticeship was primarily spent doing smash repairs, and that continued right through until the mid ‘90s when, as Mark puts it, “I’d basically had a gutsfull”. He’d been doing the occasional bits and pieces for people with old cars, working in their sheds. Realising there was a demand for quality restoration and custom work he took the plunge and rented a tiny workshop in Blenheim. “It grew from there,” explains Mark, “so six years ago we built a big shed-type workshop at home and Big Shed Customs was born.” Mark is joined by full-time qualified mechanic Steve Mitchell (who has also just about finished his time as a panelbeater) and Mark’s partner Tanya Borck who helps out as much as possible once she’s finished her day job as a primary school office lady. Big Shed Customs has morphed into a true one-stop shop, handling basic tidy-ups through to full concourse quality restorations and jaw-dropping custom work.
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Piglet – Stuart & Glynis Windle’s 1937 Ford Club Cabriolet

This article appeared in the July 2013 edition of NZ Hot Rod Magazine.
By Craig Stare
Stu started his rodding life around 1988 when he purchased a 1929 Hupmobile described by many as ‘a hen house on wheels!’ He spent three years building it to a 6-71 blown 440 Magnum-powered sedan before debuting at the ‘91 Invercargill Nationals. He still owns this car today and it’s used regularly.

The year 2000 saw the purchase of a rare steel 1937 club cabriolet from Argentina; it was a basket case project which had arrived in Blenheim.

These cars are factory fitted with a front and rear seat, compared to a convertible which has only a front seat. It was a major project but Stu had a vision and he’d proved the doubters wrong once before.

Undaunted, work began in 2009 using a recommended panelbeater but this ended up being a nightmare in itself, lots of money spent, long waits and two court cases gave him a body which in places was over 1” thick of bondo. You get the picture.
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Big Shed Customs win at CRC Speedshow


Mark Stead shows off his 1st place award in Custom Car or Pickup category

The CRC Speedshow is New Zealand’s biggest, most exciting and most diverse automotive and motorsport show. The Castrol EDGE / Teng Tools Customs and Classic Show is a new custom vehicle show held within the main show. Big Shed Customs were fortunate enough to be invited to exhibit the Cab Over at this show. And proud to say the truck won the Custom Car / Pickup section.


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Out The Back

This article on the 1932 Chevrolet BA Confederate coupe restored by Big Shed Customs appeared in the Marlborough Express.


The lowdown

Who: The Metzger Family (represented by Adrian)
What: 1932 Chevrolet BA Confederate 5-window coupe

What else is in the garage?
On the family farm near Tapanui we also have a 48 Dodge 3½ tonne truck which all of us learnt to drive in.
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Empty Pockets – Just a peculiar green truck!

This article appeared in the April 2013 edition of NZ Hot Rod Magazine.

By Craig Stare
The very talented Mark Stead from Blenheim wanted something different, very different in the way of a workshop “ hack “ to promote his business,’ Big Shed ‘ customs. Sure it would have been easy to just paint up a jailbar or Chevy truck and stick on his company name. You’ll work out fairly quickly that Mark never takes the easy way out, and it’s always done right. After seeing a COE truck at a rod event in Dallas, he thought it would be very cool for his shop and knew he could make one a lot better. Amazingly enough he found a complete cab with guards rusting away in his own home town. The downside to this was that the owner wouldn’t sell it to him.
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The Snake Bite


This article about the Shelby Mustang restored by Big Shed Customs appeared in the Mat 28th edition of The Selwyn Times.

the-snake-biteBy: Craig Stare

I spotted this car several years ago undergoing a major restoration at Big shed customs in Blenheim. Brendan and Gail Woods are the lucky owners of this extremely rare 1968 Shelby Mustang convertible, one of the rarest Mustangs ever produced. This car (2057) is one of just 402, GT500 convertibles ever produced. The 500 refers to it being powered by a 428 Cobra Jet engine and in this case backed up by a C6 automatic. Its factory colour is Acapulco blue with saddle tan interior, this combination only featured in 17 of those 402 cars!

Brendan and Gail now live in picturesque Akaroa, but still own a farm in the Selwyn district. The car was built on the 26th February at the Metuchen assembly plant before being shipped to North-Western Ford (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) in April of that year.

Along with nine other Shelby convertibles, this car was loaned to the newly opened Playboy mansion in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. It even drove in the grand opening parade. Some of these cars stayed as long as six months mainly used for V.I.P transportation. The car was still brand new.

It doesn’t stop there with No 2057 also appearing in several episodes of theTVcomedy series ‘Get Smart’. The main actor, Don Adams was a frequent visitor to the Playboy clubs.

The car went through several owners and by 1996 it was painted yellowwith a brown roof and lived in Canada. In 2010 Brendan replied to an advert and purchased the car, from Japan. The car was shipped back, totally stripped back to every nut and bolt and repainted to its original Acapulco blue, and the car fully restored on a rotisserie.

Since completion, the car has driven the length of New Zealand twice, once to the Mustang convention in Auckland and again to the Beach Hop in Whangamata.

1937 Ford Cabriolet on cover of NZ Petrolhead magazine

The pink 1937 Ford Cabriolet restored by Big Shed Customs for Stu and Glynis Windle graces the April 2013 cover of New Zealand Petrolhead magazine.


Beach Hop Pictorial – Top 5 Cars 2013

top-5The Big Shed Customs Cab-Over-Engine was one of the prize winners at the 2013 Whangamata Beach Hop car show and is featured in the Prize Winners article in Beach Hop Pictorial magazine.

The awards for Top 5 Cars went to:

  • Ian Neary, Auckland, 1959 Ford
  • Martin Bennett, Cambridge, 1937 Ford pickup
  • Zane Ratcliffe, Hamilton, 1959 Cadillac
  • Trevor Halstead, Hamilton, Studebaker
  • Mark Stead, Blenheim, Big Shed Custom Cab

Top 5 Cars 2013 Beach Hop

Shelby Mustang featured in Beach Hop Pictorial

The Big Shed Customs restored Shelby Mustang is featured in the 2013 edition of NZ Hot Rod Magazine‘s ‘Beach Hop Pictorial’.

Here’s the article:

By Craig Stare
I SPOTTED this car a couple of years back, halfway through its restoration at Big Shed Customs in Blenheim, and was told of its interesting history.

Brendan and Gail, who live in the picturesque Akaroa village (Banks Peninsula) bought the car at auction in Japan in May 2010. At this point the car was painted yellow with a brown roof. It was a far cry from its original Acapulco blue which it was painted in when it rolled off the Metuchen assembly plant on the 26th February, 1968. The car is one of 402 GT500 convertibles produced in 1968, and is powered by a 428ci, 4bbl big block Ford with a C6 auto.

Mark Stead’s ‘Big Shed’ fully restored the car to its original spec’s, including the paint and factory saddle coloured interior.

We mentioned history….. this car was one of 10 Shelbys which were loaned to the Playboy mansion in 1968 and also appeared on an episode of the ‘Get Smart’ TV series.


The Secret History of Shelby No. 2057

The is a website devoted entirely to 1968 Shelbys and items related to the cars. The website creator is an American chap who is a very knowledgeable man on 1968 Shelby Mustangs. In fact it is the only make and model he specializes in. He has published a history of car number 2057 – the Shelby Mustang fully restored at Big Shed Customs. What follows is a reprint of that article:

Is Shelby number 2057 a “secret agent” in disguise? The history of the car is certainly special, but is it also hiding another secret?

Serial Number 8T03S173659-02057 was built as an Acapulco Blue convertible with a saddle interior. This combination would be seldomly used, with only 17 Shelby convertibles having these colors. In the coming years, 2057 would have an interesting history and become a world traveler.


In April of 1968, the car was intially sent to Northwestern Ford in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Along with nine other convertibles, 2057 was taken to the newly opened Playboy Mansion in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Minar Ford in Minneapolis also supplied cars to the mansion. These cars stayed at the mansion anywhere from one month to as long as six months. It is believed they were used by staff and special guests. A Grand Opening Parade was held in conjunction with the opening of the mansion. All ten cars participated in the parade. Continue Reading

Success at two North Island car shows

Angela Crompton, Marlborough Express, April 2013


The ‘Peculiar Green’ truck built by Blenheim classic car restorer Mark Stead, second left, and the pink 1937 Ford Cabriolet, fourth from left, he restored for Kaikoura couple Stu and Glynis Windle line up with the other top vehicles at the New Zealand Street Rod Nationals in Taupo

Keep on truckin’

Success at two North Island car shows brings kudos to Mark Stead’s custom car-building skills and, he says, endless bragging rights.

The truck he drove to the shows took him two years and two months to build and is identified on its registration papers as a 2012 Big Shed Customs COE (cab over engine).

It was one of the top five “People’s Choice” vehicles among 1000 entries at the Whangamata Beach Hop in the Coromandel late last month.

“Voters” made their choices by dropping money into a bin beside the vehicle they liked the most.

“The car attracting the most cash was the overall winner and the money in all bins was donated to community causes in Whangamata. Continue Reading