News » Lone South Island custom entry at Speedshow

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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.”

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