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Annual Variety Bash 2015

Stevens Motors are extremely proud to be involved with the Variety Bash each year.

25th Annual Variety Bash – Ford True Blue II

2015 Variety Bash Stevens Motors

6–14 March 2015

Variety - The Children's Charity levels the playing field for disadvantaged Kiwi kids. Every year they help over 10,000 local children - meeting their unmet health and education needs, providing them with brighter futures. They work alongside schools, agencies and the government, tackling child poverty so the Kiwi kids who urgently need life-changing assistance are set up to reach their full potential in life. Variety is a registered charity under the Charities Act 2005, registration number CC24039.

At the heart of Variety’s fundraising efforts is the unique Variety Bash - a quirky car rally which travels hundreds of kilometres during one week in March each year fundraising for Kiwi kids, distributing grants, entertaining children and telling the Variety story.  It’s a mad-cap adventure full of eccentric vehicles, larger-than-life characters and heart-felt philanthropy.

Ford True Blue II made the Variety Bash journey for second time crewed by Stuart Gibbons, Paul Bond (Bondy), Alan Kirby, John Hutchison (Hutch), Seth Ovens, Matt Byrne and John Cross. The 2002 AYII V8 Ford Fairlane sports flashing lights, LEDs, and various tweeters and sirens, along with a great stereo for playing great lounge music! The vehicle is proudly owned by Stevens Motors.

CLICK HERE to read about the 2014 Variety Bash.

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Rare Engine Enters Rally in Support of Kiwi Kids

Seagrave Ladder Truck Variety Bash 2014

Variety Bash 2014

“It’s the only one in Australasia,” says owner Peter Drummond, world chairman for Variety International, “and spent its working life in Los Angeles fire station 10.” The International Board oversees 14 countries, “we raise $88 million US per year” but his truck is here in New Zealand, and on March 16 will leave Auckland’s Rainbow’s End on the annual Variety Trillian Bash, in a convoy of classic and custom vehicles delivering grants and entertainment to Kiwi kids in need of a hand-up.

The 1960 Seagrave ladder truck is always popular with children along the route, who scramble over it and demand to see the ladder in action - it extends to 30.5 metres, or 10 storeys. To negotiate LA city streets or backblock Kiwi roads the vehicle has two cabs which steer independently, linked by that long ladder. But only the front driver controls the 18-litre six cylinder petrol engine. “Each cylinder is three litres, and we do one litre per kilometre of petrol. The whole thing is 17 metres long,” Peter says, “and the back part’s separate cab has a steering column for the rear wheels which act independently, though it has no brakes. Initially it’s a complicated vehicle to manoeuvre, but the Fishpot Café team has been driving it together for 18 years, and over some incredible roads – Arthurs Pass, Lewis Pass, Cape Reinga, Banks Peninsula and down to Bluff, 90-mile beach, the Gentle Annie before it was sealed and even farm tracks. Whether arriving at a fire – or a school with a principal who has a sense of humour – the rear cab flips over to release the ladder. It’s fully operational."

Peter likes his quirky cars – “I also have a 1968 LA airport crash rescue tender, a 1994 LA police car, and a 1973 Reliant Robin, I believe the only one registered in New Zealand.” Talk about contrast, but there’s a method to it; “When you’re raising money for sick and needy children, the more interesting the vehicle the more people come over to look, and the more people donate. I don’t rattle a bucket – I have one there, and people come over and say ‘what are you doing?’ I tell them, and show them where to put the money. I have driven every day of every bash for 23 years, this will be the 24th. My first vehicle was a Dennis F8 fire truck, a little wooden one with an aluminium skin, the first fire truck to be sold from the NZ fire service. I sold it in America after doing a Bash over there.”

Peter and his team work for Variety because they “like the way it helps individual kids with individual problems maximise the opportunities for their lives,” and it fills in the gaps that otherwise get overlooked but which can make a huge difference to an individual child. “I’ve been chairman of and helped set up Variety Children’s Medical Missions, South Pacific, which help children where there is no Variety office; Fiji, Tonga, some of the outer-lying islands, we’ll send children to Australia for operations – one little girl needed a brain tumour removed, and from there she was able to walk and communicate with her parents; until then she couldn’t.”

"The Fishpot team includes Euan Ross, rear wheelman for 17 years; Vern Peri, the engineer, and we couldn’t do it without him. Dave Shorter has been on every Bash with me and Tom Sharplin, New Zealand’s rock ‘n’ roll icon has done 22 bashes with us. There’s Brett O’Neil the MD of Breville, 15 years, Grant Milne, the country manager of Marsh, and Troy Scragg, brand manager Haier. The guys manage fundraisers as diverse as sausage sizzles to $2000-a-table gala dinners, and boy do they know how to have fun. The stereo in the front cabin includes a full DVD screen at 2500 watts RMS, it’s a Panasonic set-up with eight subwoofers, 10 mid-range and eight tweeters, and it’s all by remote control. One 2.5-metre speaker box houses 14 speakers and is rimmed by neon lights. I have a 32-inch LCD screen and another DVD, plus a Breville Nespresso machine, of course. I’ve been very fortunate with my sponsors over the 24 years. Two have done every year, Fishpot café and Mr Chips – one of its suppliers – and Marsh the insurance broker has completed 20 years. Breville and Hirepool have been long-term sponsors with Haier – part of Fisher and Paykel – also offering great support, and JFC Contractors proudly stores the vehicles.”

Peter’s a busy man, he could stick to the office, but “I like having fun, and creating opportunities, and there’s the Variety cause – sick and needy children. To see the smile on their face and the work that’s done with medical intervention and assistance and know even a small intervention can make a difference is outstanding. You never forget the children you’ve met and the special moments. There’s a genuine enjoyment meeting the children we meet, and the special situations you’d never normally find yourself in.” He recalls one fundraising event when, “we pulled up outside this house for a break and the mum came out, she’d been trying to find out where we were as her 12-year-old daughter, who had cerebral palsy, wanted to see us. And we were right outside. How do you explain that?"

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Cooley Makes Great Start to NZ Touring Car Series

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Wellington Touring Car driver Brock Cooley has made a great start to the BNT NZ Touring Car Series.

Cooley raced to his debut race win in the category plus two second placings in the Speedy Signs Falcon at the opening round of the series at the Taupo Motorsport Park over the weekend and leaves Taupo second in the TL Class of the series, just 8 points off the lead.

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Part of the Community

Going beyond the car dealers desk, staff at Stevens Motors take a proactive approach to supporting and encouraging many different members, groups and organisations within the community.

Variety Club Logo
Hutt Old Boys Marist Rugby Football Club
Naenae Youth Charitable Trust
Hutt Valley Chamber of Commerce logo
Boulcotts Farm logo
Brock Cooley
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Our Community Connections (Draft Upgrade)

We're proud to be involved with the organisations that we support. As a business having served the Hutt Valley community for nearly 80yrs, we're committed to building long term relationships and giving back to our wider family.

We support a range of organsations, from historic clubs like Boulcott's Farm golf course, Hutt Old Boys Rugby Club, and the Petone Rowing Club, to promising young sports people like Jayden Ford. We also support charitable organisations doing great work in our community, like the Naenae Boxing Acadamy and on a national level every year, the Variety Childrens Charity and others.

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2017 Trillian Trek

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The Trillian Trek is the new name for the Variety Bash. 

 It’s the same group of committed, caring people who have been raising money for Kiwi kids in need for more than 25 years. With the new name comes a new partnership with New Zealand Blue Light, a charity that has been empowering young people in Kiwi communities since 1983... read more 

Welcome New Zealand Blue Light! 

Trillian Trust and the police-partnered youth charity Blue Light have announced they will get behind the annual road-trek non-competitive car rallies that raise funds for disabled and disadvantaged Kiwi kids, and bring fun and entertainment to back-blocks schools ... read more

Trillian Trust 

Trillian Trust is a New Zealand based charitable trust, incorporated in May 1999 under the Charitable Trusts Act 1957. The Trust was formed to provide support to other New Zealand based charitable and not-for-profit organisations through grants for specific purposes that benefit the community ... read more


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Their service department is very good, but the thing that impresses me most is that I’ve bought about 15 vehicles off them over a number of years and I’m still dealing with the same guys. The staff obviously stay there, so I guess that’s a sign of a good company...

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