Big playroom just the ticket for Jim
Patea's Jim Baird has taken the idea of boys and their toys to the extreme.
His home is testament to this and his life-long passion for all things vehicular.
The main reason he moved to Patea seven years ago was to take over ownership of the C F Pulley and Co Ltd building on the town's main street.
Mr Baird said when he saw the property for sale online he knew straight away it was the place for him.
"It is the biggest playroom I could ever have," he said.
Now the premises are not only used as a workshop and parking lot for the 20 or so cars he owns, but it is his home too.
The trained mechanic said the space gave him the freedom to do what he wanted and with his workshop literally on the front door step he could work any day or night on his many and varied engines.
Mr Baird said his dream was to open a car museum on site which would showcase his extensive collection.
The display would include everything from miniature toy replicas, a shell-covered car which appeared in the New Zealand movie Came A Hot Friday and the rare 1917 Buick car Mr Baird is restoring.
He said his cars had come from all over New Zealand.
If the car museum does open, it will be another chapter in the building's history.
Since being built in 1920, the Egmont St establishment has been used as a lawyer's office, a supermarket and a garage, complete with its own set of petrol pumps.
Mr Baird said people already stopped in regularly to have a look around, which he welcomed.
The father of two also makes a point of driving his pick of vehicle from his eclectic fleet at least once a week.
"I'm spoilt for choice you see," he said.
After living most of his life in Auckland, Mr Baird said he enjoyed life in Patea.
He said although more could be done to boost the town's economy, it did have a few upsides.
"There's no traffic lights and no parking meters," he said.
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Taranaki Daily News