Auto enthusiasts rev into action for annual toy run

Car and motorbike enthusiasts have begun polishing their rides and preparing to spread Christmas cheer at the annual Roundwood Solutions Limestone Coast Toy Run.

The popular event raises funds to purchase quality Christmas gifts for local children in need.

For many years – and with the added pressure of the coronavirus pandemic for the second year in a row – families have been doing it tough.

With that in mind, hundreds of vehicles and motorbikes will complete tours across the region on November 6 before arriving at the Mount Gambier Railway Lands for a free community event and Show ‘n’ Shine.

A long-time supporter of the toy run, local business Roundwood Solutions has come on board as a naming rights sponsor this year.

Mel McLean has been involved in the annual toy run ever since relocating to Mount Gambier from interstate several years ago and is another of the many locals who have got behind the Toy Run. With her business Eye of the Beholder Photography she will officially photograph the 2021 event.

Having grown up on a farm, Ms McLean said she has always loved cars and motorbikes.

“I have never owned a new car, I prefer to put my money into old cars. I love the shape, the character and the smell of vintage cars and vehicles. It’s a bit of an obsession,” she said.

“The toy run seemed a great way to get to know people, to show off our own vehicles, see everyone else’s and of course to support the kids. I really love the event and it is for such a great cause.”

Ms McLean and her husband ‘Poz’ own a 1971 Vespa scooter, as well as a 1952 Chevrolet pick-up. They converted the Chevrolet from left to right hand drive and installed an LS1 V8 engine and air bag suspension.

Last year they drove the vehicle in the toy run with Ms McLean’s pride and joy, a customised vintage 1952 BSA Bantam, sitting on the tray.

Although the bantam was original when first purchased, Ms McLean has made many adjustments, including installing ape hanger handlebars, a peanut petrol tank and sissy bar. She completed the look with a pinstripe paint job. The result was a one-of-a-kind creation.

“Not everyone likes it,” she said.

“So I was surprised to get the best paint job award at last year’s toy run. There were some amazing bikes there, I did not expect it.”

Baptist Care SA Area Manager John Merrett was full of praise for the event.

“I’d just really encourage everyone to get out and support the event,” he said.

“We want to make sure that every child gets a gift this Christmas.”

To register for the Toy Run, visit www.roundwood-solutions-limestone-coast-toy-run-2021.eventbrite.com.au or keep up to date at facebook.com/groups/toyrun2021 for further details.

While unable to accept donations of toys, visit www.baptistcaresa.org.au/toy-run or contact 8273 7100 to make a cash donation.

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