Colin and Barbara attend impounds, rescues, crashes, AA breakdowns, police salvage and are first assist to the local ambulance service. If called out they go – 24/7, whatever the weather – north and south of Mount Ruapehu from Whanganui to Owhango, and as far-east as Waiouru.

That’s in addition to repairing vehicles and issuing warrants of fitness, and running a legendary car wrecking yard where thousands of old vehicles and vehicle parts are strewn over some six hectares of land, with hundreds more cars kept in huge storage sheds.

The truck chase scene from Hunt for the Wilderpeople saw the truck slide into this Olds

This is Horopito Motor Wreckers – better known as Smash Palace – located just to the north of the small Central Plateau township of Horopito near the Ōhākune turnoff on SH4, where besides the rusting remains of the thousands of old cars covering the era from about 1920 to the 1970s, there’s a rubber room, a badge room, a trim section, thousands of hubcaps, and stacks of old number plates.

In the short time we were talking to owner Colin Fredricksen who together with his wife Barbara operates the business – reputedly the largest car wrecking yard in Australasia – someone came in for a warrant, another guy was looking for a Sunbeam Rapier steering wheel having been directed to the premises by ‘Bernie in Wairoa’, and a third had found what he was looking for in the yard – the wooden tool holder from the firewall of an Austin 12-4.

Need a number plate?

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