Shed's Mancave's and Precious Things - Neville Barton
Neville and his wife Barbara share a strong passion for motorsport and travel. An inspiring couple with a joint interest in Neville’s life as a rally car driver/co-driver in New Zealand that has spanned the best part of 40 years. They also have an impressive travel adventure story to tell.
Neville is a career civil construction specialist who is currently working on a FIFO role in central Queensland. So he loves having his shed and mancave to tinker and relax in when he’s home.
Nev’s shed is filled with two Datsun Stanzas. One is Nev’s rally car with livery still intact from its racing days. It’s been backwards and forwards across the Tasman to race in various events including the prestigious Silver Fern Rally with his racing partner Robbie Elliott. The other car has been set up and retained as a track car.
Neville’s mancave is a mecca to all things motorsport, particularly to rally and v8 Supercars. Signage, posters, number plates, glassware, furniture and an impressive diecast collection covers every square inch of the room. There’s even a Michelin Man that was ‘acquired’ while travelling through Russia.
When Barbara contacted me after she found out what I was doing with this project she told me that Nev had a ‘pretty good’ collection of memorabilia. I have to admit when you first walk in it’s impressive.
Nev has a photo board in his mancave that is full of old shots, some of famous drivers including Jim Richards sitting backwards in a ditch while rallying in New Zealand, and also a lot of his and Barb’s family that are all actively involved in the rally scene. There’s also a shot of their grandson Mikko named after the great Mikko Hirvonen.
I asked Nev, what was his precious thing? The standard question with a qualifier – ‘non-living’ and it would be something that you would consider rescuing in the event of a catastrophe. He indicated that the side numbers that were plastered over the wall in his shed meant a lot to him. Irreplaceable, there were easily 100 of them on display and Nev says there are dozens more packed away. He indicated that they represent many good times and some not so good. All of them are as they were when they were removed after each race, dirty, scratched and worn.
Nev and Barb also shared with me a fantastic story about a 12 month driving holiday they took. They placed their second hand Mercedes camper on a ship to Malaysia out of Brisbane and drove it throughout South East Asia, through Mongolia including the Kobi Desert, across the entire bottom part of Russia and throughout Europe. They then placed their van back on a ship in England to send back to Australia after a returning from a short run in North Western Africa. They visited a total of 40 different countries.
They shared the details of their trip with me over a few beers and I was fascinated. And considering that these guys did this as mature age people was impressive.
Thanks guys! Two very interesting people and worthy to be part of my ‘Sheds, Mancaves and Precious Things’ Project.