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Fourteen years and more than one million newspapers later, little ‘Goldie’ has clocked more than a million kilometres in the line of duty.
Proud owners Marilyn and Kevin Ellery say their Toyota Echo has travelled around 250 kilometres every day to deliver newspapers to 180 homes in Bulls, Marton and Hunterville, Tangimoana and ending in their home village Scott’s Ferry.
Having started the paper run 37 years ago, the husband and wife duo shared the run until a few weeks ago when Marilyn’s Manawatu Standard delivery run ended.
Initially the paper run was done by Kevin on a motorbike, and then a Mini, until maintenance became an issue. Neighbour and former F1 driver Chris Amon convinced them to buy a Toyota Corolla.
That was in 1989 and their first Corolla ran for six years, travelling 500,000 kilometres on the same motor. In 1995 they changed to another Corolla, but the Amon influence came into play again and the pair were recommended to purchase an Echo.
They’d thought their Corolla was economical but they say “the Echo has beaten it hands down”.
In 2005 the pair bought another Echo to replace Goldie should anything happen to it – but Goldie has been so great that they hardly use the back-up car.
Fourteen years later and having travelled over a million kilometres, the Ellery’s are thrilled with little Goldie. Last week the pair celebrated reaching one million kilometres with TRC Toyota Feilding who sold the car from new and have serviced it throughout its ownership.
In the time it’s travelled the route travelled has altered so too the scenery – but Goldie has been the one reliable constant that dutifully turns on and goes each day.
Marilyn admits to being a fan of Goldie – a sentiment echoed by many associates and friends who have seen her travel the many routes on her run. “Over the years I’ve seen so many changes en route and I’m constantly asked how the little gold car is going. I’ve been telling people for a while we’re nearly there, we’ve nearly reached a million kilometres. And people are so amazed that the little car is still running strong,” she says.
“It’s hardly been touched, and never needed much work done to it other than a couple of replacement gearboxes (as it’s a manual). You’d think I would’ve had to have replaced the window winder given how many times a day it gets used – but that’s still intact from new.”
The Ellery’s have a sliver Toyota logo emblazoned over top of their carport – more proof of their strong Toyota connection. Kevin says “We are Toyota people through and through. We purchased our first Toyota Corona in 1972. We’ve had two Hilux, two Corollas an Echo and Celica.” The pair also currently own a Hilux for Kevin’s engineering business, the spare Echo and a Celica.
Although Marilyn has retired from her paper delivery run – there’s no retirement for Goldie on the horizon.
“She’s given us a good run and we’re looking forward to clocking over the next million.”