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Trade Me’s top motors of 2020

From UFOs to a jaw-dropping bus, we’re always amazed at the wonders Kiwis have hiding in their garages.

14 January 2021

In 2020 it was vehicles with an interesting backstory and some good old Kiwi creativity that appealed to Trade Me members.

New Zealand’s loudest car

Jonah’s star power was a bit of a theme last year with Jonah’s former mansion in Maupia taking out the top spot in our most viewed properties of 2020.

All Black legend Jonah Lomu’s eardrum bursting SUV was also crowned the most popular vehicle of 2020 with 226,000 views.

Jonah had the 1997 Nissan Patrol SUV fitted with state of the art speakers that can reach 163 decibels, in a world record attempt in 2000 for the loudest car. To put that into perspective, a jet engine reaches around 140 decibels.

While Jonah didn’t get the world title, it was officially crowned New Zealand’s loudest vehicle in 2000.

Jonah Lomu’s wagon

Once valued at $100,000, the 4x4 was listed with an asking price of just $49,990. Trade Me members from all over the country were keen to get a glimpse of Jonah’s wagon and over 1,500 have added it to their watchlist.

The very loud wagon is still for sale.

A jawsome ride

Coming in at second place was a ride you could really sink your teeth into.

Many New Zealanders will have seen or driven in the infamous shark bus - a 2005 Toyota Coaster bus that was transformed into Kelly Tarlton’s very unique mode of transport.

In July 2020, the team at Kelly Tarlton’s aquarium decided it was time to release their old shark bus back to the wild and New Zealanders thought the listing was simply fintastic.

One very scary looking bus

One member asked if the horn plays the theme song to Finding Nemo, while another wondered if they could rent it to transport them to their school ball!

The fishy listing had 195,000 hits before it sold to insurance comparison company Life Direct for jaw dropping $31,500.

Rumour has it that the shark bus might have made its way to Wellington.

A Tesla Cybertruck (sort of)

A particular favourite of ours last year was a good old piece of Kiwi ingenuity.

Merv from Taranaki really wanted a Tesla Cybertruck, so with a bit of sheet metal he decided to make one himself using an old Toyota Vitz.

A DIY Tesla Cybertruck

Merv’s creation took him three months and when it was done, he listed it onsite for $1. The “Cybertruck” had 1514 watchlists and 137,000 views making it the fourth most popular motor of 2020. The Cybertruck sold for an impressive $999.

Kiwis loved it and had a good laugh with Merv in the Q&A. One member asked if it could tow a super yacht and another questioned if the glass was bullet proof.

Merv even featured on national TV talking about his masterpiece.

The ingenuity didn’t end there though with one member listing their modified Mitsubishi ‘time machine’. The 1997 beauty had been made to look like the famous Back to the Future DeLorian and New Zealanders fell in love.

A DIY time machine car


Our fifth most popular Motors listing of 2020 really took off. The Futuro spaceship was one of just 100 made in the early 1970s so it wasn’t surprising that this out of this world listing had over 104,000 hits.

The UFO-esque houses are built of fibreglass-reinforced polyester plastic, with sections bolted together to form the striking dome shape.

The seller reckons there are only eight or nine of these in the country.

Unidentified flying objects are always popular on site and over the years we’ve seen a few Futuro houses pop up. Back in 2018, a Futuro house was spotted in Dunedin for $400,000.

Even though this UFO was listed as an aircraft and doesn’t technically have a motor, we reckon it still deserves a spot in our top 10 motors of the year.

Our sixth most viewed motors listing of 2020

The list also contained an original lifeboat from the Rena Monrovia which had 94,000 views.

The top ten Trade Me motors of 2020

  1. Jonah Lomu’s SPL Wagon – 224,000 views
  2. Kelly Tarlton’s Shark Bus – 195,804 views
  3. 1993 Toyota Supra RZ Coupe – 162,103 views
  4. A DIY Tesla Cybertruck – 137,590 views
  5. Futuro - UFO spaceship house - 104,621 views
  6. 1973 Toyota Land Cruiser – 99,862 views
  7. 1969 Holden Monaro GTS – 99,244 views
  8. 1997 Mitsubishi time machine – 96,894 views
  9. Rena lifeboat – 94,402 views
  10. 2020 Nissan GTR Premium Lux – 88,058 views