The National Business Review recently released its ‘NBR List 2023’, revealing some of the most wealthy Kiwi car enthusiasts.
Many of the rich listers are made up of both individuals and families who have spent decades building their fortunes in the automotive industry, including the likes of Sir Colin Giltrap, the Drinkrow family, Alan Gibbs, and more.
1. Todd family – $4.3 billion
Coming in on top as the most wealthy group of automotive aficionados and second overall on the NBR list is the Todd family, valued at $4.3 billion.
The Todds originally began in the wool scouring business back in the late 1800s in Otago, but had shifted to car sales and maintenance by the 1920s. Charles Todd, son of the same namesake who started Todd Corporation, was credited with importing the first ever car into Otago in 1908.
In the 1970s, the Todd Corporation purchased the New Zealand Mitsubishi franchise before later selling it back to the carmaker in 1987.
The Todd family has also been a major player in the importation, prospecting, extracting, and refining of New Zealand’s oil, as well as selling petrol at a retail level.
2. Alan Gibbs – $800 million
If you’ve ever driven past some large art sculptures rising into the sky along the Kaipara Harbour, Alan Gibbs is the man responsible for them.
The Kiwi businessman and entrepreneur started his career working for the New Zealand Government in the mid-1960s but left soon after to build the country’s first domestically-produced car, the Anziel Nova.
His local car building dream sadly didn’t come to fruition, but he dipped his toes back into the automotive industry when himself and three other investors purchased Tappenden Motors Ltd. in 1979 where he made his fortune.
Gibbs is also responsible for the Aquada, the amphibious car Richard Branson drove across the English Channel in 2004.
Those art sculptures we mentioned before are located on his 500ha farm in Kaipara which the public can visit.
3. James Kirkpatrick – $800 million
Once the operator of Midland Motors car dealership, James Kirkpatrick became one of the country’s richest men through investments in property.
4. Sir Colin Giltrap – $475 million
Here’s a man that needs no introduction. Sir Colin Giltrap is arguably one of the country’s most well-known car enthusiasts thanks to his extensive network of dealerships under the Giltrap Group.
Giltrap founded luxury car dealership Monaco Motors in Hamilton during the mid-1960s and has since expanded operations to sell some of the world’s most prestigious automotive brands such as Aston Martin, Bentley, and Lamborghini.
In 2017, the Group opened a state-of-the-art head office and dealership in Auckland at 119 Great North Road where you’ll find some of the most valuable cars in the country.
Colin along with sons Richard and Michael each own a third stake in the Giltrap Group.
His grandson Marco Giltrap currently competes in the 2023 Porsche Michelin Sprint Challenge Australia with Team Porsche New Zealand.
5. Drinkrow family – $300 million
Rounding out our list is the Drinkrow family, which owes much of its interest in cars to racing driver and vehicle collector Allan Drinkrow.
Much of the families wealth has been created through its civil engineering, quarries, and property development company Kaipara Ltd.
With just some of that wealth, Allan has amassed a collection of historic road and race cars including a 1959 Cooper Climax T51 once driven by Bruce McLaren and Sir Jack Brabham, a 1958 Auburn Speedster, 1963 Ford Galaxie and a Ferrari 599. You can even see some of these cars for yourself at Pine Harbour Motorsport Museum in Beachlands, Auckland.