An auction for vintage items from an iconic Whangarei business is attracting huge interest online.

Whangarei Traders and Auctions is auctioning the contents of a large shed full of Normans Motors items at the end of the month.

Auctioneer Darryl Penrose put a post on his business' Facebook page last Saturday with some pictures and he said that post had already had 120,000 views.

In one week, the business' overall Facebook page has gained 350 new likes.


"I'm getting 20 emails every time I've turned my computer on to be added to the catalogue database."

He said it's getting more interest than the Reva's and Shotgun Betty's auctions he has held in the past.

"I've never seen that (level of interest) before."

Norman Motors' Pete Norman said there is a "vast" variety going up for auction. Items include hubcaps, lights, lenses, switches, tools, spark plugs, gear boxes, glass cleaner and much more, including old vehicles.

Mr Norman and his wife bought the business in 2011 from his father and moved into a purpose built building. They needed somewhere to store the parts his father wanted to keep so they leased the shed the parts are currently in.

Two and a half years ago, Mr Norman's father passed away.

"We're paying for a lease on the shed to store the stuff, it's better to be in somebody's possession who wants it."

He said it "is and it isn't" tough to be selling it.

"There's stuff here that I would love to keep, and there are memories."

Mr Norman worked alongside his father for more than 20 years.

He said the business was started 90 years ago, and most of the stuff being auctioned would have been collected by his father and grandfather.

Mr Norman said he thinks most of the items will be "valuable in the possession sense rather than the monetary sense".

Mr Penrose said his website crashed the night after he made the Facebook post, and when he went into the back of the website, the analytics showed a huge increase.

He said when he starts emailing antique and vintage clubs he expects he will get more interest from all over the country and around the world.

"I think there will be people travelling up here for it and just to get the rare parts."

He said he has one enquiry from a person in America who is interested in the bus, but he expects he will get more international interest. Mr Penrose said he expects the vehicles to be popular.

Two of those are a Diamond T bus and a 70-year-old Chrysler Airflow.

Some parts, although old, are brand new, and still in boxes. "They don't make these parts anymore."

He said people would usually have to go to swap meets or wreckers to find the same parts. Mr Penrose is hoping to keep the number of auction lots under 500.

"If it goes over that I would make the lots bigger."

He said he can get through about 100 in an hour, so there is 4 to 5 hours of auctioning.

He started the cataloguing on Tuesday and expects it will take just over two weeks - the longest he has ever done.

"I like to have the catalogue released a couple of weeks before the auction."

The auction will be held on July 30 on site at 10am, with viewing available the day before.