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MOTAT is Auto Lovers Delight

Opening on 1 March, MOTAT will tell the stories of Kiwi icons with the launch of the new Kiwi Stars and Cars Exhibition.

Developed by MOTAT, the exhibition will feature a selection of vehicles on display that were once owned by Kiwi icons and will share with visitors the stories and experiences behind them. Visitors can expect to see vehicles from the MOTAT collection that were once owned by iconic Kiwis Billy T James, Richard Pearse, Bruce McLaren and Helen Clark. These vehicles will feature alongside vehicles once owned by brands such as Tip Top, Marmite, Winstone Aggregates and New Zealand Breweries.

The iconic bright yellow mini, ‘Pork Pie’, from the classic Kiwi film Goodbye Pork Pie will also be on display. On loan from the movie’s special effects artist Andy Grant, the car is one of four minis used during filming and featured as the stunt mini. “We expect the ‘Pork Pie’ mini to be very popular with visitor’s young and old alike” says Lucinda Blackley-Jimson, MOTAT’s new Exhibitions Manager. “Pork Pie will shortly be departing the MOTAT collection and this is a final chance to see the iconic bright yellow star of the Kiwi classic movie.”

Billy T James had a passion for classic cars and the 1954 Chevrolet Deluxe that he owned up until his unfortunate death in 1991 will be displayed. Billy T personally began the restoration project but sadly passed away before completion. The car features the personalised plate ‘BTJ’, a 3.6 litre engine and is 5-metres in length. The car is as a testament to his ‘larger than life’ personality that Kiwis fell in love with.

Although more widely known for his aviation achievements, visitors will also be able to view Richard Pearse’s homebuilt motorcycle that was constructed at his home in Milton, Otago in 1912. Another feature is the ‘Tool Guys’ van from local hit television show, Outrageous Fortune, which was used for their handyman business by ‘Westies’ Van and Munter. It has been kindly loaned to MOTAT by South Pacific Pictures for the exhibition.

“MOTAT will truly be an auto lover’s delight, as the exhibition will also sit alongside the 17 classic cars on display at the popular Motor Nation exhibition launched in September 2013” says Mrs Blackley-Jimson.

With more vehicles on display including a 1926 Ford Model T truck, from Winstone Aggregates; a Villiers motorcycle, owned by Tip Top Ice Cream; a Honda 50 Scooter, previously owned by Helen Clark; a Bradford Jowett delivery van, from Sanitarium and an Austin K4 tanker, from New Zealand Breweries – the exhibition is sure to be a hit with folks young and old.

For more information about MOTAT and our exhibitions, please visit the website:

Location: MOTAT - Great North Road, Western Springs, Auckland.

$40 family pass (2 adults, 4 children)
$16 adults
$8 students/children 5-16 yrs
Free for children under 5 and SuperGold Cardholders


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