Saturday, July 7, 2012

Southward Car Museum in New Zealand

Located on the Kapiti Coast, an hour's drive north of Wellington, is the world renowned Southward Car Museum.

Designed and built by the late Sir Len Southward, this customised facility houses the southern hemispheres largest private car collection.

The Southward Car Museum is an automobile museum housing a collection of over 250 vehicles, as well as three aircraft, located on Otaihanga Road, Otaihanga, just north of Paraparaumu on the Kapiti Coast of New Zealand's North Island. The museum is run by a charitable trust, incorporated in 1972.   - Wikipedia

It is approximately an hour's drive from downtown Wellington and is situated between the North Island Main Trunk Railway to the west and State Highway 1 to the east.

The car museum can be world famous but this petrol head have NEVER been there!

Our visiting young nephew change all that, after a nice scrumptious lunch at Lindale Farm; we drove "next door" to the car museum :)

The car collection was the work of Sir Len Southward and his wife, Lady Vera Southward. They began collecting cars in 1956. After achieving success in business, Sir Len dedicated time to buying and restoring old cars, adding to the collection.
The museum's collection includes Marlene Dietrich's Rolls-Royce, a 1915 Stutz Indianapolis race car, gull-winged Mercedes-Benz, a 1950 Cadillac "gangster special" that belonged to gangster Mickey Cohen, and an 1895 Benz Velo, imported to New Zealand in 1900.  - Wikipedia

The gangster Cadillac and bullet holes on the windows.
Mickey Cohen outfitted his 1950 Cadillac Fleetwood with bomb proof floor, armor plated doors; bullet proof power windows and hinged windshield for shooting from inside!

Cohen worked with Al Capone, Lucky Luciano and Bugsy Siegel.

A 1914 Fiat, leather belts included!
Begg racing car FM5
The 480 HP Begg FM5 is a NZ racing car built by George Begg of Drummond, Southland.  Driven by David Oxton to win the 1973 and 1974 Gold Star Championship. It was successfully raced in England and Europe.

Fast cars come in RED?  From top, a red Ferrari 750 Monza which came to NZ for the international series in 1957.

Below the Ferrari is a 1959 Messerschmitt single cylinder 200cc two stroke chain drive 3 wheeled bubble car! The Fend design was made by Messerschmitt from 1953 to 1960.

Messerschmitt AG was a famous German aircraft manufacturing corporation (AG) named for its chief designer, Willy Messerschmitt, and known primarily for its World War II fighter aircraft, notably the Bf 109 and Me 262.

The classical Jaguar E-Type is a British sports car, manufactured by Jaguar between 1961 and 1974. Its combination of good looks, high performance, and competitive pricing established the marque as an icon of 1960s motoring. More than 70,000 E-Types were sold during its lifespan.

Below the red cat is the Chevrolet Corvette, a sports car by the Chevrolet division of General Motors that has been produced in six generations. The first model, a convertible, was designed by Harley Earl and introduced at the GM Motorama in 1953 as a concept show car.

Our visiting young nephew taking shots of the Reliant, made famous by Mr. Bean :)
Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the most distorted of them all?
Ming's jacket colour match the McDonald car ;)

Ming's favorite car, the huge 1939 Lincoln Zephyr sporting a 4,400cc side vale V12 motor. It also features dash board gear change and hydraulic brakes, big deal in 1939 I suppose.  Between 1039-40 only 120 of this car were built!!

"The plane! The plane!"  A RAF Vampire hover over the antique collection.

The de Havilland DH.100 Vampire was a British jet-engine fighter commissioned by the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Following the Gloster Meteor, it was the second jet fighter to enter service with the RAF.  - Wikipedia

All the Indian but where is the Chief?  ;)   The Invercargill, New Zealand speed bike racer Burt Munro and his highly modified Indian Scout motorcycle set numerous land speed records for motorcycles with engines less than 1000 cc at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in the late 1950s and into the 1960s. The film The World's Fastest Indian is based on Munro and his Indian Bike.

There is even a very colourful Jeepney at the car museum!
Jeepneys are the most popular means of public transportation in the Philippines. They were originally made from US military jeeps left over from World War II and are known for their flamboyant decoration and crowded seating. They have become a ubiquitous symbol of Philippine culture. The word jeepney is a portmanteau of "jeep" and "Jitney".

 A 1939 Mercedes Benz 770K Grosser with a supercharged 8 cylinder OHV engine of a whopping 7,655cc!!

The Mercedes-Benz 770, also known as the Großer Mercedes (large Mercedes) was a luxury automobile built by Mercedes-Benz from 1930 to 1943. It is probably best known from archival footage of high-ranking Nazi officials before and during World War II, including Adolf Hitler and Hermann Göring.

The supercharger is engaged at full throttle and raises the output from 155 horses to 230!

A large Merc and a smaller model ;)
We are flying... top, bokeh of my Lumix 7-14 @ F4 and the Leica Summicron 50mm @ f2.

The stainless steel elephant.. the gull winged DeLoren.
The original DeLorean Motor Company (DMC) is an automobile manufacturer formed by automobile industry executive John DeLorean in 1975. It is remembered for the one model it produced — the distinctive stainless steel DeLorean DMC-12 sports car featuring gull-wing doors — and for its brief and turbulent history, ending in receivership and bankruptcy in 1982. Near the end, in a desperate attempt to raise the funds his company needed to survive, John DeLorean was filmed appearing to accept money to take part in drug trafficking, but was subsequently acquitted of charges brought against him on the basis of entrapment.   

The DeLorean DMC-12 shot to worldwide fame in the Back to the Future movie trilogy as the car made into a time machine by eccentric scientist Doctor Emmett L. Brown, although the company had ceased to exist before the first movie was made.      - Wikipedia

This 1934,V16 (Goodness, SIXTEEN cylinders!) Cadillac Town Cabriolet was originally owned by actress Marlene Dietrich.

In 1999, the American Film Institute named Dietrich the ninth-greatest female star of all time.

If you are in Wellington do go and take a look, it is well worth it!



Otaihanga Road
New Zealand

p.+64 04 297 1221
f.+64 04 297 0503

Daily from 9am – 4.30pm
Closed Christmas Day and Good Friday

Adults (over 15 years) – $12.00
Children (5 – 15 years) – $3.00
Pre-schoolers - No charge
Special rates for group bookings.


Click here to find them on the map.


  1. Wonderful! I would expect nothing less. Everyone of those cars is remarkable in it`s own way.I find it amazing that so many cars are there under one roof, and so well kept for the public to visit.
    The cars seem so big too!Imagine trying to angle park some of them!
    Well captured and presented!

  2. I am Finbow, from Canada. I would like to inform you that I absolutely enjoyed a very thorough tour of your blog! Wow, I really enjoyed the Mickey Cohen and Marlene Dietrich Cadillacs! Thank you for your efforts. Enjoy! Be happy and remember - Don't drink and drive :)