A largely original, production-line, flat-deck Trekka – in good working order – joins the restored, prototype Trekka that came into the collection more than 40 years ago.
MOTAT Transport Curator Chelsea Renshaw believes this 1968 Trekka, is the only one in public ownership in New Zealand that is in largely unrestored condition.
The Trekka, built from a Škoda chassis and drivetrain, is the only New Zealand designed and manufactured vehicle that ever made it into mass production. It enjoyed success from 1966 to 1973 until the lifting of import tariffs on completely built-up vehicles scuppered the economics of vehicle manufacturing in NZ. Read a brief history here.
The MOTAT-new Trekka was acquired from Blenheim and has lived in private collections, under cover for the last twenty years hence the original bodywork and good mechanical condition. working order.
The Collection Team believe the new acquisition lived its working life in the South Island due to it sporting a heater – and optional extra for the Trekka during its production years. It also has provenance to the Otago region, where it was held privately for 20 years prior to a move to Blenheim.
Todd Niall, Stuff reporter, Trekka historian and author of The Trekka Dynasty visited the Trekka last week and was impressed to find it in such original condition. “Many of the best examples have already left the country for private collections, so it is great to have made sure this one is in public ownership.”
The Collection Team hopes to be able to use it in Live Days and other public displays soon.
There are several differences between the prototype vehicle and the production-line Trekka: the cab length was extended for production vehicles, the split windscreen was dispensed with and the dual handbrake system, which allowed one or the other rear wheels to be individually locked, was also replaced by a modified differential system designed by Performance Developments. If one rear wheel lost traction, power would automatically be fed to the wheel that still had traction.
For more information, to arrange a visit or to request images, please contact Nicole Parish, Senior Communications Advisor
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