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National Motor Museum

1965 Zeta Sports. Photo: History SA.

History SA, Media Release, National Motor Museum Turns 50, 15 October 2015

The National Motor Museum in Birdwood holds a special place in the hearts of many Australians. This November it turns 50 and the Museum is inviting all its supporters to celebrate this milestone anniversary.

Originally established by motoring enthusiasts Jack Kaines and Len Vigar in the landmark Old Birdwood Mill, the Museum was opened on 20 November 1965. As the collection has grown, so has the Museum. The Museum was significantly improved in size and scope when in 1998 the current pavilion was opened. Today’s collection of some 400 vehicles and motoring memorabilia and stories is simply stunning and attracts visitors from near and far.

”The collection means many things to different people,” said the Museum’s Director, Paul Rees. “For some it evokes memories of early driving experiences. For others it is the social history and the stories behind the objects in the collection. Young people are particularly engaged via the Museum activities that they participate in and make their visit a fun learning experience.”

“We are also proud of our two major annual events – the Rock & Roll Rendezvous and Bay to Birdwood. These events give the community the opportunity to engage with the culture of motoring as a kind of living history.”

For its 50th anniversary, the Museum is hosting two special events.

Take Your Tops Off on Sunday 31 October will see owners of convertible cars, from veteran to modern, help raise money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

“This is a great opportunity for the Museum to give something back to the community and to a very important cause,” said Rees. “The grounds will host topless cars of all makes and eras. There will be music and pink things galore – including fairy floss, champagne and cupcakes. There will be pamper packs and prizes for the ‘best dressed in pink’ cars and people.”

Picnic at the Mill on Sunday 22 November will commemorate the official opening, celebrate historic motoring and thank the many motoring clubs, volunteers and community members that have supported the Museum over the years.

“We are welcoming all to come along to the Picnic, there will be special motoring attractions, live music, family activities, food vans and a special historic exhibition in the Old Mill. The great thing is that all children will have free entry and we are offering adults a discount admission of just $5.” Rees added.

More information on both Take Your Tops Off and Picnic at the Mill plus how to register a vehicle can be found at www.nationalmotormuseum.com.au.

Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2021
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