WORKS IN PROGRESS
Motat has done an audit of all restoration, conservation and preservation work in its collection and identified 55 priority projects, 16 of which were completed last year. Those currently under way include:
AVRO 683 LANCASTER BOMBER
Displayed as a memorial to the New Zealanders who served with Bomber Command over Germany in World War II, the Lancaster arrived at Motat in 1964 as a Mk VII and was converted and reconfigured to Mk III specifications. Originally restored and repainted in the 1980s, it’s undergoing a complete internal and external survey in preparation for further work, in collaboration with the New Zealand Bomber Command Association.
SHORT S45A SOLENT MK IV FLYING BOAT
The last of its kind in the world, ZK-AMO Aranui was used by Teal (Air New Zealand’s predecessor) on the “Coral Route” from Auckland to Papeete in the 1950s. Extensive conservation work over the next two to three years will include cleaning the flight deck, fitting the lower decks with seating and tables, refitting original fixtures in the upper decks, and repainting the outside. A 360-degree film is planned to record the project, and visitors will be able to check out progress through the aircraft’s windows from special viewing platforms.
SHORT S25 SUNDERLAND
One of only five left in the world, the Sunderland Flying Boat’s tailplanes, fin and rudder have been restored in the aviation workshop, and work is now complete on the wings. Lack of space in the aviation display hall means the Sunderland is still sitting outside, exposed to the weather, but the museum is investigating options to get it under cover.
WANGANUI TRAM TRAILER NO.21
The trailer is being rebuilt over the next few years and will eventually be towed behind the Wanganui Steam Tram No.100 (which will also get an overhaul) or the Wanganui Electric Tram No.10, for which it was originally designed. The last time No.100 towed a trailer was at the closing ceremony for the Wanganui tramway in September 1950.
NO.17 DOUBLE-DECKER TRAM
This extremely rare tram was built in 1902 by Brush Electrical Engineering in the UK and arrived in New Zealand as a kitset to be assembled here. During Auckland’s Armistice celebrations in 1919, it was decorated with a massive New Zealand flag made of electric lights (which is still in Motat’s collection). No.17 was converted into a single deck, before being withdrawn from service in 1948, and will be restored to its “double-decker glory”.
OTHER ACTIVE PROJECTS
In the aviation section, replica exhausts and guns are being constructed and fitted to the De Havilland DH98 Mosquito, and the tail of the Douglas DC-3 is being repaired.
Projects in road transport include: a 1962 Nobel 2000 bubble car made in England and based on the German Fuldamobile; a 1940s Ford 2N tractor; a 1972 International C1800truck, a World War II Indian motorcycle; a 1940s Valentine Mk II infantry tank; and a WWI tank engine.
Steam section work includes an A851 steam carriage (a 1904-style gas-lit passenger car built by NZ Railways and later used as a miner’s train), and continuing restoration of the F180 steam locomotive Meg Merrilies, built by the Yorkshire Locomotive Works in 1874 for the New Zealand railway network.
Plans are also being made to restore a 1910s German Oberursel petrol-powered industrial locomotive, one of only two left in the world, as well as a steel-panelled carriage that was built in the 1930s.
A restored doubledecker tram.