Ever since the human race got tired of walking everywhere, the motor vehicle was a welcomed invention and has evolved into a huge part of our everyday lives. Historical eras can be defined by the cars driven at the time. The motor car was a consistent upgrade every year both in shape, form and function.
It’s still happening to this day, however, there’s something special about the old curved V8-driven classics with bouncy suspension that makes me want to go back in time and see what it was really like. (Just like the movie ‘Back To The Future’)
We are incredibly lucky to have such a wide range of cars at the Nelson Classic Car Museum. These are beautifully presented with award-winning backdrops created by the display team to enhance the cars in the era they were being produced and used.
Kate has been working at NCCM just short of 2 years and loves her job. Formerly she was in the Civil Construction Industry and spent some time working in Australia. She’s used to driving heavy machinery and when Covid came along, a surprise change in direction landed her in the driver seat at the Nelson Classic Car Museum.
“I have an allergy to UV, which isn’t ideal when you are used to working outdoors. When I met Nicola the Managing Director, I was hooked and I love getting to drive the cars and show people around the collection.
When I’m not driving cars to events and fundraisers, part of my role is to manage the bookings for after-hours events as well as the boardroom, which is a majestic space for a special meeting, private function or party. I help look after the retail shop as well. We have loads of great gift items and car memorabilia suited to any passionate car lover.
We also have some wonderful volunteers who come in and help take care of the cars. It!s a fulltime job and we have some lovely, retired car dealers who still have the passion and they do a great job.” says Kate.
One of Kate’s favourite memories was driving the convertible ’61 Thunderbird with the rooftop down at full speed at the Nelson Airport Runway. It was part of a Big Brothers & Big Sisters fundraising event. You can tell she is no slouch behind the wheel!
The history of cars is something anyone will find fascinating. It’s a great conversation starter and will bring back memories for the older folk.
For example, the Ford Model T was the first affordable automobile. Henry Ford famously said that his vehicle was targeted at the common man. Only the rich could afford a car before the Model T came along, and it became less expensive throughout production. It cost $850 at the time it was unveiled in 1908 and continuously got cheaper, reaching under $300 in 1925.
“We have the old original price tags on one display and chuckle at visitors noticing a bargain asking if the car is actually for sale for that price.” laughs Kate.
When asked what her favourite car is, she smiles and tried to avoid the question.
“My favourites are always changing, but I’ve got a soft spot for the big red Locomobile, which can do 200 km per hour. Its huge engine and massive wheels make the ride a unique and exhilarating experience.” The newest car to the collection a Green Pontiac Convertible is my current favourite.
Visit their website for more info, but seriously just go for a wander around. It!s always changing and they are consistently raising the bar. That’s why it’s so popular. People are passionate about these cars. It’s infectious. It’s inspirational. It’s magnificent!
Call 03 547 4570
Find them at 1 Cadillac Way, Nelson
Explore the virtual tour at Nelson Classic Car Museum