If so, what did you think of the Trekka the only vehicle ever designed and mass-produced in New Zealand? Te Papa would love to hear your memories. Email your recollections, opinions, a story or even a favourite photograph through to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday 25 June, 5 pm. The best 5 will receive free copies of Todd’s book The Trekka Dynasty.
Join journalist Todd Niall for a talk on the history of the Trekka Thursday 26 Jun 2014, 6pm. In his second blog, Todd traces the beginnings of his interest in the Trekka:
“Given that the story of the Trekka has been a big part of my past 15 years, you’d think I’d remember how the interest in it started. But I don’t.
I had always been interested in cars as a youngster. I grew up in a Fiat household, and have owned a Bambina for, well, decades.
Sometime in the late 1990s the Trekka popped up in my consciousness.
Maybe it was when the local auto electrician parked one outside for sale.
Sometime later I began perusing the Trade and Exchange, viewed a couple, and bought one, that wasn’t running. The seller had a relative who he said was the last person alive to know the whole Trekka story. Well, what journalist could resist that.
George MacAlonan did in fact know the story from the beginning, but luckily so did others, and eventually the 60 minute radio documentary took shape for my employer Radio New Zealand. In 2001, the two-part `The Trekka’s Tale’ pulled together for the first time, the history of New Zealand’s only home-grown production motor vehicle.
It was that documentary that put me in touch with artist Michael Stevenson, who was developing his This is the Trekka work for the 2003 Venice Biennale. An impetus to dig deeper into the Trekka’s place in history, and which resulted in my publishing The Trekka Dynasty in 2004.
My original Trekka was sold without ever running, but it did provide the inspiration for the radio documentary. I am now only the second owner of a 1972 Trekka, which is in the final stages of getting back on the road.