Have you visited the George Begg Bunker yet?
- 19 May 2020
Life under lockdown hit the pause button for many – including the chance to see our George Begg Bunker.
The exhibit pays tribute to the legendary Southland engineer and a golden age in Kiwi motorsport history, and was officially opened just a handful of weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic made its presence felt here in New Zealand.
But now that the country has entered Level 2, and Classic Motorcycle Mecca has reopened its doors, visitors to the leading motorcycle collection in the Southern Hemisphere have the chance to see our newest exhibit.
Begg played a pivotal role in Kiwi motorsport in the 1960s and 1970s: after a career racing motorcycles in Britain (including taking part in the famed Isle of Man), Begg returned to New Zealand. From his workshop in rural Southland, he built a total of 18 race vehicles that went on to compete and win against some of the biggest marques in the world.
The George Begg Bunker is a whopping 1600m2, custom-built at Classic Motorcycle Mecca. Descend into the basement area of the two restored period buildings the motorcycle museum calls home, and discover a story of Kiwi ingenuity taking on the world.
The Begg display, is much more than simply a collection of cars – although it is that too, and boasts the title of being the largest-ever single display of race vehicles built by Begg. Many of the vehicles are still raced today, so the race cars housed at the George Begg Bunker will vary as some are taken out to various tracks. The Transport World team worked hard to ensure as many of the remaining Begg vehicles as possible were included in the display, and a wealth of information about not only the cars but Begg’s contemporaries, such as his former drivers, makes for fascinating reading.
The George Begg Bunker includes an extensive collection of family memorabilia, footage from a ‘reunion’ held with Begg drivers and the man himself back in 2007, and even a replica of ‘George’s Toyshop’ – his Drummond workshop – that includes genuine artefacts from the original.
Visitors to the George Begg Bunker will notice the progression of the Southlander’s story as they make their way deeper into the exhibit. Focusing on three aspects of the engineer’s life – George Begg the man, George Begg the businessman, and George Begg the racing car constructor – the exhibit is a true overview of what made the automotive personality tick.
All of the details in the George Begg Bunker demonstrate Transport World’s signature knack for the special – from the design of the information panels to the ambience, no stone has been left unturned.
If COVID-19 put a dampener on your plans to check out the newest exhibit at Classic Motorcycle Mecca, now is the perfect time to visit the George Begg Bunker.
We look forward to seeing you soon.