Begg on bike

Visit us during the Burt Munro Challenge 2020

  • 22 January 2020

It's that time of year again! Motorcycle enthusiasts are set to congregate in the Kiwi capital of wheels for the annual Burt Munro Challenge - and we've got a real treat in store for visitors to Classic Motorcycle Mecca from 5 - 9 February.

The Burt Munro Challenge is your chance to get a sneak peek at our brand-new George Begg exhibit, featuring memorabilia from the famed engineer's motorcycling days as well as the largest-ever display of race vehicles built in Begg's legendary Drummond workshop.

Invercargill has a thing with wheels and now, New Zealand’s premier destination for petrolheads is set to add another jewel to its crown.

Southlander George Begg has been dubbed motorsport’s equivalent to Enzo Ferrari – and a city-wide celebration of the legendary engineer has finally arrived.

Visitors to Classic Motorcycle Mecca during the Burt Munro Challenge will receive an exclusive first look at a spectacular new exhibit dedicated to the homegrown hero ahead of its grand opening next week. Entry to the George Begg exhibit is included in admission to Classic Motorcycle Mecca.

Begg had an illustrious career racing motorcycles in Britain and, famously, on the Isle of Man, before he returned  to Southland to open an engineering business in 1957. At his workshop in rural Southland Begg built 18 racing cars that went on to challenge – and beat – the best marques in the world. Begg’s cars bested some of the finest automotive names in New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom and throughout Europe and he cemented his name in our nation’s automotive folklore.

Visit Classic Motorcycle Mecca during this year's Burt Munro Challenge and discover an incredible tribute to a true Kiwi legend.

A whopping 1600m2 exhibit housing race vehicles built in 'George’s Toyshop’ – Begg’s fabled Drummond workshop – as well as memorabilia from Begg’s motorcycling heyday promises to be a must-see during the Burt Munro Challenge.

 

Begg on AJS bike

George Begg on his AJS race bike - see it for yourself during this year's Burt Munro Challenge

Transport World executive directors Joc and Scott O’Donnell and their team have done a typically impressive job of pulling together the exhibit, found in a custom-built space within the collection. As well as his cars, the exhibit also includes Begg’s AJS race bike and a wealth of information sourced from the Begg family and other contemporaries, including motoring journalist Allan Dick.

(It was Dick who penned, “George Begg was to New Zealand motor racing what Enzo Ferrari was to Formula One – and he turned Drummond into the Maranello of Southland”.)

The George Begg display at Classic Motorcycle Mecca has been promoted under the guise of bringing a legend home. It’s not hype without reason: Begg’s rise played a pivotal role in Kiwi motorsport’s golden age, and those with even a fleeting knowledge or interest in events of the time will be familiar with his name.

“We think there are three great automotive personalities who have carved their names into Southland’s history books – Bill Richardson, Burt Munro and George Begg,” Scott O’Donnell says. “The Begg exhibit pays homage to a story of Kiwi ingenuity taking on the world, and coming out on top."

Visitors to the Classic Motorcycle Mecca collection during the Burt Munro Challenge will be the very first to see the new display, which will be officially opened the following week on 13 February. Members of the public can purchase tickets to the grand opening, giving them the chance to mingle with motorsport industry insiders including former drivers who worked with Begg himself, motorsport media, and the team behind the collection. 

Together Transport World and the Southland Sports Car Club will also bring the first-ever George Begg Classic Speedfest at Teretonga Park next weekend (15 and 16 February). A family-friendly event, competitors and spectators alike are encouraged to come dressed up to match the era of the vehicle they are supporting on the track.

Click here for more information about the George Begg exhibit and George Begg Classic Speedfest, including how to buy tickets to official events.

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