National Motor Museum - Birdwood: Classic Restos Series 35

17 November 2017

Fletch returns to the National Motor Museum in Birdwood South Australia. The National Motor Museum is not only a tribute to the automotive legacy here in Australia, but it's also the finishing point of the iconic Bay to Birdwood event. 
 
With the doors closing at the Elizabeth Holden Assembly Plant, Fletch checks out a new permanent exhibition ‘[Re]assembled: Australia’s automotive manufacturing journey’, with the aim to preserve the Holden workers’ legacy and the story of the assembly plant that has sustained thousands of South Australian families. 
 
Another impressive display is 'The Travelling Emporium' The history of hawker vans and the mobile salesman of rural Australia. The National Motor Museum collection features two vehicles that demonstrate the story of Australia’s early motorised hawkers: a 1936 LE30 Dodge and a 1926 Graham Brothers G-Boy. The LE30 Dodge belonged to Lobethal man Syd Graeber. Syd converted the Dodge into a haberdashery shop on wheels and from 1936 to 1966 travelled the Northern Hills and Murray Basin districts selling fabrics, buttons and shoe heels. Another South Australian hawker, Hassan (Harry) Monsoor migrated from Lebanon to Australia in 1900 at age seventeen.
 
The final exhibit is a 1920 Garage, Fletch sees what the interior of a typical mechanical workshop looked like in the 1920s. Museum volunteers have created a replica 1920s Garage using tin signs, petrol pumps, original tools, advertising images, a fire extinguisher, and even a vintage typewriter and small office. The main feature is a rolling Ford Model T chassis, designed to show the various components of a chassis and running gear and how they fit together. Other vehicles of the period also feature, such as a 1927 Nash Light Six Tourer, a 1929 Harley-Davidson and a 1927 Triumph Model W motorcycle. 
 
The National Motor Museum is one of Australia unique cultural icons in the world of motoring history. As an international centre for the collection, research, preservation, education and display of Australian road transport history, the National Motor Museum is much more than a collection of vehicles. It is a social history of the way we were, the way we are now and the way of the future.

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