Day 22 – Feb 21 – Friday–The Museum of Transportation and Technology
Today we decided to to Auckland’s Museum of Transportation and Technology, known locally as the MOTAT, which we had passed on the Hop on Hop Off, when we were hustling back to the city center. Today we had the time and decided to visit. We ferried across and after a brief attempt to figure the bus route out, I surrendered and we grabbed a cab. The MOTAT is right next to the Auckland Zoo, about a 20 minute cab ride.
As I understand it, this museum came about when the city was trying to decide what to do with a huge water pump house and the equipment that was in it, which had been made obsolete by a reservoir system. It sat idle for a long time and then in the 1950s an effort was begun to turn the unused building, equipment and land into a museum. Where most museum are purpose built large buildings intended to house artifacts, MOTAT buildings are part of the artifacts. The original pump house is still there but has been supplemented by train stations, sheds, a narrow gauge railway, and a large collection of buildings, housing various displays.
One of the original water pumps is kept in working condition, and is continual operation.
This is a Heron sports car, manufactured in Auckland. They were manufactured by Ross Baker between 1962 and 1999, and even included an electric vehicle at one time.
The museum has an extensive collection of all sorts of modes of transportation – naturally it was the automobiles that caught my attention.
This is a Cooper Climax Formula 1 Race car – while I remember when these were tearing up the tracks, I am foggy on the dates – I believe late 1950s early 1960s.
A 1911 “Tin Lizzie” Model T Ford – these were shipped from the US in components and assembled in New Zealand.
Not all cars – some other stuff.
The technology building was interesting for me from a surprising standpoint. Most of us are used to seeing artifacts from the past, ancient implements our ancestors used, but I was not prepared to see all of the technology that I used throughout a 60 year career in computers. It was eerie, and made me think they ought to have a “stuffed” version of me in the exhibit – here is the operator who sorted these punch cards and changed these disc packs and ran this 360 – or maybe here is a programmer who used to write code to make these things work.
The trip back to the ferry landing was much quicker and cheaper – there was a bus stop right outside the MOTAT and the bus took us to the the ferry,