Motat's crash course

17:00, Aug 30 2012
STRIKING HISTORY: Motat marketing manager Deanna Wharton, left, and exhibitions manager Paul Swift with the first car that was crushed under the Government’s new boy racer legislation. The car is now on display at the museum.

It may be the end of the road for one boy racer but it's the start of a whole new educational journey for the thousands who flock to Motat.

The Western Springs-based transport and technology museum is proudly displaying its latest acquisition - the first car crushed in New Zealand under new Government legislation.

The flattened Nissan Laurel was purchased by Motat through a Trade Me auction for $818 - with proceeds going to Youthline.

The car was crushed on June 21 at Lower Hutt's Macaulay Metals after Paraparaumu boy racer Daniel Briant was caught doing burnouts just three hours after his third conviction.

It was shipped to Motat's secure off-site storage facility while a special stand was erected for the End of the Road exhibition.

Museum exhibitions manager Paul Swift says the whole process of obtaining the car was fairly quick.


"We wanted to do something with it that wasn't flat. This is the most striking way to do it," he says of the vertical display.

"It's five metres tall."

Staff are still deciding how long the car will be on show for.

"We will be gauging feedback from visitors," Mr Swift says.

"The car could end up in a science and technology area. It means that dry legislative matters can be brought to life."

The science and technology area would explain the workings of pneumatics and hydraulics - the technology which crushed the car.

Mr Swift says some of the first visitors to the exhibition have been making connections to the recycling process.

A series of signs accompany the display to educate passersby on speed versus the law, scrap for cash, crushing with liquid and details on the car itself.

"The car hasn't ended up in a shipyard - it's in a museum.

"We want people to wonder how and why it was crushed," he says.

Marketing manager Deanna Wharton says a group of Greenhithe School students were among the first to check out the wreck.

"It got a lot of ‘wows'."

Seven year-old Sophie Groen says the car is "really, really cool".

Her father Mark Groen is impressed by how flat it is.

"It's about the only thing they care about - their car," he says of boy racers.

"This will certainly be a deterrent."

Motat attracts more than 26,000 school children each year.

The car is at the entrance to the Signposts to Godzone exhibition. Motat is at 805 Great North Rd, Western Springs, and open 10am to 5pm every day.

Admission costs are adults $14, children $8 and children under 5 are free.

FREE ENTRY DURING SEPTEMBER If you're keen to check out Motat, entry is free during September for Auckland Central residents. Bring along the vouchers that will appear in local papers and letterboxes throughout the month or get them from the library. Otherwise bring along your rates bill or proof of address. Check out for a list of eligible suburbs. If you visit on September 16 there will be more activities on offer including military vehicle rides, a children's bookbinding workshop and even a lollymaker.

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