Museum bids for hydro-van

01:58, Sep 09 2009
Van boat
Marlborough Express Reporter Blair Ensor takes a ride in the amphibious van that successfully crossed Cook Straight

Roofliss, the first amphibious van to cross Cook Strait, could end up alongside other great New Zealand sea-faring vessels in the New Zealand National Maritime Museum in Auckland.

Aeronautic machinists Dan Melling and Adam Turnbull, both 23, completed the 65-kilometre journey from Waikawa Bay Marina to Mana Marina in the modified Toyota Town Ace on Sunday in just under 10 hours.

The vessel, which was built in Blenheim, was placed on Trade Me on Monday night with a $1 reserve.

New Zealand National Maritime Museum chief executive Paul Evans said the museum, which also housed NZL32, Black Magic, which won the 1995 Americas Cup, was interested in adding the van to its collection.

"It's something we think is very unique and it's something that the public of New Zealand will be interested in learning more about," Mr Evans said.

The museum had placed a bid on Trade Me yesterday of $3500. The asking price for the van this morning had risen to $5300, with more than 15,000 views of the page.

"We are not awash with cash," Mr Evans said. "We will watch the auction to see if it makes sense for us to stay in that race.

"I think it's quite spectacular what these guys have done ... It's kind of an expression of that Kiwi spirit of exploration ... and have made headlines around the world."

The Trade Me auction closes on Monday at 9.58pm.


The Marlborough Express