Indiana Jones car from the Temple of Doom found in New Plymouth's Americarna gallery video


Mike Brouwers and his one of a kind Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg which was used in the movie Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

A massive Indiana Jones fan now owns the car used in one of his favourite movies.

The American-made Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg model made its movie debut at the start of the Temple of Doom with a high speed chase through Shanghai.

It then spent decades in a Japanese warehouse before it was bought two years ago by New Plymouth builder, Mike Brouwers. 


A steel frame under the bonnet was installed so Harrison Ford could walk across the bonnet for a stunt.

The original interior is completely intact except for a handbrake Brouwers was forced to remove for safety.

Brouwers has the full look, even owning an Indiana Jones hat to go with the car.

Brouwers had a customised plate installed a few weeks ago marking it unmistakably as the car from the movie.

After more than two-years restoration work the Auburn-Colt-Duesenberg is fully road legal.

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He has restored the sleek vehicle to its former glory, but remains coy about the total cost.

"My partner hasn't asked me in two years what I've spent on it, she's a pretty incredible woman," he said. 

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Mike Brouwers is the proud owner of a car used in Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom (1984).

Mike Brouwers is the proud owner of a car used in Indiana Jones: The Temple of Doom (1984).

Brouwers said after months of research and numerous phone calls to the car's maker in the U.S to prove its authenticity, the strengthened bonnet, which had no reason to be there other than for stunts convinced him it was "the one".

"Under the bonnet there's a steel frame in case they needed to walk on it for a stunt," he said. 

Brouwers has never been a car man but says he's into art and describes his vehicle as "art on wheels".

After more than two years the American-made classic is finally road legal in time for Americarna.

After more than two years the American-made classic is finally road legal in time for Americarna.

"It's a functional piece of artwork really, I wanted to get it up and running so it could serve its purpose again."

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Brouwers bought the car from a dealer in Christchurch and has since spent a long time trying to get it certified and road legal, a process he said he would never do again despite the rewards.

"It was just an absolute mission, they have to go over every inch and make sure it's up to their standard," he said. 

"I really have a lot of respect for people who do up cars. They and the tradesmen who do the work are just so passionate about what they do.

"Not many people are that passionate. It's something I find quite refreshing."

Before buying the car Brouwers had only an inkling it was the original, but said the importer almost certainly didn't realise the golden egg he had his hands on. 

"In the movie you can see it crash into the back of a rickshaw and the bend in the bumper is still there, I asked the mechanics to leave it to preserve the history," he said.  

Having been made road legal just several weeks ago Brouwers is just in time for New Zealand's biggest classic car event, Americarna, which kicked off this week in New Plymouth.

The classic American car festival runs from February 23 to 27, drawing more than 600 registered participants - 80 per cent of whom are from outside the region.

On Wednesday, around 50 classic cars gathered at resident businessman Bryce Barnett's house in New Plymouth to view his private collection of assorted rare vehicles.

Americarna organiser John Ray said it was hard to pin down a favourite or stand-out event because "so much was happening over the week".

"I guess seeing the amount of people that come out for it, kids especially, really makes it worthwhile for me," he said. 

"This is the ninth year it has been running and every years it just gets better and better."

*The schedule of events for Americarna can be seen on their website.

 - Stuff


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