“We Drove Here” is something new for Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery in Alexandra.

This exhibition was curated by guest curator Michael Findlay who worked with the Hocken Library Collections staff to showcase the wonderful resources from the Hocken Collection and present them in a themed exhibition that looks at the social side of early motoring. How did children entertain themselves on a long trip to the crib? What happened when the roads were flooded? Why was that hedge shaped like a chicken?

The social history approach touches on a range of cultural intersections: pioneering motorists; road-making, both urban and rural; the infrastructure and industries that sprang up through the 20th century to support and supply demand; car clubs and motor racing; family holidays; and all the financial luggage that car (and motorcycle) ownership requires.

The exhibition fills the Henderson and Grant Galleries with classic vehicles on display in the Central Stories Foyer.

Central Stories Manager, Brian Budd said “This exhibition is different to what has been shown in the Art Gallery in the past and is part of a strategy to broaden the types of events we offer to get a more diverse range of people visiting Central Stories.”

The exhibition was developed with the support of the Otago Motor Club Trust and curated by the Hocken Library in Dunedin.

A very rare 1901 car makes an appearance in Alexandra as part of “We Drove Here” exhibition at Central Stories Museum and Art Gallery.

The steam powered Locomobile was the first car to arrive in Otago, imported into Dunedin by Mr Thomas Kempthorne, founder of the well known drug and fertiliser company Kempthorne Prosser.

The car is owned by the Kempthorne Locomobile Trust, formed in 2003 to organise the rebuilding of the vehicle, using as many of the original components as possible. With plenty of help from local Dunedin engineers and businesses, plus Vintage car Club members, this fascinating piece of motoring history is now in full working order.

The engine is powered by steam pressure from a boiler, which is fired by petrol that is vaporised into a gas form and fired into a burner plate to heat the water into steam.

Other vehicles which will be on display as part of the exhibition are a 1913 and 1940 Indian motorbikes, along with a Mark II Ford Escort BDA Rally Car kindly on loan from the Highlands Motorsport Park Museum.