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Powerhouse Musuem

The Minister for the Arts Troy Grant has launched a new display AUTO OBSESSION at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum showcasing for the first time its extraordinary car collection.

On display from 9 August to 26 October 2014, AUTO OBSESSION is part of Recollect, a new visible collection storage project that aims to ensure greater public access to the Museum’s rich collection.  

“The Museum’s extensive car collection is of significant historical and technological importance, and presents insights into our rich automative manufacturing history. Visitors will enjoy reminiscing about some of the iconic cars featured, from the FJ Holden to the NSW Governor’s 1965 Rolls Royce,” said Minister for the Arts, Troy Grant.

Other cars from Australian automotive history including a 1965 Ford Falcon XP and a 1970 Chrysler Valiant Regal VF, seen alongside the lesser-known, but strikingly quirky, 1964 Lightburn Zeta runabout and 1971 Nota Fang IV prototype sports car.

Many of the cars in AUTO OBSESSION are time capsules of automotive history, having had little work done on them other than to preserve them in carefully monitored storage conditions. They can be compared to the much sort-after "barn find" cars in the current collector market.

The display will include one of the most popular cars in the collection - the 1959 Goggomobil Dart, a little red sports cars made in Sydney by Bill Buckle. Called a minicar or baby car, it's characterised by a small engine with high power output, low fuel consumption and simplicity. Made of light and strong fibreglass, its body design, inspired by a Jaguar XJ 120, sits so low to the ground doors weren’t needed, you just stepped in.

A special car of State significance is the 1965 Rolls-Royce Phantom V, used between 1966 and 1981 by the NSW Governor, Sir Roden Cutler, as his official car. It was the ultimate in engineering and luxury and geared low to permit driving at very slow speed for ceremonial occasions. The car is fitted with gold-painted crowns instead of number plates, a police radio, which enabled the chauffeur to call ahead to have the traffic lights changed if the Governor was running late, and an electrically-operated glass screen which separated the driver from his rear passengers.

The rarest car in the Museum's collection is the 1913 Sheffield Simplex luxury tourer, one of only three surviving made by the Sheffield Simplex Motor Works Ltd, England. Like Rolls-Royce, each Sheffield Simplex car was built to the client's specifications for body style, accessories and colours. Each car was painstakingly built from quality materials and components.


Dates: Saturday 9 August to Sunday 26 October 2014

Hours: 10.00am to 5.00pm daily

Address: Powerhouse Museum, 500 Harris Street, Ultimo


Admission: Free with general admission: $15 adult, $8 child/concession, $38 family