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The entrance to Southward Car Museum from Otaihanga Road.


The Southward Car Museum is an automobile museum housing a collection of over 250 vehicles, as well as three aircraft. The museum is run by a charitable trust, incorporated in 1972.

The museum is located on Otaihanga Road, Otaihangamarker, just north of Paraparaumumarker on the Kapiti Coast of New Zealandmarker's North Islandmarker. It is approximately an hour's drive from downtown Wellingtonmarker and is situated between the North Island Main Trunk Railway to the west and State Highway 1 to the east.

The museum's collection includes Marlene Dietrich's Rolls-Royce, a 1915 Stutz Indianapolis race car, gull-winged Mercedes-Benz, a 1950 Cadillac "gangster special" that belonged to gansgter Mickey Cohen, and an 1895 Benz Velo, imported to New Zealand in 1900.

The car collection was the work of Sir Len Southward and his wife, Lady Vera Southward. They began collecting cars in 1956. After achieving success in business, Sir Len dedicated time to buying and restoring old cars, adding to the collection.

The Southward Car Museum was opened in December 1979, and after his retirement Sir Len devoted his time to the museum.

The museum is a purpose-built building, featuring a 6000 square metre exhibition hall, engineering workshop, gift shop, and restaurant, and is set in six hectares of park-like grounds.

The building also includes a 474-seat theatre, and features a 1929 Wurtlitzer theatre organ, which was originally installed in the Civic Theatremarker in Aucklandmarker.

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