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New Zealand’s premier wheeled destination adds another jewel to its crown with a brand-new exhibit celebrating George Begg and a golden era of motorsport

Invercargill’s got a thing with wheels: and now, another legend is coming home to the southern Kiwi city. Visitors to Invercargill’s Classic Motorcycle Mecca during the annual Burt Munro Challenge in February will get an exclusive ‘first look’ at a brand-new exhibit celebrating Kiwi legend George Begg and a golden era of motorsport.

Begg was a motorsport icon in the 1950s and 1960s: he had a successful career racing motorcycles, including competing in the Isle of Man on a 7R AJS, and after returning back to New Zealand became legendary for building 18 race cars in his rural engineering workshop. The display at Classic Motorcycle Mecca – the leading motorcycle collection in the Southern Hemisphere – will include many of the vehicles he built, his AJS bike, memorabilia from his car-building and motorcycling heyday, and more.

Classic Motorcycle Mecca is part of Transport World, a tourism hub celebrating everything wheeled, and owners Jocelyn and Scott O’Donnell are key drivers in bringing Begg’s story to the public. “We think there are three great automotive personalities who have carved their names into Southland’s history books – Bill Richardson, Burt Munro, and George Begg,” Scott O’Donnell says. “The Begg exhibit will pay homage to a story of Kiwi ingenuity taking on the world, and coming out on top.”

The inaugural George Begg Classic Speedfest will continue the festivities celebrating Begg. The weekend of retro racing will be held at Teretonga Park in Invercargill on 15 and 16 February.