Nelson Classic Car Museum

Nostalgia, style and innovation

As one of the top three private car collections in New Zealand, Nelson Classic Car Museum is a definite for your to-do list. Just recently, it  was voted Tripadvisor’s Travellers’ Choice for 2021. Every one of the 150 cars on display is in absolute immaculate condition – fully restored  and polished to the max. But this is more than the cars – it’s about nostalgia, style and innovation, and the incredible advancements of the automobile throughout the 20th century.

The Collection features cars that are instantly recognisable from movies and music videos. There’s  the time-travelling DeLorean with its gull-wing doors; Austin Powers’ E-Type ‘Shaguar’; a beautiful Hudson Hornet just like Doc Hudson in  Cars; a stunning pink Cadillac to get you singing along; Thelma and Louise’s magnificent Ford Thunderbird; and a line-up of minis that  would be perfect for Mr Bean, Goodbye Pork Pie, or a race through narrow streets in The Italian Job.

A recent addition to the Museum is a series of retro shopfronts, created by award-winning Old Sign Studio – including a Four Square Diary,  Regency Theatre and Caltex Service Station – these facades add a real touch of retro fun to the museum.  The Museum is built on the site of  the Nelson Motor Vehicle Assembly Plant, which from 1965 to 1998 assembled more than  160,000 vehicles, including Triumphs, Leylands,  Rovers, Jaguars, Daimlers, Austions, Bristols, Hondas and Land Rovers. The Plant may be long closed, but its memory lives on.

Nelson Classic Car Museum is the perfect way to while away a few hours, imagining what it would be like to cruise along the highway in an  attention-grabbing classic car. There’s plenty of free parking, you can refuel at Little Engine Eatery, serving up breakfast, lunch and the best  coffee in Nelson, and the Museum Store is perfect for a handcrafted gift or memento of the museum.

Nelson Classic Car Museum. Open 7 days 10am-4pm.