Arriving at Wanganui aboard the River City Express was only half the fun – we had off train excursions booked too. With our tickets clutched tightly in my hot little hand, we clambered down from the train to climb aboard the vintage bus. And there it was waiting for us, looking as cute as a button!
Bedford Vintage Bus
Being an old school bus, the sets were a rather snug fit for the dozen oldies who clambered aboard. Where were we going, we wondered, as the driver drove us through the middle of town.
Inside the vintage school bus
Our brave little bus chugged up the hill, past lovely Virginia Lake and the bird aviaries and on to Otamatea to stop at Boyd’s Auto Barn. So that’s where we were going! Wanganui car enthusiast Ed Boyd credits his love of vehicles to a royal encounter when he was 11 years old, when he rode in the back of the Queen Mother's Rolls-Royce in 1963. "I used to do Scottish dancing and danced for her," he said. Now, he has many vehicles in his car museum, Boyd's Auto Barn.
With a wide selection of 1920's to 1980's vehicles and other motoring memorabilia, as well as collections of toys, jars, clocks, model aeroplanes, radios, number plates, and other post WW1 artefacts.
Boyd's Auto Barn
Just inside the door was a large canon used in the Vincent Ward movie River Queen movie, filmed in 2005 on the Wanganui River.
Canon made for River Queen movie
There is nothing Robin likes better than checking out cars, so he was in petrol heaven as he wandered around the different cars on display.
Morris 8 and International truck
What’s your favourite, I asked him. It was this one, a rather smart looking Triumph. He confessed that he would have loved to own a bright red Triumph in his younger days, but sadly that did not happen.
Robin’s favourite car in the collection
Morris Cowley and 1927 Standard
There was even a vintage caravan – built in 1944, it was altered again in 1955 using Vauxhall axles. The caravan was stored for 20 years and was still in original condition when purchased for the museum. Difficult to get a good photo of the van as it was tucked away in a corner of the museum.
And to finish off, our train guide got us to pose by the bright yellow Austin Seven Ruby AA car while she took our photo. This car was based in the Wanganui area in the early days when the Automobile Association served each region separately as a stand alone entity.
AA Road Service Car for the Wanganui area
The museum is spread over two buildings, and the owner Ed Boyd is also heavily involved the the local vintage car club. Some of the club members have their pride and joy vehicles stored at the museum on loan. We climbed back into the little school bus again to be taken to Part Two of our off train excursion trip.