MTA 100: The car show of the century!

The Motor Trade Association celebrated its centenary in April, and marked the occasion by hosting a three-day car show “like no other” on Wellington’s waterfront.

A handful of the Trade Me Motors crew were keen to check it out so we went along to what was billed as “the car show of the century” and it didn't disappoint.

We attended a talk by US-based Kiwi Ian Wright (the co-founder of Tesla and CEO/founder of Wrightspeed) who chatted to us about his electric powertrain for trucks. It was interesting to learn how the engines work and where he sees the future of rubbish trucks, buses and commercial fleets heading - and what it could do for pollution in city centres where diesel fumes are a growing problem. Ian seriously knows his stuff and answered a heap of questions from the audience at the end.

From there we went downstairs to check out the classic car exhibition. It was a petrol-head’s dream with more than 100 beautifully restored cars on display. There was something for every taste in vehicle, from US and Australian muscle to European and Japanese imports.


Next on our agenda was a display of Kiwi greats, and we checked out Chris Amon’s Maserati 250F, Burt Munro’s Indian, the record breaking V-1000 Britten motorcycle and even a Trekka. The latter is the only vehicle designed and mass produced in New Zealand, and it’s a significant part of our Kiwi motoring history ( and the first time a lot of us had seen one in the flesh.

It was then time to step into the current and future exhibition. This showcased a range of electric vehicles (EVs), hybrids and a world-renowned, fully autonomous Rinspeed Concept Cars. This is the first time one has been on display in Australasia and it created quite a buzz! The level of technology in the room was jaw-dropping.  

The Better NZ Trust took people for a spin in a range of EVs so they could experience them first-hand, and of course the Tesla was the most popular car to go for a lap around town in.   

They also had a couple of Aquada amphibious vehicles driving around the waterfront and in and out of the harbour: very cool to watch.    

If you’re keen to know more about the history of the MTA grab yourself a copy of the “MTA 100 - One hundred years of trust” magazine from the supermarket, it’s just come out and it’s a very interesting read!