Vehicle [Trekka]

Maker and role
Motor Holdings, Manufacturer
Production date
See full details

Object detail

Accession number
Production period
Trekka van. Four-wheel vehicle. Army green with canvas canopy. Twin partition windscreen. Partially constructed from Skoda Octavia parts. LUCAS headlamps.
Brief History
The Trekka is the only locally designed car to undergo mass-production in New Zealand. As a response to New Zealand’s high import tariffs, which made new imports scarce and expensive, Motor Industries built the Trekka as an affordable option for the local market.

Produced from 1966 to 1973, at the Motor Industries assembly plant in Otahuhu, the Trekka used parts of the Czechoslovakian Skoda Octavia. In the 1960s, trade with Soviet controlled Czechoslovakia was unusual, but the Skoda kits came at bargain prices. The high proportion of local production was what made the Trekka one of the cheapest vehicles available in New Zealand at the time.

The Trekka sold steadily for several years, but the relaxation of import restrictions in 1970 eventually gave way to an increase in cheap Japanese imports and Trekka sales stalled.

MOTAT’s restored Trekka is one of two pre-production models dating from 1965. This hand-built vehicle closely resembles the eventual production model. However it has features such as a US Jeep-style fold-down split windscreen, and smaller cab area as well as a different treatment of the headlights. This vehicle was originally used as a test to gain feedback for the eventual design.


Type: Utility Vehicle
Model: Prototype
Manufacturer: Motor Industries International Ltd
Country manufactured: New Zealand
Year: 1965
Engine type: Petrol, 4 cylinder
Engine capacity: 1.2 litre
Horsepower: 47 bhp
Gearbox: 4x forward speed, 1x reverse
Other name
Credit Line
Motor Holdings. 1965. Vehicle [Trekka], 1982.991. The Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT).


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