'The first and the last'- Trekka: New Zealand's forgotten car

In the hall of Kiwiana alongside Pineapple Lumps, L&P, sheep and Taika Waititi there is a long-forgotten relic. 

It's the embodiment of the Kiwi voyage into the automotive world. 

With every corner and curve of its brutish, boxy body, it's a truly beautiful example of sixties engineering. 

Much like the Kiwi spirit, this vehicle is devoid of egocentricity and flamboyant good looks. Instead, it strives to be good-natured, well-mannered and friendly.

'The first and the last'- Trekka: New Zealand's forgotten car
Photo credit: Newshub

Neil Tolich, the owner of the Trekka, said his grandkids think it's Postman Pat coming down the road. 

"Young ones, you see them look at the thing and think, 'what the hell is that?'"

The Trekka is a symbol of an ambitious New Zealand, when the Kiwi Made logo brought a funny kind of patriotic goosebump to owners as they paraded out through the main stretch out of town, adorned in a slightly stained pair of stubbies and favourite tartan shirt, the Trekka's little engine screaming as it was packed to the brim with all sorts.

'The first and the last'- Trekka: New Zealand's forgotten car
Photo credit: Newshub

Finally, it's arrived to the farm to be abused and used for the rest of the working day until its little diff, engine or chassis is rattled apart, leaving the poor machine dead.

"It really did inspire, in my era, a sense of Kiwi pride and loyalty to the product and, for a year or two, people were very keen to have them, but then all these stories came out about them being badly build," Tolich says. 

"If they didn't get such a bad rap in their day and right through until now, really, they would have been held in much higher regard. 

"People hold Morris Minors in regard - oh, we love our Morris Minors and we love our Fiat Bambinos, but we didn't love our Trekkas."

'The first and the last'- Trekka: New Zealand's forgotten car

And the Kiwi car of the people fell into the cracks of automotive obscurity.

"There are tonnes that are left in swamps that got stuck and have just disappeared. 

"There might be a badge left or might be a radiator but there's nothing else. They've all gone and so that's it, I hope some people buy them and keep them here," Tolich says.

Watch the video to see the little Trekka in action. 

Newshub.

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