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Australian Government Bentley 'S' Series 3 black saloon motor car used by Sir Robert Menzies

Object type
Motor cars

Object number
1988.0122.0001

Description
Sir Robert Menzies' Australian Government Bentley 'S' Series 3 motor car. Commonwealth of Australia (C of A) vehicle registration number "ZSF 200". The vehicle is a large black four-door saloon. It has twin headlights with fog lights mounted below. The leather seating is deeply cushioned, and it has a walnut veneer dashboard and travelling tables for passengers in the rear.

Collection name
Department of Administrative Services (Transport and Storage Division) collection no. 1

Collection statement of significance
The 'Department of Administrative Services (Transport and Storage Division) collection no. 1' consists of a black 1964 Bentley S3 saloon, associated handbook and other documentation. This vehicle was one of four luxurious Bentleys purchased by the Australian government in 1964 for ceremonial and VIP use. It was acquired for the National Historical Collection in 1978.

This collection's primary historical significance is an association with Australia's longest serving Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies (1894-1978). This Bentley was assigned to Menzies upon his retirement in 1966 and conveyed him about his personal business almost until his death in 1978. Menzies was often seen in this car, particularly at his favourite football games. The development of the automotive industry saw the motor car become an iconic symbol of prosperity and freedom during Menzies' time in office. As such, this collection has strong relevance to several areas of Australian social history including ceremonial transportation, engineering innovation and governance.

Maker
Rolls Royce

Place made
Crewe, Cheshire, England

Date made
1964

User
Sir Robert 'Bob' G. Menzies

User
Commonwealth of Australia

Place used
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia
1964-1966, and 1978-

Place used
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
1966-1978

Date of event
1964
Purchased by the Commonwealth Government and used to transport dignitaries and senior politicians around Canberra

Period of use
1966 - 1978
Used in Melbourne by Sir Robert Menzies after he left office in 1966 until his death in 1978

Date of event
10/10/1978
Transferred to the National collections and entered the collection of the National Museum of Australia in 1980

Materials
Metal - non specific, Glass, Leather, Rubber, Plastic - non specific

Dimensions
Length: 5200mm
Width: 1800mm
Height: 1600mm
Weight: 2500kg



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