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From the garage

Black and white image showing a bearded and bare-chested man gazing to the left of frame. He wears a leather flying-style cap and has goggles draped around his neck. His right arm clutches a rope. - click to view larger image
Adventurer Francis Birtles broke records in Australia and abroad in his Sundowner Bean car

The National Museum’s unique car collection provides a window into Australia’s automotive history and the society and culture underpinning it.

The Museum's collection represents more than 100 years of automotive history. It reveals stories of innovation, industry and passion.

The collection ranges from the luxury 1913 Delaunay-Belleville tourer to the 2017 Holden Calais, one of the last vehicles off the Holden production line.

It includes a Daimler landaulette that transported Queen Elizabeth around Australia during her first royal tour in 1954, a 1925 Citroën tourer which was the first car to travel around Australia and the Sundowner Bean car, driven from London to Melbourne in 1928.

Listen to audio

Restoring the Royal Daimler

Conservator David Hallam and curator Guy Hansen discuss the process of restoring the Royal Daimler.
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Presenters: David Hallam and Guy Hansen

02 Dec 2007

Mutukayi: motor cars and Papunya painting

The sometimes life-changing, occasionally hilarious and always vital role of the mutukayi – or motor car – in the history of the people of Australia’s Western Desert is explored by an expert panel with firsthand Papunya experience.
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Presenters: Vivien Johnson, John Kean, Jeremy Long and Peter Thorley

Door to store: Caring for the Saw Doctor’s wagon

The registration team discusses the documentation, photography, uplift and transport that was needed to make the Saw Doctor’s wagon held in the Museum’s collection.
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Presenters: Ian Cramer, Sara Kelly, Karen Peterson and George Serras
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