05 Aug 2016

Canterbury Museum has bought a collection of motorbikes and memorabilia belonging to Ivan Mauger, the world’s greatest speedway rider, in a move that ensures his legacy will live on.

The collection, which has been on loan to the Museum since 2007, includes Mauger’s gold-plated bike, the bike he rode when he broke the world long track speed record in 1986, and the first Jawa 4-valve bike ever produced on which he won the 1976 World Long Track Championship.

The collection has been purchased for $1.7 million and is the biggest acquisition the Museum has ever made. It is being bought using funds from the Adson Trust. The Adson Trust was set up in 2010 with a $10 million posthumous donation from Arthur Henry Harrison, a retired company secretary from Blenheim, who specified the money was to be used for additons to the Museum's collections.

“It’s fantastic that one person’s generosity has enabled the Museum to make such a signficant purchase and to ensure that his marvellous collection, which has so much meaning for Christchurch people, stays in the public domain,’’ said Museum Chairman Michael McEvedy. "The family have generously agreed to sell the collection for much less than they might have received on the open market as there is huge worldwide interest in the collection.''

Julie Mauger, spokeswoman for the Mauger family, said they were thrilled the collection was staying in Christchurch.

“Although he is now burdened with Alzheimers and cannot travel here himself we know that this would have been one of the proudest days of dad’s life.We hope this colllection, which charts his every success, will continue to inspire people, especially the young people of Canterburyt that they can do great things from humble beginnings … and that being from Christchurch will always give you the edge,’’ Julie Mauger said.

Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said she was delighted the collection would stay in the city for current and future generations.

“Ivan Mauger is one of our most celebrated international sportsmen, but he never forgot where he came from and it’s fitting that this precious collection should stay in Christchurch where it all started,’’ Mayor Dalziel said.

Ivan Mauger rode his first novice race on a track in Aranui, Christchurch in 1955, just four days after turning 16.  He went onto win more than 1000 international events in 60 countries and is still the only rider to win the World Speedway Championship in three consecutive years (1968, 1969 and 1970). 

In 1970, two Americans (George Wenn and Ray Bokelman) said that if Mauger won this third world title in a row at Wroclaw, Poland, they would have the winning bike gold-plated. They delivered on their promise.

His success as a rider, along with this ongoing support and encouragement of the next generation of riders, was recognised with an MBE in 1975 and an OBE in 1989. He was New Zealand Sportsman of the Year in 1977 and 1979.

• To mark the acquisition the Museum has refreshed its Speedway King – Ivan Mauger exhibit on Level 3 with all three bikes and his leathers again on display.