The Restoration Journey
Since opening in 2017, Classic Motorcycle Mecca has gotten bigger and better – and two period buildings in the heart of Invercargill have been restored to their former glory
Tucked away in a streetscape of heritage buildings in Invercargill, bike enthusiasts will find heaven on earth. Originally housed in a single period building in the heart of Invercargill’s inner-city, Classic Motorcycle Mecca has gotten bigger and better than ever, spreading out into a second restored period building. The renovation has been carried out over three phases.
The final phase of restoration work at the two nineteenth century buildings on Tay Street has included earthquake strengthening work to bring the buildings up to modern standards, as well as creating a spectacular exhibit space in the basement space. This houses the collection’s newest exhibit, a display dedicated to famed engineer George Begg. The 1600m2 exhibit space is custom-built for the display, which features the largest single display of race vehicles built in Begg’s Drummond workshop, memorabilia from his competitive motorcycling days and more.
The buildings Classic Motorcycle Mecca calls home provide the perfect backdrop for machines celebrating the finest innovations in wheels through the ages. The nostalgic ambience and superior craftmanship of the building’s interior and exterior is on a par with the ambience and craftmanship of each and every piece found within the collection.
Motorcycles are displayed on gleaming tongue-and-groove flooring, not behind stuffy glass boxes, that allows visitors to get up-close-and-personal with the machines they admire.
Soaring steel beams, exposed brick walls and a bird’s-eye view of Invercargill’s CBD round out the space.
To further enhance the space’s natural beauty, a significant focus of the renovation work was placed on highlighting the building’s outstanding original features. Many of the original elements within the buildings have been recycled and integrated into the space as it can be seen today: even flooring from decrepit buildings, vacated as part of Invercargill’s multi-million-dollar rejuvenation project, were uplifted and worked into the features found within Classic Motorcycle Mecca.
This was done not only because it was the environmentally and socially conscious thing to do, but also because we wanted to continue to celebrate and champion the exquisite craftmanship that was found in the buildings in their original form.
We hope you appreciate how beautiful these buildings are, the way we do.