Mary Watson's 1927 Indian Scout

29th June 2021

Malborough woman Mary Watson saw plenty of the countryside aboard her 600cc, 1927 Indian Scout motorcycle in the early 20th century. As if a woman riding a motorcycle wasn’t eyecatching enough back in the 1930s, Mary Watson’s bike was equipped with something that made heads turn even more.

A washing machine.

Yes, you read that correctly – Mary Watson’s motorcycle served as a travelling laudromat for many of the housewives near to her own base of Seddon.

A keen motorcyclist since 1924 and the very first ‘lady rider’ to be part of the Blenheim Motor Cycle (she’d been, over the years, the proud owner of a V-twin machine, followed by an Alldays-Allon two stroke, then a BSA, and a Royal Enfield 350cc), Mary Watson was nothing if not practical.

Soon, her Indian Scout - one of a plethora of classic motorcycles from the famed American brand - was fitted with a specially-designed sidecar that contained an electric washing machine, vaccum cleaner, and even an iron.

Mary Watson’s motorcycle eventually found a home here at Classic Motorcycle Mecca in Invercargill. We’re thrilled to be able to display this piece of Kiwi memorabilia – it’s the epitome of the Number 8 Wire mentality we Kiwis pride ourselves on. We hope you enjoy seeing a little slice of New Zealand history here within our collection, too.

Book your visit to Classic Motorcycle Mecca today.