Canterbury Museum has purchased a significant collection of motorbikes and memorabilia belonging to internationally renowned speedway champion and local Christchurch hero, Ivan Mauger, Mauger is widely considered the best speedway rider of all time. He won more than 1,000 international events in 60 countries. The $1.7 million purchase is the Museum’s largest-ever acquisition. The collection has been on loan to the Museum since 2007.
Mauger is still the only rider to win the World Speedway Championship in three consecutive years (1968, 1969 and 1970). In 1970, two American speedway fans (George Wenn and Ray Bokelman) said that if Mauger won his third world title in a row at Wroclaw, Poland, they would have the winning bike gold-plated. They delivered on their promise; it took 18 months and cost US$500,000.
As well as Mauger’s gold-plated bike (pictured), the collection includes 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. It also includes trophies, vests, leathers and a variety of other objects.
To mark the acquisition the Museum has refreshed its Speedway King: The Ivan Mauger Story exhibit with all three bikes and his leathers again on display; you can view this remarkable bit of motor racing history at the museum now.