Mainly West of Queen Street - seen through my lens

Painted Boxes: NZ’s First Automobile

Cecil Wood's motorcar

Cecil Wood's motorcar

We take a quick break from our pictures of Pasifika 2010 and pursue our Wednesday theme of painted boxes. This box by Doug Ford (2006) is in Great North Road, Kelston (map). It commemorates Cecil Wood (1874-1965), who built the first automobile in New Zealand, about 1897 (the box says 1898, but this has been overpainted to read 1897, and in other sources I have seen 1896, let’s not be too pedantic about the date – the link above dates the car at 1901, a sequel of various two- and three-wheeled contraptions). A photograph not unlike what we see above (showing Cecil Wood in his third automobile, ca 1910) is held in the National Library of New Zealand.

There used to be another box by Doug Ford at the intersection of Great North and Portage Roads, New Lynn (map), referring to Cecil Wood’s first car. But unfortunately the imagery has given way to a bureaucratic shade of grey/green (Added 24/03/10: Julie Nash, Community Arts Coordinator, Watakere City, informed me that the cabinet fell victim to a road accident). Here is a picture of what used to be there:

First Motorcar

First Motorcar

Doug Ford has a muralsblog of his own. (Thanks to Timespanner for the link.)

Read more about Doug Ford at The Big Idea or at Wall Gallery, Ponsonby.

1 Comment

  1. Hilda

    Your city’s painting over the images? But why? Having artwork on utility boxes is so much prettier!

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