By on July 30, 2011

Each weekend, TTAC turns its attention to some of the more obscure news and stories from around the world, taking you from Jakarta to Haiti to Monaco… and now to New Zealand. Hungarian Skoda blog stipstop.com takes us to New Zealand in 1966, when Auckland-based Motor Lines were able to adapt a Jowett Bradford-based utility vehicle made by Kawerau into a Skoda Octavia-based Land Rover lookalike… and the Trekka was born!  Only 2,500 of the little runabouts were made in steel-paneled wagon and “ute” bodystyles (specs here), of which five served duty in Vietnam and one was purchased for unknown reasons by General Motors, which shipped it to Detroit in 1969. The Trekka was an “icon of the Kiwi can-do spirit” by the time it went out of production in 1973, and it was much loved in New Zealand, although it was never as capable as its Landie-alike bodywork suggested (a limited-slip differential was eventually developed for it). But the low-cost Trekka (it cost £895, less than a Morris 1100) was ultimately a product of New Zealand’s import tariffs, and as these began to fall in the 1970s, the Trekka’s day had passed. Today, fewer than 30 remaining models have been documented by trekka.co.nz.

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8 Comments on “Trekka: Skoda Meets Land Rover In New Zealand...”


  • avatar
    DeadInSideInc

    Ahh, the good ol’day in NZ. Made by a stern looking man wearing a knit sweater vest, tie, and lab coat. In a corrugated tin building, next to a dumpster.

    You can bet he drank a lot of tea whilst doing this.

  • avatar
    jconli1

    My Element finally gets to see pictures of his grampa! Thanks, TTAC.

  • avatar
    Bryce

    Some of these escaped I saw one in Narrabri NSW many years ago but its likely still there

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The website claims that the Trekka was the only NZ-produced vehicle, but Ford and GM (Holden) both had plants there.

    Some of these escaped I saw one in Narrabri NSW many years ago but its likely still there

    The website also claims “1968 saw the first major export drive as the first of around 46 Trekkas were shipped to Australia. Despite Government-level negotiations securing duty-free entry for the Trekka a lack of expertise in marketing and managing a distant market turned it into a flop.”

  • avatar
    Bryce

    NZ assembled cars for many makes and models only one car was concieved and built there the Trekka, owning one wasnt much fun they were slow noisy poor handling things shockingly underpowered and not particularly reliable, however the parts from any Skoda Octavia fitted and dead Skodas were not hard to find my boss in the 70s rebuilt a Trekka from the local tip he planned to tow a boat with it but the car didnt have enough power despite a recond engine and trans.Actually seeing one in Aus was amazing I didnt know anyone deliberately exported them and they only sold in NZ because of local restrictions on new cars if cars had been readilly available as in OZ noone would have bought a Trekka at any price.

  • avatar
    probert

    Thanks, never knoew about this.

    If we all drove these everyone would be happier. Imagine a world of Trekkas, Mini Mokes and citoen maheris. Hard to be aggressive and ugly in one of those. Flowers bloom and friends are made.

    And every little girl has a pony.


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