This collection began back in the early 1950’s on a farm at Anawhata, Piha. Collector extraordinaire, farmer and roading contractor, Graeme Craw, had a strong interest in the Industrial Revolution and it’s effects on both industry and every-day life. He aimed to preserve the history and machines of the revolution which took place during the 18th and 19th centuries. He had a deep appreciation of the ruggedness of early colonial New Zealand and the machines that literally shaped our country. His farm at Anawhata, Piha, included an early bush railway which ferried huge Kauri logs to the sawmills.
Graeme, being a rugged individual, recognized the same characteristic in Packard automobiles as they were one of the few cars of the time that were able to withstand the conditions of early New Zealand roads. Testament to that was his first Packard, Graeme gave the car a quick check over and was able to make the journey all the way to Anawhata with 13 sheep in the back! It was the beginning of a love-affair with Packards, laying the foundation for a collection of over 50 Packards, covering most models from 1919 to 1958 when Packard finally ceased production.
The collection moved to the old Montana Winery in the Waitakere Hills.
Then on to it’s current location in the old Maungatapere Dairy factory, a move that took over 3 years.
At this time the collection was only open by appointment .
Sadly in 2007, Graeme passed away after a long illness .
After his passing, the family decide to open the collection to the public as a Musuem as this had been one of Graemes intentions.
The muesum now is open to the public