After more than 50 years of filling houses and storage facilities with his accumulated and ever-growing mountain of motoring and motor sport memorabilia, motoring journalist and motor sport commentator Will Hagon has finally found a home for it, where he and others can enjoy it.
Will Hagon’s Kew Pit Stop is opening this Saturday 26th May in the now bypassed town of Kew, 70kms north of the National Motorcycle Museum at Nabiac, 30 minutes south of Port Macquarie. It’s on the old Pacific Highway, now Nancy Bird Walton Drive, in honour of Australia’s first aviatrix, who was born there. The trip from Sydney is now multi-lane divided highway all the way, except for Bulahdelah and the end of the Newcastle expressway.
As well as catering for local car and motorcycle club enthusiasts and collectors, it’s also a rest and revival spot for those riding and driving the great local roads, headed by the Oxley Highway, 170kms of winding mountain and high country road between Wauchope and Walcha.
The Oxley is biblical to motorcycle riders, one of Australia’s great sporting roads. It’s got everything - scenery, rainforest, waterfalls and resorts along the way, high plateau country and not much traffic - along a road with, seemingly, ten thousand corners and every one different.
Getting the Kew Pit Stop ready for its opening has been a massive task. Looking at the huge collection of cartons, most people have bounced back in a mix of horror and amazement. One by one, however, the cartons are revealing their secrets.
“I’m amazed at some of what I’m finding, rare books (several covering pre-1900s motor sport, as well as the first grands prix, from 1906 to 1914), models covering almost the entire spectre of personal transport as well as trucks (including steam and electric), military vehicles, buses and trams, along with some amazing material produced by car and motor cycle companies.
“Some of the artwork and design is wonderful. It’s a shame that computers mean the end of such glorious material.”
With more than half the stock still to come, the old Ampol service station in Kew - conveniently located between the Royal Hotel and the Kew Motel - is already chockers.
The other amazing aspect of the Pit Stop is the wide range of what’s there. There are books, magazines, posters, calendars and models galore. Most are assembled but there are also kits, as well as jigsaws, motoring games, bags, brief cases, key rings, pens, silver ingots, medallions, caps and hats, jackets, jumpers, shirts, trophies, glasses and mugs, piles of stickers and photos of great events, riders and drivers.
Among the framed pictures are three magnificent silk handkerchiefs showing pre-1900 Benz history. There are even two hydrogen-powered fuel cell models and a pair of F1 team shoes.
Will Hagon’s Kew Pit Stop will initially be open each day between 10am and 4pm with drinks, nuts and other refreshments available. Club and other special events can be accommodated.
Meals, drinks, fuel, coffee, accommodation, newspapers and magazines are all available within 100 paces of the Pit Stop.