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A full-speed ride into history

8 Dec

Speedway is the beating heart of Manawatu sporting culture. It’s bigger than rugby; even the All Blacks might struggle to match its popularity if they showed up. The noise, the crashes, the sheer kinetic energy have drawn huge crowds decade in, decade out; if you go along Cuba or Pascal Street on teams champs night, you might think you were in Auckland or Wellington. Manawatu people love it so much we’ve even written a musical about it!

The fun’s been a part of who we are for 85 years. Until 21 February, Te Manawa is looking back at the sport’s origins and its greatest heroes, both man and machine, with a new exhibition. Dust Devils has been developed at Te Manawa with support from the local community, and celebrates every minute of engine-revving, metal-shredding mayhem that the Arena has seen over the years.

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Featuring the vehicles of yesteryear as well as those of today, Dust Devils puts you right in the action. Flip up the ride-on motorbike’s kickstand and take a virtual spin around the dirt. Grab trackside seats in our mini-theatre and watch some of the sport’s biggest thrills and spills like you were actually there. See classic collectibles and one-of-a-kind memorabilia.

From 90-year-old racing bikes to the gallery of signed spoilers, there’s plenty to awe all ages, and Dust Devils promises to be a high-octane adventure for petrol-heads and history buffs alike.

Dust Devils, on now until 21 February at Te Manawa . Entry $5, under-5s free. Additional $2 charge and age/height restriction applies to ride-on motorbike – purchased from the front desk only.

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Rob Mildon is Te Manawa’s motorsport correspondent. He has engine oil for blood and his eyes are actually 100W headlights.