If there's one thing Grant Moreland remembers about his childhood it was that so many things seemed to be military green.

Moreland, son of the late Tauwhare military museum founder Andy Moreland, is tossing up which exhibits from the museum he will bring to the fourth annual Frankton Thunder automotive event.

At the Tauwhare end of Victoria Rd between Hamilton and Cambridge, the museum constitutes one of the more significant private collections of military memorabilia and hardware in the North Island.

"I got dad into it. All my toys seemed to be green. As I grew up it just got out of hand."
Grant is pretty sure he'll bring the ex-NZ navy 20mm Oerlikon, and anti-aircraft gun, and is tossing up between a 1943 American White half-track and a 1960s British Saracen armoured car and maybe a Jeep or Land Rover.


The White was retrieved as a wreck from Vanuatu where it had been abandoned by the US at the end of World War II.

"When mum saw it she just made the comment that we were as silly as we looked — but a couple of years latter we had it finished." The job required finding another engine for the vehicle. One was discovered in Holland — still in its original 1940s packing case.

The other, and more probable option, is a 1966 Rolls-Royce-powered Saracen, a 12-person armoured personnel carrier used in Hong Kong and Northern Island.

"It's typically British. If something needed five bolts to hold it on the Brits would put 15 into it."

Moreland is a member of the New Zealand Military Vehicles Club which has about 125 members around the country. The Tauwhare museum is open by appointment and a variety of groups and individuals visit. Moreland has supported many events including providing 18 vehicles to the Cambridge Armistice Day commemorations.

Frankton Thunder, Sunday March 10, Frankton, Hamilton, includes the Thunder Cruize-in from the Cambridge raceway Taylor St at 8.30am. On display in Frankton will be the famous Britten motorcycle, classics, customs, rods and bikes, drag machines, Electric Vehicle Thunder Lightning, Military, Steampunk, Miss Frankton Thunder retro fashion, ThunderInk tattoo competition, photorama, music, displays and market.