Grand Prix champion Denny Hulme's 1955 MG TF race car and a replica of the New Zealand 'Originals' All Blacks rugby jersey are among some of the exceptional artifacts on display at the Western Bay Museum's next exhibition, opening on September 6 in Katikati.

Denny Hulme driving the original MG TF 1500cc race car when he won at Ardmore in 1958.
Denny Hulme driving the original MG TF 1500cc race car when he won at Ardmore in 1958.

The Champions in Their Field exhibition celebrates the Western Bay of Plenty's local sporting legends, with career timelines of Denny Hulme, OBE - one of the most capped Formula One race car drivers in the world; Dave Gallaher - the Ulster boy from Katikati and first All Blacks captain, and Greg Davis - Katikati senior rugby player who captained the Wallabies after being overlooked by All Black selectors.

The exhibition also celebrates 140 Years of Katikati Rugby and Waihi Surf Life Saving Club— one of the oldest clubs in Aotearoa.

Originals All Blacks captain David Gallaher.
Originals All Blacks captain David Gallaher.

The Originals rugby jersey is on loan from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.

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When New Zealand hosted the 2011 Rugby World Cup, Te Papa held an exhibition on Dave Gallaher and hoped to borrow the Originals rugby jersey from its UK owner, but was turned down, so it had a replica made, says Western Bay Museum manager Paula Gaelic.

Planning for this extensive exhibition started in January.

"This has been the hardest exhibition to prepare because of the powerhouses of these men. It is difficult to tell their stories in a limited space," Paula says.

"It is staggering what Denny Hulme did.

"It's outstanding that the Western Bay produced these great people."

Hulme was part of a formidable Kiwi trio in the top echelons of international motor racing, with Bruce McLaren and Chris Amon.

GLORY DAYS: Denny Hulme on his way to winning the Monaco Grand Prix in 1967.
GLORY DAYS: Denny Hulme on his way to winning the Monaco Grand Prix in 1967.

Katikati's Flegg brothers have been tasked with transporting Denny Hulme's car, owned by wife, Greeta Hulme and setting it up at the museum.

Former Katikati rugby player Steve Graveson has had a huge input into the exhibition and will launch his new book titled, Seven thousand two hundred and eighty Saturdays as a tribute to Katikati's 140 years of rugby to 2020.

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There has been a huge amount of input from many people - museum volunteers, other museums, businesses and organisations to bring this exhibition together, sponsored by Angela Fowler of Tremains and Tremains Katikati.

World motorsport champion Denny Hulme with the 1955 MG TF after he bought it back and had it rebuilt.
World motorsport champion Denny Hulme with the 1955 MG TF after he bought it back and had it rebuilt.

Western Bay Museum will be closed today through to September 6 for the pack down of the present exhibition and installation of the Champions in Their Field, which will run until January.

Entry is free for all Western Bay ratepayers and residents who are warmly invited to enjoy their museum. To find out more visit www.westernbaymuseum.nz