BFA signage
A Hatrick, 1913

A Hatrick & Co, Warehouse, Cnr Wakefield and Taranaki Streets, 1913
BFA Collection.
Architects: Crichton and McKay.

Alexander Hatrick was a Wanganui based businessman best remembered for the Wanganui river steamers and the promotion of tourism on the river. What is not as well known is that he had many other business interests including the importing of motor vehicles. This building was to become the Wellington base for the company but for the most part was used as a motor vehicle showroom. At the time the building opened the company were North Island agents for the American built Overland and Hupmobile cars and for British Thornycroft commercial vehicles. The building was later extended to accommodate the expanding business.

By the time Alexander Hatrick died in 1918 the company was the largest vehicle importer in New Zealand and Wakefield Street the centre of the motor trade in Wellington. A Hatrick & Co. was carried on by the next generation but in 1928 the Wellington premises were passed on to the ‘Canadian Knight and Whipple Motor Co. Ltd’. That company went into liquidation in early 1932.

Such a prominent building was not long empty, by 1934 Manthel Motors were advertising Buick and Chevrolet cars from their showroom on the corner of Taranaki and Wakefield streets starting their very long association with this site. In 1999 Bulleyment Fortune Architects were commissioned to strengthen and refurbish the building (still owned by the Manthel Family). Currently ACC are the ground floor tenants.

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