Bob Hawke's iconic motorcycle returns home

Tatiara District Council have added a piece of history to their Bob Hawke Gallery in Bordertown, with the former PM's iconic 1939 British Panther Model 100 motorcycle now on display.

In 1947, a 17 year old Bob Hawke was left in a critical condition after he ruptured his spleen during a motorcycle accident when riding through Kings Park in Perth.

The potentially fatal accident molded the man into the iconic former PM the Australian public know him for, as he promised himself to make the most of his life.

The motorcycle that was involved in that famous incident has finally returned to the town where Mr Hawke was born in 1929.

For decades the bike seemed to be lost, until it was stumbled upon and bought by Peter Matthews at a Bendigo swap meet in the 1980's.

Unlike some others, Mr Matthews was certain of the motorcycle's authenticity and wasted no time adding it to his museum in Dromana, south of Melbourne.

"The only reason I bought it was because it was Bob Hawke's bike," he said.

The bike sat unused for years in a leaky garage, until Kingsley Green from Tatiara District Council negotiated with Mr Matthews to purchase the bike.

After successfully purchasing the bike, Bordertown local Digby Grosser, with help from Donna Hicks, was contracted to restore the deteriorated motorcycle.

The restoration took around five weeks and it was an exciting experience for Mr Grosser.

"Bob Hawke was born in Bordertown so it was quite an exciting project to work on"

"I've worked on hundreds of bikes over the years, but this was different," Mr Grosser said.

With the motorcycle now safely behind a glass case, Tatiara District Council are now looking to add more Bob Hawke related items to the gallery.

Tatiara District Council member Kingsley Green said they are keen to obtain Bob Hawke's jacket from Australia's America's Cup win in 1983, along with a handful of other decommissioned items from Canberra.

Mr Green also stated that the addition of the motorcycle opens up all sorts of exciting possibilities, as the Tatiara prepares to host the 2020 Masters Games.

"With the Tatiara hosting the 2020 Masters Games, we will be looking to provide entertainment to the athletes involved.

"With the motorcycle in working condition, we could potentially ride the bike down Woolshed Street to show it off.

"There are plenty of options that we will look at doing during the event, but we haven't confirmed anything as of yet.

The motorcycle is now available for members of the public to view at the Tatiara Civic Centre.