Monday, 14 November 2016 07:00

Fundraising to build replica of Shearer steam car

A fundraising campaign has been launched to support the building of a replica of the famous Shearer Steam Carriage.


The Shearer Steam carriage was constructed by brothers David and John Shearer in the 1890’s and is an example of one of the earliest vehicles built in Australia.

The original carriage was bequeathed to the State by Shearer family members in 1975 and was accepted into the State's cultural collections due to its significance to the motoring history of the State.

The Steam Carriage was the first self-propelled vehicle built in South Australia, built by the Shearer brothers at Mannum between 1897 and 1899, around 10 years prior to Henry Ford’s automobile.

The vehicle has been restored and is on permanent display in the main pavilion of the National Motor Museum in Birdwood.

The construction of the replica will be undertaken by the Mannum Dock Museum, with advice and expertise from the National Motor Museum. The replica will be mostly located at the Mannum Dock Museum but will also be demonstrated at the National Motor Museum on special occasions.

An initial grant of $15,000 has been provided through History SA. Members of the community who are interested in supporting the Shearer Steam Carriage replica project can visit the Mannum Dock Museum’s website at

For more about steam cars, go to our story The brief age of steam cars

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