RESTORATION PROJECTS

This section is devoted to reports of revival stories. We’re adding content all the time and love to hear from our website visitors about car restoration projects.

E pluribus unum – a Speedster is born

E pluribus unum – a Speedster is born

‘One from many’ is the motto of the USA and it’s a fair description of Rob and Sandy Patterson’s Ford Model T Speedster build. Many Model T and custom parts were incorporated in this magnificent project.

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Mercedes-Benz 250 SE Coupe 1966

Mercedes-Benz 250 SE Coupe 1966

Rod Barrett’s Multi-Award winningMercedes Benz has undergone a complete ‘nuts and bolts’ restoration over several years. The attention to detail is astonishing.

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1924 Colonial Touring Dodge

1924 Colonial Touring Dodge

This nearly 100-year-old Dodge has spent its life in the hot, dry climate of inland Australia, so is in excellent condition. It’s interesting in that it began life as a tourer and was converted to a ute in 1947.

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Skoda’s restored racing Coupé 

Skoda’s restored racing Coupé 

Development of Škoda 1100 OHC racing cars began in Mladá Boleslav in the spring of 1956. The initial pair of open-top cars was followed by two Coupés at the turn of 1959/60, but escalation of the Cold War meant that these two cars were destined to remain inside the borders of then-Czechoslovakia. 

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Safety Fast

Safety Fast

‘Safety Fast’ was the MG company’s slogan from 1924, long before the right to use the iconic MG logo was sold to SAIC Motors, which now manufactures MG cars in China and Thailand. Before this transfer in 2005, MG Rover Group had been manufacturing MGs, following a line of successive British owners.

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The class of 1930 

The class of 1930 

NSW South Coast Buick enthusiasts Ross and Mary Stuart are the owners of this classic –  one of five Buicks from the ’20s, ’30s and ‘60s that Ross has owned over many years.

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The tale of a cat

The tale of a cat

A rare cat indeed is this Puma GTE sports car that came to our shores in 1973 and was then the only example to prowl the Australian countryside for a couple of decades.

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The rare Clyno

The rare Clyno

In England during the ‘Roaring Twenties’, Clyno was a competitive rival to the giant Morris and Austin motorcar manufacturers, but poor marketing tactics, underfunding and the Great Depression sent the company into bankruptcy.

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Mustang Sally

Mustang Sally

Jim and Gill Gibson have owned two of these legendary automotive-equines and like the gal said in Mack Rice’s 1965 song, “All I wanna do is ride around”, they loved doin’ just that. The accompanying Kodak Box Brownie photos have been through the mill, unfortunately.

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High performance Holden EH

High performance Holden EH

The Holden EH was the eighth model produced since 1948 by General Motors-Holden in Australia from 1963 to 1965. This restored example has been fitted with some of the popular go-fast mods from that period.

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Falcon aficionado’s story of discovery

Falcon aficionado’s story of discovery

When Historic Vehicles caught up with early-Falcon admirer, George Redding, he was running Redding’s Motor Repairs in Lithgow, on the western slopes of the NSW Blue Mountains. George had been keen to own a low-mileage, manual-transmission, early-production 1960 XK Falcon Deluxe and the car of his dreams came to him quite by accident.

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Jaguar Continuation C-Type

Jaguar Continuation C-Type

‘Continuation’ replica historic vehicles are becoming big business. The Jaguar Continuation department behind the revivals of the XKSS, E-Type Lightweight and D-Type has turned its sights to the 1953 Le Mans winner.

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Restoration of the first Mustang ever sold

Restoration of the first Mustang ever sold

The year 2014 was the Chinese ‘Year of the Horse’ and coincidently or intentionally, was also the 50th anniversary of Ford’s Mustang. The story of this Mustang is a most unusual restoration story.

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David’s pet Riley

David’s pet Riley

NSW South Coast historic car enthusiast David Petts bought this 1933 Riley as a pile of woodwork and metal in 1995. It took him 18 years – on and off – to bring this treasured piece of automotive history back to life.

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A Triumph-ant man

A Triumph-ant man

Dave Clark established his eponymous Triumph-specialist mechanical repair and restoration business in 1976 and his name and reputation are synonymous with the marque. Jim Gibson caught up with him in 2009.

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A very original Holden

A very original Holden

NSW South Coast residents Cathy and David Brown are the proud owners of this beautiful first-model Holden that looks just the way it did when it left the Fishermans Bend plant in 1950, painted in El Paso Beige.

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The DeLorean lives on around the world

The DeLorean lives on around the world

NSW Southern Highlanders Nicky and Richard are old-car nuts, with a penchant for Holdens, but they broadened their collection a few years ago when they bought a DeLorean. They didn’t get it to restore and treasure in the traditional sense, but as a promo vehicle for their business.

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Skoda’s Le Mans contender

Skoda’s Le Mans contender

Skoda is well known for its rally successes, but lesser known is its sports car racing heritage. The Skoda 1100 OHC sports car is considered a milestone in the 120-year motorsport history of this Eastern European car manufacturer.

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Mr Radley’s mountain drive – HV – July 2021

Mr Radley’s mountain drive – HV – July 2021

In 2013, Rolls-Royce was looking for an appropriate way to introduce the new Wraith that the company billed as the most powerful, dynamic motor car in Rolls-Royce Motor Car’s 109-year history. R-R chose the timing to coincide with the centenary of the 1913 Alpine Trial.

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An American-Aussie classic Graham

An American-Aussie classic Graham

Like many pre-War cars, Paul Ashby’s 1937 Graham Crusader 85 came to Australia without a body. It was a rolling chassis with engine and necessary running gear, but without a body, seats, glassware and lights.

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Quintessential early Ford V8

Quintessential early Ford V8

Greg Farr is a Ford ‘tragic’, with a love of the 1930s blue oval models. Greg’s restored 1936 Model looks resplendent in its bright red clothes, but it took a mountain of blood, sweat and tears to reach this point.

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A very special TC Special 

A very special TC Special 

Stewart Kendell recreated the Golden Era of motor racing with this meticulous restoration and construction of a MG TC Special that is a unique legacy to his commitment and skill.

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Seventy years in solitary

Seventy years in solitary

A fellow named Michael approached us at a classic car show in 2009 and said: “Do you think anybody would be interested in a 1927 Armstrong Siddeley in a sad state?”

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Two MGBs are better than one

Two MGBs are better than one

Kevin Buckley, not satisfied with restoring one MGB, embarked on a second, but this time a GT version of  this quintessentially British and ubiquitous sports car. Not to break with the Buckley tradition this one is red too, albeit a different shade: Flame not Tartan.

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Mercedes-Benz’ golden oldie 

Mercedes-Benz’ golden oldie 

The beautiful, so-called ‘Pagoda’ model MB celebrated its Golden Anniversary in 2013 and 58 Mercedes Benz Pagodas attended the 50th Anniversary Celebrations in Australia.

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Honda adds two wheels – the S600

Honda adds two wheels – the S600

The 1960s was a boom era for the Japanese motor industry and one of the key players was Honda. Having become the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, the company wanted to expand into car production.

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‘A’ Family Heirloom 

‘A’ Family Heirloom 

This car is one of the first Model As produced during 1928 by Ford in Australia and was bought by the current owner’s grandfather in 1929, when it was six months old. He gave it to his grandson Lynden Siegert when he was a 16-year-old in 1964. 

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A Three-wheeler for the Ducatisti

A Three-wheeler for the Ducatisti

Ducati aficionado Allan Hawkins wanted to bolt on a third wheel for many years, but a sidecar on a ‘Duke’ race bike would be ridiculous, let alone sacrilegious!

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Barry’s seven-year Hillman itch

Barry’s seven-year Hillman itch

Since his teenage years in Britain, Barry Apps had a love affair with Hillmans. After he found this rare tourer in Melbourne it took seven years  – between work commitments – to restore it to its original condition.

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A tale of two Chrysler 70s

A tale of two Chrysler 70s

The 1930 Chrysler 70 Roadster was the result of Walter Chrysler’s instinct for survival. His instincts told him to revamp the product line in 1930; one year after the stock market crash that had not yet affected sales.

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Torana – the second time around

Torana – the second time around

This superb example of Holden’s 1973 Torana GTR XU-1, hued in classic ‘Lone Oranger’, is the second that Alan May has owned. The first was a 1970 ‘Dolly Yellow’ LC, when he was 19 years of age and an apprentice technician at the Holden dealership in Blayney, NSW. 

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Paul’s last ride – 1927 Chevrolet Hearse

Paul’s last ride – 1927 Chevrolet Hearse

Historic Vehicles website co-editor Jim Gibson is a member of the NSW Milton Ulladulla Vintage & Classic Car Club, which was founded in 1991 by a group that included one Paul Ashby. Paul passed away in December 2020, just before the 30th anniversary of the club he helped found. However, he left a lasting legacy, including the 1927 Chevrolet hearse in which he took his last ride.

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The Morris Goddess of Fertility – Isis

The Morris Goddess of Fertility – Isis

An all-new Morris, powered by an overhead camshaft, six-cylinder, 2.5-litre capacity engine was launched in 1929 to the fanfare of what more suitable a name than Isis the Egyptian Goddess of Fertility. William Morris (later Lord Nuffield) claimed ‘Isis’ represented everything desirable in a motor car.

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Hoolywood High Roller – Rolls Royce Phantom I

Hoolywood High Roller – Rolls Royce Phantom I

Peter Limon is a classic car restorer and collector and he’s not fussed about which side of the Atlantic Ocean – Uncle Sam’s or Britannia’s – he chooses the time capsule to nurture. As it happens, this masterpiece of British automotive aristocracy was handcrafted on both sides of the Atlantic.

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Blue-blood Falcon GTs

Blue-blood Falcon GTs

The Falcon GT was the thoroughbred of the Ford Australia stable, a true ‘blue-blood’, bred from a need for speed, to take on and to win on the racetracks against General Motors’ ‘red-blooded’ Holdens and Chrysler’s ‘white-knight’ Chargers. Jim Gibson – one-time GT owner himself – caught up with a pair of fanatics.

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The Accidental Ford V8

The Accidental Ford V8

Brian Cox wasn’t looking for a 1939 Ford V8 when by chance he stumbled across this unmolested example of classic US motoring architecture, resting in a garage in Sydney’s southern suburbs.

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 Packards on parade 

 Packards on parade 

Old Packards converge on the NSW Southern Highlands periodically, as it’s one of the preferred destinations for the club’s national rally. Jim Gibson caught up with the group on the 2009 occasion.

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Lagonda V12 – the class of 1938

Lagonda V12 – the class of 1938

This 1938 V12 sports saloon, chassis number 14051, was the very car on centre stage of the Lagonda stand at the 1939 Berlin Motor Show. At the completion of the show it set a new world record, being driven at 100mph on a new German Autobahn for a distance of 97.8 miles.

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Barn find – ’29 Chev

Barn find – ’29 Chev

This 1929 Chevrolet International AC sedan time capsule has been preserved in a shed on the NSW Southern Highlands for more than 40 years and was last registered in 1968.

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Behind the red triangle

Behind the red triangle

The name Rob Gunnell is synonymous with historic car racing and the inverted red triangle with the letters ‘ALVIS’ embossed on it. Jim Gibson met this interesting man and one of his magnificent machines

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The Sporty Forty

The Sporty Forty

The Jensen Motor Company in 1950 clothed the Austin A40 Devon saloon with an aluminium sports body; breaking the mould of Austin’s conservative post-war image.

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Riley’s stylish RMB

Riley’s stylish RMB

The post-WWII  Riley RM series saloon was the last model developed independently before the merger in 1952 with Nuffield Organisation. It is a popular model with Riley aficionados and many fine examples can be found throughout Australia.  Jim Gibson interviewed one proud custodian of a 2½-litre version.

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Second time around – MG TD

Second time around – MG TD

Jim Gibson talks about finding an MG TD to restore, similar to one he owned in his late teens and about the TD model’s outstanding sales success.

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Buick Skylark

Buick Skylark

This car is owned by Jim and Yvonne Casey, and has won Best Classic Car Awards. It is a 1953 Buick Roadmaster Skylark and is headed for its 70th birthday. 

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A Star is Reborn

A Star is Reborn

Like a Phoenix from the ashes, NSW Southern Highlands Ford enthusiast Rod Anderson brought this Star model Ford V8 cruiser back to life, in original condition. Remarkably it was only a 10-month journey to restore it to 1959 factory condition.

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Jaguar E-Type Series I – ‘E’ is for ‘excellent’

Jaguar E-Type Series I – ‘E’ is for ‘excellent’

‘Objet d’art’ is the phrase that comes to mind when your eyes follow the timeless lines of Sir Williams Lyons’ 1961 creation – the E-type Jaguar. It’s definitely the most recognisable and arguably the most gorgeous looking sports car in the world, as Enzo Ferrari thought it to be.

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Citroen around Australia

Citroen around Australia

The documented first Around-Australia drive was done in a  1923 5CV Type C Torpedo 2WD Citroen, driven by Neville Westwood and Greg Davies in 1925

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Toohey’s ‘2E’

Toohey’s ‘2E’

There were many specialist wannabe car manufacturers in Australia during the 1950s and 1960s.  This is the story of one such hopeful, who never made it past this one prototype, because of the obstructive bureaucratic power of the registration authorities. 

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Ford XD Falcon turned thirty

Ford XD Falcon turned thirty

In 2009 we searched for a genuine example of the model to celebrate its milestone, and found an unrestored gem with Ford enthusiast caretakers, Darin and Anita Shaw.

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Chance encounter – 1924 Studebaker

Chance encounter – 1924 Studebaker

Like many iconic automobile manufacturers around the world that were instrumental in the development of the horseless carriage in the late 1800s and early 1900s the Studebaker Corporation folded after 69 years of automobile production in 1966.  The first petrol-powered cars to be fully manufactured by Studebaker were sold in 1912 and over the next 50 years, the company established a reputation for quality and reliability.

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SU Carburettors

SU Carburettors

Those of you of a certain age who visited or originated in the UK will be familiar with the chain of shoe shops called Lilley & Skinner which were a common sight in the High Streets of most towns. This shoe business was started in 1835 by one Thomas Lilley. 

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