Glenn and Rosemary Smith, of Brisbane, with their rare 1911 Renault AX.
Glenn and Rosemary Smith, of Brisbane, with their rare 1911 Renault AX.

Classic cars shine at Mullumbimby

AN ARRAY of glittering prizes – the pay-off for years of loving, even obsessive care – was on show at the Mullumbimby Showground yesterday.

The gleaming display of highly-polished wood and paintwork and brass and chrome fittings was provided by ranks of heritage cars, 130 in all, that had been driven from near and far to celebrate the Northern Rivers Vintage and Veteran Car Club’s 50th anniversary this week.

Members wanted to have the biggest possible turn-out of the sort of vehicles that were in the club when it was formed in 1960, said rallydirector Robert Lovell, of Lismore.

Enthusiasts responded to the call and 80 of the cars at the rally are pre-1930 models.

About half of them came from north of the border, a result of the support of the Veteran Car Club of Queensland, Mr Lovell said.

Among those enjoying the Northern Rivers sunshine yesterday were Doug and Dianne Marshall with their magnificent 1911 FN (Fabrique Nationale) 2400 Tourer, which they acquired in 1998.

It was partly restored, Mr Marshall said, and it had taken him six years to make the Belgian beauty roadworthy.

“We’ve done 30,000 miles since then,” he said.

It took the couple two days to drive up from Nords Wharf, south of Newcastle, at an average speed of 60km/h.

Regarding the compulsion to restore cars, ‘it’s called a disease’, Mr Marshall said.

Martin Jansen, of Brisbane, displays all the symptoms. He had to travel to the United States twice to put the finishing touches to his 1956 Buick Roadmaster, a work of art in white, red and chrome, and one of only a handful of the luxury model in Australia.

In the US, Mr Jansen picked up the proper J-bars for the bumper, a snip at $400, as well as the Roadmaster badge on the doors and the ‘bomb sights’ gracing the hood.

Bev and Lang Kidby, also of Brisbane, have a very different vehicle, a 1915 Willys Overland they are going to take on the road to promote awareness of men’s health, especially prostate caner.

Heritage cars are a family affair for the Hackshalls, of Brisbane. There were at least six of them, including two toddlers, picnicking around their impeccable 1910 Model T Ford.

Mr Lovell said the gathering is a ‘hub’ rally, meaning that the car owners are based in Lismore and will venture out on day trips to the north, south, east and west.

Today the cavalcade will visit Kyogle and other excursions will take in Ballina and Lennox Head, as well as Casino, Coraki, and Evans Head for lunch. Wednesday is the big day for Lismore.

“It will be a long time before you can see this good a collection of vintage and veteran cars in one place,” Mr Lovell said.

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