Vintage car restoration finally revealed after 26 years
LOOKING at this shiny Vauxhall 2360 sitting in an East Lismore garage, it's hard to imagine its chassis stripped bare, parts strewn about, a mere shadow of the luxurious car that came out of the English factory in 1925.
It's a scene that greeted Meryl Lovell in 1992 when she arrived in Perth to take ownership of the car.
Unperturbed, she boxed up the parts, put the chassis on a trailer, and shipped the car home by rail to her waiting husband Robert.
Its restoration was to become the Lovell family's passion for the next 26 years.
Mr Lovell said cars often fell into a state of disrepair after World War Two.
"With petrol rationing you could get extra coupons if you had a utility," Mr Lovell said.
"So people were cutting the whole backs off cars, and that's what happened to this car."
Everything has now been meticulously restored on the car - the mirror-polished aluminium body, the engine and windscreens, the seats, mudguards, the radiator cap, and even the wing nuts.
The car - which is on the worldwide register of surviving Vauxhill cars with the Vauxhall Heritage Centre in England - had its grand unveiling on Sunday.
Most of the tradespeople who had helped with the project throughout the years were there, and Mr Lovell had nothing but praise for their work.
"There are really talented tradespeople here," he said.
"I always wanted to go local."
After occupying much of his time over the past 26 years, you would think Mr Lovell had earned a break. But he says with a garage of vintage cars to maintain and more projects waiting in the wings, there will be little time for resting.
The Vauxhall alone takes weeks to polish to a high sheen. So much time, in fact, Mr Lovell says the car will "only come out of the shed with a favourable meteorological report".
Did you know:
- This car is No. 1115 of 1300 made in England between 1922-1926.
- It has a 4.5L, 4 cylinder engine.
- Top speed 70 mph (112.6 km/h).
- It has six seats, with two folding seats in the centre.
- In 1925 they cost £1200, six times the average car.