Tuesday, October 31, 2017

30 years of dust and spider webs.

.....and rat poo.
B8/78 has been sitting in a shed in Yass uncovered and without roof or tonneau for 30 years. NSW club members were apparently unaware of its whereabouts for that long. The owner, Dennis Mitchell, bought it from Colin Ryan in July 1985. He drove it and competed in the odd hill climb for a couple of years and then parked it. Anyway, Dennis died on the 1st August this year at the age of 61. 2 or 3 weeks ago his wife, Joy, contacted NSW club president, Col, to offer it for sale. Mark Cleaves identified it as B8/78 and the 2 of them went down to Yass to have a look. You can read about it in the latest NSW Slipstream.

This is how it looked in 1981 when then owner, Colin Ryan, took it around to Mark's to compare notes as Mark owned Monza Red B8/66 at the time. I think the only difference was that Colin's was Signal Red and the back panel wasn't black.
Anyway, Colin W. couldn't resist raiding Sharon's kitchen reno money and wasted no time in buying the car and he, Mark and Geoff Lewis travelled down to pick it up. Back at Colin's, a quick tub revealed a pretty nice looking roadster.
The plan is to get stuck into it and have it ready for Easter next year.

The excitement has been that B8/78 has been one of two roadsters unaccounted for. The other one is B8/64. I don't understand that really because I've always thought that it was common knowledge that Dennis owned the car and it would not have been too difficult to track him down and ask him how his car was going. The dust may have been only half as thick if that was the case.

I do agree that B8/64 is a mystery though. That car was ordered from the factory in pink by Heather Preston, who lived in Darling Street, South Yarra (Vic.) and owned 4 unique furniture stores in Melbourne. She now lives on the North coast of NSW and does not know where the car is.

It will turn up one day. They always do. B8/59 is a good example. It and B8/90 were in Roger May Motors' showroom on West Terrace (Adelaide) when the company went bankrupt. The receivers arrived to confiscate the stock but the 2 Bollies had mysteriously disappeared overnight. B8/90 turned up soon after at John Roberts Motors. That's the car Kevin C has although it's a bit like grandpa's axe having a new chassis and a new body in the course of its career. However, B8/59 disappeared interstate, turning up at the Surfers Paradise prestige car dealers, Dennis Geary's years later having appeared in the opening credits of Peter Wherret's Torque along the way.

The same goes for the ex-Bruce Tonkin green roadster in the previous post. The owner of that was killed in a motorcycle accident donkeys years ago and the car has continued to be subject to a family dispute ever since. At least 2 SA members have known its whereabouts and been quite secretive about it in the hope that they would be first cab off the rank if the car became available.

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