Monday, June 25, 2012

Quick whip around.

When I'm at the Mill I like to get around and visit a few "old friends". This time, was a bit on the quick side but there were a few notables nearby. Like the Giocattolo for example.
See the silver 260Z alongside. It was Don Dunstan's personal car from new until he died. He was notorious for forgetting to put petrol in it and I have memories of giving him a hand on more than one occasion to push it down The Parade and into the Ampol SS to fill up after konking out.
This fold-up caravan preceded the Bolwell one by 50 or 60 years.
Here's a 1948 Chev.
Pity about the whitewalls. These days I'm yet to see one of the GM cars of the 40s that doesn't have at least one of its door handles with a bit of a droop. Anyway, I have fond memories of my own '48 Chev which was the daily driver for quite a while. It was capable of perfect four wheel drifts coming down Ackland Hill Road which was a gravel road back then. It was black like the Pontiac alongside. I've never had a Pontiac but I did have a 1948 Olds which just happened to be the same light blue as this Chev.
This is a 1926 Chic.
They were powered by 4 or 6 cylinder Meadows engines and were built by Mr. Chick in Adelaide. Unlike others, the bodies weren't done by Holden or Richards but were built in-house in Currie Street.
Here's the Geoghegan Bathurst Charger.
Immanuel rebuilt the motor on this car not that long ago and in the name of authenticity discovered some strange bore sizes and head measurements.
This car is a Russian Zil (a Zavod imeni Likhacheva - ZIL for short).
This crowd are Russian truck and heavy equipment manufacturers. However, they also built armoured cars like this for Soviet leaders as well as hand-built limousines and luxury sedans in extremely low quantities for the Russian government. Prices for these cars are the equivalent of models from Maybach and Rolls Royce. Production rarely exceeded a dozen cars per year. A few years back the Kapunda community established a garden and memorial to a former resident, Vivienne Bullwinkle. Vivienne was the sole survivor of a massacre of a large number of army nurses on a Pacific island during WW2. Japanese soldiers, after capturing these women ordered them into the sea and then machine-gunned them. Vivienne did not die but remained in the sea until the Japanese left the island. She was later rescued by a passing warship I think. Anyway, the local people looked around for an appropriate person to launch this memorial and came up with another female war hero, the infamous White Mouse, the Paris espionage agent. She needed to be driven around in style and they decided that our Rolls would fit the bill nicely. Then at the last minute, someone came up with this Zil, which they decided would be even more appropriate (God knows why). Well, after a large number of gins, the White Mouse had no idea what she was carted around in. It could have been a barouche for all she knew. That night she was to give a speech at the dinner at the Soldiers Memorial Hall and later sign copies of the book about her exploits. She did manage a speech of sorts which was of the X-rated variety and most unexpected while she sent a runner up to The North for extra gins when the hall ran out.
Here's an Australian built Capri, but look, the steering wheel is on the wrong side.
It's a Mercury Capri.
Just then, the NSX mob rolled in.
As well as the others, it was good to catch up with Billsy after quite some time.

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