Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A tribute to Rare Spares.

When it comes to keeping Aussie classics alive, there is no business that does it quite like Rare Spares. With a deeply rooted passion for all things automotive, the company has gone leaps and bounds to cover a variety of makes and models like no other. Rare Spares provides automotive enthusiasts across the country with the necessary life lines to keep their pride and joy running like a dream and looking great
The company started from humble beginnings, supplying new and refurbished parts for 1948 - FJ series Holden’s. The business quickly grew from a residential basement to a variety of locations throughout Melbourne as a result of the increasing demand and popularity of their products.
In 1986 the company expanded its offerings to also include Ford parts as well creating products that catered to OEM specifications and even developing an industrial rubber product range. Rare Spares was soon being distributed Australasia wide, the company had gone from being a small automotive parts manufacturer to an industrial powerhouse incorporating metal pressing, information technology, clips & fasteners as well as hose products.
Rare Spares has proudly supported the Australian Automotive Aftermarket over the years, and when it comes to keeping our pride and joy on the roads, it wouldn’t be a long shot to suggest that anyone with a classic Australian car has relied on Rare Spares to provide them with some of the finest of details. Also catering to industrial sectors, Rare Spares has been a significant and crucial contributor to our automotive landscape as a whole.
But it would be difficult to discuss Rare Spares without mentioning one of its most important contributors, Managing Director Les McVeigh, who sadly passed away in early June of this year. Les was an instrumental part of Rare Spares, co-founding and growing the company over four decades to now becoming a multi-million dollar parts supplier for classic Ford’s and Holden’s, as well as other manufacturers.
Not one to run a business solely with profit in mind, Les was an automotive enthusiast through and through. Since an early age Les enjoyed the hands on aspect of the scene which would explain his passion for creating important and even forgotten parts. At the age of 18 a young Les McVeigh purchased an FX (48 215) Holden from Dandenong that managed to travel 50 meters before blowing up. Not to be deterred, Les got the car home and got to work replacing the engine and has remained a Holden man from that time onwards.
Les as well as the Rare Spares directors are first and foremost passionate car people, so their enthusiasm and dedication has translated into the long running support they have provided to the automotive restoration community for over 40 years. 
Les had been a vital part to the key of Rare Spares success, but other long time partners have been vital to ensuring the businesses growth and variety of products.  Neal Videan, Director of Supply, is hanging up his boots after 36 years of contribution. When asked about his time at Rare Spares, Neal discussed how he played his part in bringing the company to life.
“Working with the company has been incredible, there have been so many things I have had a hand in getting manufactured and brought to market, but still working for the company today to bring in profits and dealing with customers that I set up years ago.”
A theme that is echoed throughout the company is the quality of the people who work for Rare Spares.
“I truly enjoy the diversity of the people who work for the company, I think we have a real family feel within the organisation”
When asked about the future of the company, Neal was excited for what is on the horizon.
“We will be growing the base of industrial products customers, which includes contract manufacturing and I think there will be more and more demand parts for the traditional Rare Spares product lines. Even with the demise of Holden and Ford people will still want to do up the Aussie icons.”
As Neal says goodbye to the company he helped build, he discussed what he plans to do in his spare time.
“I will have a few family duties to attend too but I actually have a soft spot for classic motorbikes. I usually play around with Vincent HRD’s.” 
General Manager David Rayner also has also been fundamental to the growth of Rare Spares over the years.
“In the 36 years I’ve been with the company, it’s been incredibly interesting, enjoyable, often challenging but ultimately rewarding”
When asked about the most exciting aspect of being involved with the company, David touched on the importance of Rare Spares within the automotive community.
“It would have to be the end results of manufacturing a huge variety of componentry for the restoration market. That ultimately is what we do, making parts for motoring enthusiasts; it’s the most rewarding and exciting part of the business.”
David also provided an insight into where he sees the company heading in the future.
“As the cars get older, we will be making parts for newer cars, when they get 20-30 years old, we will be the ones keeping them on the roads. Of course we will continue to make parts for cars we traditionally made parts for as I can see the demand for these growing.”
Whilst Rare Spares is expanding, David plans to slow things down a little once he leaves the company by focusing on travel and maintaining his fleet of cars which includes a 1960 Cadillac Eldorado convertible, Ford Granada and a Ford Zodiac among others.
David Ryan, Director of Finance also provided some insight into the direction of the passionate company.
“There is still a vast array of spare parts that need to be made, we haven’t backed off on our new product program, and we are now making parts of the size and complexity that we hadn’t even dreamed of five to ten years ago. As the model years roll on, more parts will be required, it’s an ever unfolding landscape and one we are truly excited to be involved in.”
Lance Corby has been with the company for 36 years and now assumes the role of Managing Director. When asked about the future of the company Lance mentioned that Rare Spares will continue to grow despite the end of Australian vehicle manufacturing.
“Rare Spares is a progressive company, we will continue to move forward with the times and fact motoring companies are moving manufacturing out of Australia doesn’t mean it’s all doom and gloom. There is a great opportunity for Rare Spares here and we are going to look outside of the box, we don’t want to restrict ourselves to what we are doing today. We will try and move the company forward in any which way we can.”
Melissa McVeigh, Director of Marketing and daughter of Les, shared her thoughts on the company’s legacy and direction.
“We are all very excited and optimistic about what the future holds for Rare Spares.  Although we may have recently lost over 150 years of knowledge of those who are no longer with us be it in passing or retiring, their legacies, passions and drive live on in all of us.”
Melissa also continued to mention how Rare Spares will continue to flourish as time goes on.
“We now have a very dedicated, knowledgeable team at Rare Spares and we are all looking forward to the future in working together to continue to grow and overcome any challenges we may face with the changes in the Automotive Industry.”
“We are passionate about what we do and the people we do it with. As a wise man once said to me, if you’re not making mistakes you’re not growing or learning, just don’t make them twice.”
As Rare Spares continues to hone their focus on classic Ford and Holden parts, many new products are destined to hit the shelves, the future of Rare Spares continues to brighten as many of the common place cars we see today, become the classics of tomorrow.
However it is clear to see that Rare Spares co-founder, Les McVeigh’s legacy will continue to positively impact everyone in the automotive scene for decades to come and with Australian manufacturing coming to a close, the next chapter for Rare Spares begins.

Sunday, November 20, 2016


How many would you like?

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Grey stuff - 39

60s flashback.

Peter Mounsey's 7 almost completed.

Kapunda - week 94

Right outside my front gate.
You could almost assume it's a 1966 XP.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Shannons have given the Bolwell Book a good rap.

Bolwell: An Australian Icon - The Book

14 November 2016

Bolwell: An Australian Icon, is an exclusive publication that is the first to trace the entire 50+ year history of one of Australia’s most distinguished industrial achievers and automotive icons.
A magnificent premium production for the discerning collector and an invaluable resource covering some of Australia’s finest industrial, sporting and automotive achievements.
No Australian Company has gone where Bolwell has.
The Cars
The company produced more than 800 of Australia’s most famous sportscars, recognised around the country and across the planet as vehicles ahead of their time with exceptional styling, engineering, performance and ‘street cred’. Bolwell sportscars from the 60s and 70s now change hands at 30 times their original value.
And Bolwell racing sportscars dominated every category they contested at the time – against all international comers. They continue to excel in their current historic racing categories, and modern tarmac events.
Current model Mark 10s are considered the equal of some of the world’s most famous sportscar brands with exceptional engineering, performance and value for money.
The Company
More than that, Bolwell has become Australia’s leading Composites Manufacturer – and a major global player, producing a massive range of products over the past 5 decades.
Indeed, the Bolwell brand has permeated every aspect of everyday life – and it is said that every  person alive has come in contact with a Bolwell Product. Think Bolwell, think …‘Golden Arches’ (MacDonald’s signage), children’s playground equipment (in thousands of parks), truck bodies (tens of thousands of them),  electricity substations, motor scooters, yachts, simulators and ride-on games, aerodynamic aids on regular production cars, Hovercraft, Wind Turbines, Defence, Transport and Caravans.
Bolwell Bike
The Book
This book is the result of 20 years of research, and 5 years of intensive production.
  • More than 150,000 words, hundreds of photos, documents and memorabilia – much of it never sighted before
  • Detailed Records of every one of the 10 models produced – as well as a glimpse into the future
  • Fascinating snapshots (pix and history) of more than 80 beautiful Collectable Bolwell sports cars – still alive and well and running on road and track today
  • Full-colour, glossy, ultra high-quality 250page super-A4 sized book, individually numbered
  • Carbon-fibre fabricated slip-case and hardbound cover, silver foil stamped
  • Limited Edition, 50th Anniversary Collector’s Item
  • RRP $120 including GST plus postage
Bolwell: An Australian Icon, is on sale December 7, click below to pre-order the book now.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Grey stuff - 38

Another Nova.

.....and not the British car the Eureka was modelled on.
Steve Rowley's old car was called the Nova 3.
So it was safe to assume that there might be a Nova 1 and a Nova 2.
Here's another Nova. Not sure if it is 1 or 2.
As you can see, the 2 cars bear no resemblance to each other. There is a reason for this. 2 mates decide to build sports cars and go racing. They are both individualists and had a completely different approach to their respective projects. They were built at the same time and they decided to call their cars Novas.

Run to the Eagle.

As Roger said - "Can't have a Run to the Eagle without some Bollies !!"

From Rob.

Hi Everyone. Bolwell - an Australian Icon, the most recent Luck Family Book Project is now at the Printers and scheduled for December 7 release in Australia. it is a strictly-limited, individually-numbered Collector's Edition - 250 pages printed in full-colour and bound in simulated carbon-fibre cover and full slipcase. It contains more than 100,000 words, hundreds of pictures and records of the 50 year history of Bolwell's production of cars, yachts, simulators, wind turbines, truck bodies, international racing cycles and hundreds of 'everyday' items you saw, but never realised were produced by Bolwell, Australia's leading composites manufacturer - think McDonald's signs and figures, electricity sub-stations, and dozens of other products.
You can order your Copy on-line below or at For South Australian readers, you can order through Beven D Young Automotive Books and Software, Ph (08) 8298 5548 or
This Website was built from Blank Website by WixDemo using

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Grey stuff - 37

After making those big Chamberlain tractors for so long they decided to develop a light one, taking a leaf out of the Fergie's book.
Not a bad looking unit and powered by a Holden grey. I don't think it got much past the prototype stage.
Lamborghini went the other way to Chamberlain, manufacturing a light tractor, powered by a Morris truck engine, before going on to make bigger, more powerful ones.
Ferguson's engine was a 4 cylinder 2 litre unit also found in Vanguards, TR2s, Morgan Plus 4s and Swallow Dorettis.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Those air struts aren't too healthy.

President's Trial.

Or should that be the Immediate Past President's Trial?
Anyway, it was a nice day for it.
Here's 3 photos from Roger taken at the Tavern on Hindmarsh Island.
This Cobra is significant for its unpainted aluminium body.
And here's one from Greg.
Not a bad roll up.

Grey stuff - 36

From our Bangkok corespondent.

6 kids going to school on a scooter. This is not acceptable to the Thai people. Why, you might ask. It's not because there are 6 on the bike, that's OK. The problem is that the rider must wear a helmet. Not the passengers, just the rider. Which one is the rider? That's a hard question.

Seen at the Sandown historics.

Bring back the original side mirrors!

Kapunda - week 93

This Chev pick-up rolled into town the other day. As far as pick-ups go, I've always had a bit of a leaning towards Chevs. Probably because F100s are 5c a dozen in this country and Chevs are less common. Also, I guess, Chev sedans have featured strongly in our family, having had examples of '39. '48, '55, '56, '57 and '58.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Ikara no.9

This is the only photo I have of B9/9, taken in my driveway when we lived at Parkside. The pale blue one on the right is B9/2. B9/9 is one of only 2 Ikaras that we haven't been able to track down. The other one is the one that went to South Africa. Anyway this lovely dark blue car was built by Tony Cullen in Blackwood and later sold to Jono Foote who, after some close shaves with trucks etc., painted it yellow in the hope that it might be more visible on the road. Jono, a pilot, moved from Adelaide to Brisbane and we lost track of the car completely. However, he did come back with the car in one piece. Some time after that Jono's brother, Peter, wrote it off and it sat around for a while. It was salvageable and Jono dismantled it with the view to rebuilding it. His wife, however, decided that he didn't need a project and it was subsequently sold to someone who did. That was the end of the trail. In recent times, say, in the last 6 months, Jono ran into the guy who bought it and was able to learn that it is now blue again and was bought by someone in Victoria. We can now direct our search to there. Victoria is only a small place.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Grey stuff - 35

Soon to hit the road.

Tucked away for some time now, the only Ikara in WA has been gathering dust and cobwebs and waiting for its resurrection. Things are about to change and the red Ikara has been moved over to Barry's for a bit of a tidy up.

Well......more than a tidy up but the bottom line is that another Ikara is destined for the road.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

My Bricklin query.

Answered in part by Neil Baker at Coffee & Cars this morning.

Getting old.

Birthday boy. Poor old fellow.
How did he get such a young wife?

Grey stuff - 34


What's the significance of this rego number?

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Kapunda - week 92

Scase Show N Shine.
170+ cars and not a Bolwell in sight.
The nearest thing I could find to a throbbing sporty dressed in fibreglass were these.