IN THIS second instalment of 1960s Queensland Police investigation photos collated by Neville Parsons, his passion for a diverse range of automobiles is evident with the makes and models chosen for his album. After retiring from duty in 1973, Neville worked as a general hand at Leach Motors at Windsor in Brisbane, ironically the same Holden dealer where he completed his apprenticeship in the 50s.
“My dad passed away in 2007,” explains Neville’s son Lane. “He just loved cars his entire life and we still have his Morris Minor convertible.” The passion was passed down to Lane, who is an avid Holden fan and regular racer at Warwick Dragway in his hot grey-powered FC. We’ll take a look at Lane’s collection next issue!
01: MOTORCYCLES made up a fair chunk of Neville’s post-crash inspections, and this Ariel is a good example of the style of bike he regularly examined. Sadly, minor damage was often all that was required for these crashes to represent serious injury or fatality status.
02: THIS nasty head-on involved two makes and models that have long been missing from the Australian market – a Plymouth Cranbrook sedan and a Simca Vedette. The Simca was a French-built Chrysler product. Interestingly, the Vedette came from the factory powered by a Ford sidevalve V8!
03: THE similarities between the impact damage sustained to this ‘star model’ Customline and the Customline featured in Part 1 in the July issue is uncanny. The heavy steel construction of these cars gives an inkling of the impact forces at play to cause such significant damage and bending to the floorpan and roof pillar structure.
04: A PORSCHE coupe was a rare car on Australian roads during the 60s; however, it was not immune to the rigours of daily motoring and the potential for a prang. The apparent lack of significant panel damage but badly broken front screen is indicative of a car versus pedestrian incident.
05: THIS XP Falcon has instantly become an ex-cop car thanks to a massive rear-ender. Police vehicles damaged in road collisions are subject to the same forensic examinations as regular vehicles. In addition to the general mechanical checks and tests, the police-specific emergency lights and sirens are also examined to verify that they were operating correctly.
06: A HORRIFIC crash by any standard; this XL Falcon sedan has been all but flattened by a truck carrying a load of fridges. Surprisingly, cars are far more resilient than most people realise, and it’s not unusual to find operational brakes and steering on cars damaged to this degree.
07: YES, it’s the Dart! A Goggomobil languishes in a holding yard awaiting inspection, alongside a tired roadster. Neville’s broad motor vehicle experience gained through both his trade skills and personal passion for cars would have come in handy when dealing with such a wide spectrum of models and technical diversity.
08: OH NO! Double whammy! These two near-new HD Holdens met an early demise following a head-on; it was likely the last fare for the taxi in the background.
09: A NASTY end for this XL-era Falcon ute, and proof that modern crumple zones and breakaway drivetrains can play a major role in saving lives – yes, that’s the 144 six-cylinder donk jammed fairly and squarely into the front bench seat! The adage that ‘old’ cars are stronger and safer in a crash goes out the window once speed and impact forces exceed that of a minor bingle.
10: ANOTHER sad demise for a Customline after this one attempted to tackle a bus. TAA, of course, was the forerunner to Australian Airlines, both of which are now defunct after a Qantas takeover of Australian in 1992, which created a domestic market alongside Qantas’s previously international-only business model.
11: A ROUGH start to life for this EH ute – remembering it was near-new at the time of this pic – with some previous damage and partial repairs evident. Black wheels without hubcaps was a quick and inexpensive way to add some street cred back then. The range none of aftermarket were cheap. rims s available was limited, and none were cheap.