Motoring Years


Send your photos via email to uniquecars@ with ‘Your Photos’ in the subject line. Photos should be in a JPEG file format (ask a youngster!) larger than one megabyte in size, but no bigger than three megabytes in total per email. Alternatively, post your photos to Unique Cars, Trader Classifieds, Locked Bag 12, Oakleigh VIC 3166, with a stamped, self-addressed envelope so we can return them to you. Don’t forget to include your name, the date and location of the photo, the names of anyone in the photo and the year/model of the car(s) concerned. Feel free to tell us all about the circumstances around the picture. Go for it!


This was originally a monochrome shot of racing driver and engineer Don Harkness at the wheel of an Overland 6. Don’s looking pretty pleased with himself here as he’s just set an Australasian 24 hour record of 1235 miles at Maroubra Speedway, Sydney, on New Year’s Day, 1926. Harkness drove continuously for 24 hours, during which time, the engine never stopped and the only breaks were to take on petrol. In total, 1483 laps were completed, equivalent to 1235 miles, at an average speed of 51 1/2 miles per hour. Want to see more? Look up Ben’s ‘Colours of Yesterday’ Facebook page. It’s addictively brilliant.


The Tasmanian Police Museum has come up trumps again with a few shots that custodian Tony Grincais has been kind enough to share with us. Here are a trio of cars you wouldn’t want to see appearing unexpectedly in your rear view after a spirited drive between Launceston and Hobart. Taken in what we’d guess is 1963, here are some unmarked Ford XK, XL and Holden EJ traffic cars.


Summer of 1973. Here’s Denise Wyatt with her brand new Kasan Red Beetle 1300 - £895 – goat and flares not included.

She says that her Bug was the last of its type with flat windscreen and all-metal dash. Cross-ply tyres and drum brakes apparently made it pretty scary at times. She drove it to Barcelona in 1976 and had a “serious brown-trouser moment” going flat out in the rain down a hill and rode over the top of the island at the bottom and got home with the wheels going round like a circus-clown car. Denise fitted a set of Colonel Bogey airhorns which wore out in short order and were junked when they sounded like a strangled goose.


Let’s wind back the clock to the early 1970s and point the way-back-when machine in the direction of South-East Asia. Reader Geoff Green’s sent us a couple of shots. The black and white pic was taken in 1971 and these are members of the Saigon Guard Platoon climbing down to guard the Australian Embassy.

Parked beside the Dodge is an Edsel. Edsels were everywhere in South Vietnam back then. We wonder what happened to them all? Are they huge barn find possibilities? The other shot shows a typical Saigon street scene back in ’71. The car in the foreground is a pretty little Renault Dauphine, while those parked behind are Renault 4CVs. Both cars had a fearful reputation for rust, so it’s doubtful you’ll find too many of these left today in humid Ho Chi Minh City. To the victors the spoiled.


No such speculating on this second shot that Tony has sent us. It’s dated the 4th December 1959 and features a ‘56 Ford Customline and a brand spanker Holden FC fitted with what was decidedly new-fangled technology back then, a flashing lights and new police signage.