Closure of Ford Manufacturing

Tomorrow, Friday 7 Oct 2016, spells the end of Ford car manufacturing in Australia. There have been several news print items with Nick Toscano’s Age Businessday (1 Oct) cover story linked here.

Two books have been released on the subject, both adding to the back story and consequences of closing Australia’s Auto manufacturing industry down.

Ian Porter, What happened to the car industry, Scribe, released in May 2016 takes a global view and Royce Kurmelovs, The Death of Holden, Hachette, released August 2016 investigates Holden’s Elizabeth Plant and the impact on workers as well as Ford in Geelong and Broadmeadows. Both books add to the understanding of the decisions leading to the closures and provide an insight, based on past manufacturing closures, as what to expect the impact on the community will be.

A postcript: Wheels mag. Nov issue carries a comprehensive look at Ford models in Australia 1960-2016 but perhapes more importantly for Automotive historians alerts to the removal of the Ford Archive to Ford US Archive. This has been know for some time however now there is agitation by some high-profile Ford past and present employees to stop the shipment, due to go at the end of the year. Peter Robinson, former Wheels editor, suggests concerned historians and others write to the Minister, Mitch Fifield at minister@communications.gov.ay to voice concern that our automotive heritage is being shipped offshore.

Dick Johnson announced as Patron of 2017 Phillip Island Classic Historic Race

Under the direction of Peter Brock’s ex Chief Mechanic and race engine specialist, Ian Tate, Chairman of the VHRR Phillip Island organising committee, the Patron for the 2017 event has been announced as Australian motor sport legend Dick Johnson.

With more than 500 entries expected (the 2016 event attracted 550) the 2017 event will be built around production touring cars Group N, and Group C & A cars, celebrating in particular the 30th anniversary of the 1st win in a world championship race for a Ford Sierra with Dick Johnson at the wheel in Australia.

See  http://vhrr.com/wp/phillip-island/

Member visit the RACV Archive

Member visit the RACV Archive

The members viewing of the RACV Heritage collection on 7 August provided a great opportunity for around 20 AHA members to get together and talk motoring history.
The morning opened with Helen Stitt, our AHA Assistant Secretary and RACV Heritage Collection Curator, giving a presentation on RACV history along with a display of early motoring journals. Apparently traffic congestion was regarded as a big problem in the 1930s, so some things never change.
When we moved on into the garage, Helen and Daryl Meek, our AHA Treasurer and RACV Motoring Interests Manager, gave us a history of the collection including the Model A Ford, the Austin 7 and the Mini, Holdens and Chevy trucks.
Members cars included a Mustang, Lancia and Ferrari, so all up there were many interesting machines and plenty to talk about.

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Vale Bill Tuckey

It is sad new we learn of Bill Tuckey's passing last night. Long time editor of Wheels magazine and author of a number of books Bill was 80. Read an obituary at Wheels magazine.

Titles by Tuckey 1965, The Book of Australian Motor racing, K G Murry, 1967, The Ultimate Excitement - The Motor Race Photography of Nigel Snowden, 1979,  An old dog a hard roadstory of the Repco Rallys, Lone Tree Hill Press, 1984, The unforgiving minute - The real story of folk hero Dick Johnson, 1986, James Hardie 1000 1985/86, 1987,  The Rise and Fall of Peter Brock,  Richmond Vic, Greenhouse, 1989,  The Wynns history of famous Australian Car Trials,  Golden Press, 1999, Lion King - Commodore celebrating 21 years, Quill, 2000,  True Blue,  Edgecliff, NSW, Focus for the Ford Motor CoT, 2003, Australians and their cars, 2004, The sound and the fury - 100 years of motor sport in Australia, Focus Books, Australian International Veteran & Vintage Rally, with Berghouse, Ray, 1982, James Hardie 1000 1981/82, Lansdown PressTuckey, with Thomas Floyd,  From Redex to Repco, Australian Motoring Year 1-9 1982/83-1992, Berghouse  et al  (Ed)

Historic Vehicle Stolen

Normally I would not report on a stolen vehicle but this one is a bit close to home as it belongs to a committee member. Taken last night on a trailer it is the third collector vehicle to be stolen in Melbourne in the last week. An XY GT Falcon, a 1954 Chev BelAir and now a 1910 Delarge. The following from the owner.

Sometime between 6pm Saturday night, 9/4/16, and 6am Sunday morning, 10/4/16, our 1910 Delage Model F Roadster was stolen from Tullamarine along with the trailer it was loaded on.

Police have been notified and advised that the best thing to do was to get the message out to as many as possible, as soon as possible.  We can only hope that the thief’s interest was in the trailer and the car will be left somewhere undamaged. 

Further information available at http://www.vicpolicenews.com.au/news/9676-villian-steals-vintage-vehicle.html

 Any information would be greatly appreciated. Contact: Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000

 

Hudson motorcars, golf and the Maroubra Speedway

This dramatic photograph of a 1928 Hudson Super Six sedan (Fig. 1) on the steep banked concrete track at the Maroubra Speedway (Marboubra NSW) is copied from the 5 April 1928 (p.25) edition of Golf Australia.

While working on a research project on landscape design and golf courses published in the book Leisure Space. The Transformation of Sydney 1945-1970. (UNSW Press, 2014), the literature review began with a survey of golfing publications and the lively Golf in Australia (1923-1971) published by the NSW Golf Council featured prominently in the project.

Golf in Australia’s editorial policy included a well-honed sense of humour on golfing matters and against expectations, consistent and respectful coverage of women’s’ golf (including observations on sport fashions) and generous advertising from motoring interests (car hire, lubricants, motorcar sales). The handmaiden of print advertising is “advertorial” and this explains why the Dalgety and Co. Ltd.’s 75 mph 1928 Hudson Super Six features so prominently. The editorial accompanying the photograph states without embarrassment, “There is no doubt that the new Hudson is a wonderful performer, but it is now also in the economy car class.”

Golf’s associations with motoring are persistent and feature in the booklet accompanying the launch of the 1948 GM-Holden (and later the 1958 GM-Holden promotion as well Fig. 2). Perhaps golfing was once understood as an aspirational goal for potential motorcar purchasers?

Michael Bogle is a design historian with a working interest in the development of Australian modernism in architecture and design.

 

 

  Figure 1. The published caption reads, “The photograph from which this illustration was reproduced was taken at the Maroubra Speedway, Sydney. It shows a Hudson Sedan car travelling on the track at a speed of 75 miles per hour. This is a very fine performance considering that the closed car is not intended for high speeds.”

Figure 1. The published caption reads, “The photograph from which this illustration was reproduced was taken at the Maroubra Speedway, Sydney. It shows a Hudson Sedan car travelling on the track at a speed of 75 miles per hour. This is a very fine performance considering that the closed car is not intended for high speeds.”

 Figure 2. Golfing and motoring. “Australia’s Own Car.” GM-Holden booklet, 1958, detail, unpaginated.

Figure 2. Golfing and motoring. “Australia’s Own Car.” GM-Holden booklet, 1958, detail, unpaginated.