||1952 Morris Minor Series MM 2 door sedan (green)||This car used to belong to my
brother in law Tim Swifte who taught me to drive in it before I even
had a learners licence. It had the 918cc side valve Morris engine
was one of the first highlight sedans. The instrument panel was in
dash directly in front of the driver. I sold this to buy a green
and the bloke I sold it to busted the gearbox in no time at all.
car had been bought new by Tim Swifte's uncle, who then sold it to
Tim's brother David Swifte, who then sold it to Tim, who then sold
to my father who let my sister Robin drive it for a year before he
it to me.
|never||circa 1971 BLIMP (Buggered Lowered Imp)||This is what you can do with a Hillman Imp. My mate Vic Burley owned the Imp, and after he pranged it one day he decided to turn it into a sports car. This involved many of the UTas Engineeing students in lots of fish and chips and hard work. The frame is made of welded steel square tube, while the body is fiberglass. The photo was taken in 1975 while I was in Tassie on my honeymoon. Last heard of, the car was on King Island.|
|1970 - 1972
||1959 Morris 850 2 door sedan (green)||This was a magnificent little
car. It was an early imported English Mini with sliding windows and
rubber block suspension. I fitted Michelin ZX radial tyres, and boy!
compared to the crossply retreads on the old Morris Minor, it just
round corners. Of course, with only 850cc it was completely gutless,
but still great fun to drive. I remember passing an FJ Holden on the
inside while going round one of the Brooker Highway roundabouts. I
Tim Swifte have a drive one day, and at 20mph = 30kph he thought he
exceeding the speed limit!!
||1954? Morris Minor Series II 2 door convertible sedan (green?)||This had the 850cc engine, and
it was my first sports car - i.e. it had a folding roof!! The clutch
slipped like mad, and the floor under the driver's seat was so rusty
that the spring hanger banged on the seat frame.You could take 5
engineering students (very slowly of course!) to the beach on a
day with the roof down. I only owned this for about 3 months, and I
still wish I hadn't sold it.
|1973 - 1973
||Sunbeam Alpine Series III 2 seater sports car with a removable fiberglass hardtop (white)||This had a blocked oil filter
(because some klutz had fitted an oil cooler in the line) and a
Minx column change gearbox. The overdrive was missing, but it was a
car to drive. I blew up 3 engines before the squashed oil pipe was
located. It also impressed the girls. I owned this for about a year,
and sold it to an Alpine enthusiast I met on the Sydney Harbour
I believe it has since been fully restored.
|1974 - 1978
||1974 Morris Mini Moke (green, 1098cc, 13" wheels)||This was painted "Hairy Lime",
and I spent all of $1865.00 to buy it new, along with the detachable
side curtains - these were extras! By this stage I had moved to
and met Kerry, and so I drove it incessantly all over Sydney and
We brought it to Tasmania on our honeymoon, and just had a great
in it. My Mum knitted me two red balaclavas so Kerry and I looked a
matched pair. I sold this in about 1978 when I needed the money for
new front fence and decided I didn't really need two cars.
|1975 - 1998
||1972 Peugeot 504 4 door saloon (white)||This was my mother's car which I
inherited after she died. With the 2 litre engine and automatic
transmission, it was a 90mph engine in a 120mph body. With 14"
fully independent suspension with 8" travel and four wheel disk
it was just magnificent to drive in the country. Kerry eventually
learnt to drive it when she was expecting Alexander in 1979. We
it with us when we moved to Tasmania, and I finally sold it after it
had done about 200000 miles and was terminally overheating.
|1980 - 1985
||1959 Morris Minor 1000 4 door sedan (white, then "no glow" grey)||When Alexander was born, I
realised I needed another car, because Kerry was going to use
the white 504. So I bought this 1961 Morris Minor 1000, and then
the Morris Minor Car Club of NSW (I'm still a member!!). There were
many things wrong with this car that I decided I would just drive it
and fix things as they broke. For the first year it was nearly one
a week (but in one memorable week, all 3 radiator hoses broke, one
after the other - thanks for the loan of the lunchbox, Lloyd!!!!)
for the next four years I had a very reliable
car. I only sold it when we moved to Tasmania in 1985.
|1988 - 2003||1988 Mitsubishi Starwagon (white)||This great white van with
electric door locks and an electric sunroof
was the means of carting the family (2 adults, 4 kids + 2 extras
sometimes) all over Tasmania and south eastern Australia. I sold it
Alexander for a good price (for him, not me!!) when I bought the
Traveller, so I get to borrow it back on occasions.
|1996 - present||1961 Morris Minor 1000 4 door sedan (white with a rusty right hand rear mudguard)||I bought this one when Alexander had just turned 16. He and I fixed it up, and now all four children (Alexander, Christopher, Phillipa and Victoria) have learnt to drive in it. Most of the mechanics have been done up, it has a reconditioned motor with a Morris 1100 head and 1.5" Mini carby, as well as Morris Major drums on the front and Morris major wheels on the rear.|
|1997 - present||1953 Morris Minor Series MM 2 door sedan (yellow)||This is future restoration
project which has been gathering dust since
I bought the Traveller. It is handy for spare parts for the other
Minors. The body is the same as my first Minor - 2 door sedan with
highlight headlights (in the mudguards not the grill) and the
instruments (speedo, fuel gauge, oil pressure gauge) in front of the
Now that this car is in the shed at the shack, I looked at it one day and realised that it still had the original compliance plate. So I copied out the details, and sent them off to the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust and purchased a heritage certificate.
Turns out that this car is a 1953 model,one of the first produced after the Austin Motor Company and Morris Motors formed the British Motor Corporation (BMC) in mid April 1952. For more information see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Motor_Corporation#Morris
It was originally fitted with an 803 cc Austin OHV engine, but still has the Morris running gear (wheels held on by bolts instead of studs). I haven't investigated the gearbox yet, but it has the long throw lever like my 1952 Series MM.
|1998 - 2006||1976 Leyland Mini Clubman (green)||This had a bored out 1275cc motor, and was a great little town car. It looks daggy (it lived on the street, so I didn't worry about it), and just like my first Mini, it had rubber block suspension - but went a hell of a lot faster. It finally succumbed to a cracked crankshaft and low oil pressure, so the car was scrapped, but I am sure the motor will eventually live another day.|
|1998 - 2002||1986 Peugeot 504 Automatic 4 door sedan (blue)||This 504 replaced my Mum's white one. The body was quite good, but the engine was never much good. I eventually sold it after it developed terminal overheating.|
|2002 - present
||1982 Peugeot 505 GL Automatic 4 door sedan (white)||This one cost $1300, and went well for 3 years. The electric windows and door locks were very unreliable, and eventually it blew the head gasket - terminally. I sold it the wreckers for $200 and then got $250 back on the rego.|
|2003 - present||1963 Morris Minor 1000 Traveller (white)||2003
This is an imported English car and has the original 1098cc engine and the baulk rink syncro ribbed case gearbox (i.e the one where the syncro works!). I bought this fully restored (or so I thought at the time). The body is very good, but the wood rot is progressing. It has had a few mechanical problems, but I am working on these.
For further details on my Traveller, checkout my Traveller page
|2005 - present
||1975 Green Peugeot 504 GTI (fuel injected) fitted with 5 speed 505 gearbox||I
paid only $900 for this
beauty, and with the $450 I got for the white 505 (see above) which
preceeded it, the net cost was less than $500. I said at the
time that if it went for a year I would
be laughing all the way to the bank!!!
After 3 and a half years of excellent motoring, including a trip from Hobart to Sydney via Bass Strait, as well as several trips to the Hunter Valley, this car was retired in October 2008.
I got $750 for it in total, including cashing in the rego and the insurance refund, so it was definitely cheap motoring, as I didn't spend much on maintainence at all.
The motor and gearbox have gone to a Peugeot enthusiast in Sydney, and the body will go to Egypt to be recycled as a taxi.
||Mazda 121 hatchback
car was generously loaned to Kerry and I by Hal and Peta Colebatch,
had the misfortune of needing to spend the Australian winter in
France!!!. We found it to be a pleasant, practical car.
|2008||Renault Kangoo||For the third time only, David has bought a brand new car.
This one was chosen for practicality - it is slab sided, the
is not laid down as much as on most cars, it is small on the outside
and very large on the inside. I can fit two bicycles in it with ease
and without dismantling them at all. It only has two seats, so we