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Restoration of Vehicles -Joys, Frustrations and more veichicles

Updated on December 22, 2008

An earlier vauxhall

It Started with a Vauxhall Cresta


We bought this old Vauxhall, which needed a lot of work. We spent many months working on it, starting with flipping it over onto its hood. My husband cut out all the rust, and welded new plates in to repair it. With that done, he flipped it back onto its wheels, then did the same on the bottom panels, thoroughly cleaned the upholstery, and vacuumed the interior out.

We drove it down to the paint shop and they painted the body in a fiery red color. It then had two black strips painted up the front (like the monaro) with a black strip on the back. It looked magnificent with all the chrome polished to a high sheen.

As my husband spent hours every week welding roll cages into the Claremont speedway cars, we drove our prize possession to the Speedway, that night. Even though we parked it close to where we sat, a very inconsiderate person scraped a coin all the way down one side of this beautiful showpiece. We were not impressed to say the least.

The Above picture is the vehicle from good side without running boards and smoke stacks. While the one below shows the damage to side door. The underneath frame was also pushed out of line.

1952 Ford Freighter

Did that stop him? No.

The next project was much bigger. He bought an old 1952 Ford Freighter utility in need of tender loving care. This took years to restore and many hours of hard work. We towed it to our home in Kewdale. He changed his occupation, so we moved to Two Rocks. At first, we had to store it at his parents' home in Balga. Then up to Two Rocks.

Here he gradually cut out the rust and fixed the mechanics. Then we rebuilt the back tray from marine ply and used tongue and groove wood for the back, sides, and tailgate.

Once again, we changed jobs and bought a caravan, this time moving to Norseman. After settling in, we returned to Perth. Loading the Ford onto a trailer we started the long trip back to Norseman. We stopped many times on that trip as the radiator boiled, due to the heat and the weight of the over loaded trailer, with all the spare parts and bits and pieces.

Over several months, he made smoke stacks for the exhausts and built new toolboxes to sit on the runner boards. We completely re-upholstered the seats in bone leather, and redid the side door panels from the same material and carpeted the floor.

At last, it was ready for painting. We decided to have it painted in Kalgoorlie then fit the front windscreen when it came back. This time he loaded it onto a large truck and drove to Kalgoorlie to have it professionally painted. After several weeks, we received the call to say it was finished.

My husband's dream was about to be realized after all the work and anguish. He drove the large truck back up to bring it home on. The painter loaded the Ford onto a trailer and together they headed for the rail yards where they intended to use the ramp to load the Ford up onto the truck.

Fate changed everything that day. The trailer started to fish tail and the painter thought he could power his way out of it - alas - he crashed it into a pole completely destroying one side - along with my husband's dreams in a matter of seconds.

Five years of devoted, endless hours of labor and many hundreds of dollars later, it was over. We had not insured it, and neither was the painter. The painter was not paid, and my husband did not have the heart to continue doing it all over it again, so he sold it to a wrecker. Its years since that day, but the frustrastion it cause, not forgotten.

Then came the Morris plus the FJ interests

We moved to Kalgoorlie

In addition, years later we bought a couple of Morris cars and started all over again. At the same time our son bought two FJ Holdens. My husband completely stripped the Morris and sent the old seats to Perth for upholstering. When returned damaged, we sent them back. This time redone and returned for the second time. They were stored covered in the shed. Two months later, our son's bull terrier must have been hungry. He ripped the newly upholstered seats to shreds.

He hated it after that, being the final straw. We moved to Rockingham several years ago and he stored it in the garage. Then one day he said I want that out of here. We sold it because he had lost the plot. Can you blame him?

One of the Go-karts

And yes, in between all these, there were the Go-Kart's that he tinkered with and our son raced from 11yrs old until 16.


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    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      leenie pooh, Sounds like it would be a great idea. Although we need to not have accidents in the first place too. thanks for stopping by

    • Leenie Pooh profile image

      Leenie Pooh 

      9 years ago

      They now have paint that they use for some public places that is graffiti proof. You cannot scratch it, spray paint won't stick to it. Wouldn't it be great if they applied that same technology to auto paint? It's probably in development even as we speak.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      10 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      free car quotes,  I have already read and added you as fan and commented.  thanks

    • profile image

      free car quotes 

      10 years ago

      Great Hub you have here :) please read my new hub about getting free online car quotes...

    • manoharv2001 profile image


      11 years ago from Bangalore - 560097, Karnataka, India

      Very quite informative post do visit my post please

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      11 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Thanks sweetie pie

      Yes its amazing just how they can make them even better than when they were new sometimes. It is fun as well as hard work thats for sure. Thanks for stopping by

    • SweetiePie profile image


      11 years ago from Southern California, USA

      That is a very great thing your husband is doing.  Restoring old cars is very popular with people that attend the Route 66 Car Show and Craft Fair here in Southern California, USA.  It is always fun to see some of the restored vehicles at that event even though I am not a car enthusiast myself.  My dad restored a 1946 Ford tow truck back in the 80's and that was pretty neat, but I do not share that passion like he does.  However, I appreciate looking at restored cars because they are works of art and part of history.  Thanks for sharing this hub.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      11 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Cleanclover, I think you may be right there. Because it is a lot of work and if successful its the pride of achieving something you have done yourself that keeps you going.

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      11 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Spot on there. What annoys me is that you cannot enjoy driving it and decide to go into a shopping centre and leave it parked outside.

      Because someone would take great delight in adding scratches or doing something to it just for spite or maybe jealousy. It would not occour to them that one day they may be in the same position. Thanks for commenting.

    • Jason Stanley profile image

      Jason Stanley 

      11 years ago

      As a veteran of several "restorations" I know it is never an issue of it making sense from a money perspective, nor is it because you want transportation. Something about the car just gets a person excited and off you go on the adventure.

      It was sad to hear about the wreck and the seats... Unfortunately I am sure there are many more such stories than the ones where everything worked just fine.

      Someone once stole the radiator out of my 1939 Chrysler a couple days after I got it home even before I began working on the car! Probably just kids that sold it for scrap.

      After several projects I finally realized I prefer to drive them than work on them. So I bought a 1938 Plymouth already restored and just enjoyed driving it for several years.

    • Cleanclover profile image


      11 years ago from Piece of land!

      It's better to buy a new vehicle than keep repairing a seriously damaged old vehicle. I had a vehicle which needed repairing every 2 months so I just gave it away as the maintance cost was equal to the savings of one year!

    • Eileen Hughes profile imageAUTHOR

      Eileen Hughes 

      11 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      We sure did, and never quite saw the finished result. The paintwork and everything was great. Oh well thats life eh what

    • cgull8m profile image


      11 years ago from North Carolina

      Here restoration and repair costs are quiet expensive, I just know the basics :) You guys must have spent lots of hour on this.


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