Why this classic car is more than a passion project

EVEN for those who know little to nothing about cars, it’s always clear when you lay your eyes on an absolute classic.

Resting in a shed at the Golden Vale Citrus farm at Wolvi is a blast from the past – an original Land Rover kept in working condition since 1951.

For farm owner and classic car aficionado Graham Thompson, buying the vehicle was more than just an excuse to add another piece to his collection.

“I bought it off a Gympie man named John Treasure, who’s since passed away, and it was his pride and joy for most of his life when he bought it in 1963,” Mr Thompson said.

“Prior to that, it had originally belonged to Bill Goodall who bought the vehicle brand new.

“John bought it for 50 pounds.”

The 1951 Series 1 Land Rover is almost the exact same model as the first to come to out after WWII in 1948.

John Treasure certainly put the rugged vehicle through its paces, clocking up thousands of kilometres up and down the Queensland coast.

“He was a keen fisher and hunter too, always loved to be out on the water as well,’ Mr Thompson said.

John’s old boat has been lashed to the top of the car, fitted onto a custom-made rack.

A glimpse inside the car reveals none of the modern luxuries we take for granted, just a wheel, gear stick, pedals and dials.

“I spied the car in John’s yard a few years ago, and I’d always admired it,” Mr Thompson said.

“And then one day he offered to sell it to me, with some engine parts thrown in too.”

Beyond some minor modifications, including some bodywork and reupholstered seats, the Land Rover has largely remained unchanged since the day Graham bought it.

“It was never a question of restoration more than it was preservation,” Mr Thompson said.

“I wanted to keep it how it was when John had it, a little piece of local history and a way to honour the man.”

The Land Rover will be put on display at the Historic Auto Club’s car show on September 9 at the Gympie Showgrounds.

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