HISTORY: Hinkler's Armstrong Siddeley before restoration.
HISTORY: Hinkler's Armstrong Siddeley before restoration.

Barnaby to launch vintage Hinkler car

IT'S been called the "most significant Armstrong Siddeley restoration of its type in the world” by the Armstrong Siddeley Car Club of Australia.

A group of dedicated vehicle enthusiasts and professionals have been beavering away from dawn 'til dusk over the past three years, restoring the car that was loaned to Bert Hinkler for the occasion of his Tour of Triumph procession through the streets of Brisbane on the March 6, 1928.

One slight incident proved to be advantageous in providing authenticity of the vehicle.

A panel was damaged by a police horse during the street parade, and the ensuing insurance claim signed by Bert Hinkler, assisted researchers in providing provenance of the vehicle with the registration number, Q1152, clearly displayed on the car.

The vehicle was modified and spent World War II on farm work and was left to deteriorate and fall apart.

The car was donated to the association by Thomas Smethurst of Brisbane.

Federal, state and council representatives with other VIPs will be on hand for the historic unveiling, to be led by Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Ministor Barnaby Joyce.

An embargo on photographs of the restored vehicle is in place until the big reveal, making it an event to be talked of through the years, just as the opening of Bert Hinkler's re-located English home was.

Bundabergians will be able to witness the amazing revival after the unveiling ceremony, via a special street parade on March 3 along Bourbong Street between the Bundaberg Civic Centre and Tantitha Street at about 11.20 am.

It will include other veteran and vintage cars from the Bundaberg Vintage Vehicle Club and representatives from the Armstrong Siddeley Car Club of Australia, making quite a spectacle.

The Hinkler House Memorial Museum and Research Association has so many people to thank for the amazing feat of historical commemoration.

The Bundaberg Vintage Vehicle Club headed by Ian Pearson and Ian Jefferies and co-ordinated by Frank Smith of the association were responsible for what many people considered impossible.

Many local companies donated their professional expertise, including Bundaberg Sandblasting. Others include Auswide Bank as the anchor donor of the project.

The car will be a valuable addition on display at the Hall of Aviation, making what is believed to be the largest aviation museum in the world dedicated to a solo aviator.



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