Hinkler's Armstrong Siddeley unveiling wows adoring fans
ALMOST 90 years to the day it was first glimpsed by an adoring Brisbane crowd, Bert Hinkler's majestic Armstrong Siddeley 40760 was finally unveiled to the public once again.
The unveiling is just three days shy of the event 90 years ago, when the famed aviator rode in the back of a 1926 model Armstrong Siddeley as he was afforded a hero's welcome in a public parade at Queens St, Brisbane.
The state welcome on March 6, 1928 honoured Hinkler's record-breaking solo flight from England to Australia achieved in 15 and a half days.
It's been called the "most significant Armstrong Siddeley restoration of its type in the world" by the Armstrong Siddeley Car Club of Australia.
More than 3600 volunteer hours and close to $140,000 have gone into the project to protect a part of Australia's heritage and add to the Hinkler story.
The car is only one of four left in the world.
The unveiling completes three years of hard work, led by House Memorial Museum and Research Association president Lex Rowland and plenty of volunteers.
Today, Agriculture Minister David Littleproud joined other guests at the Civic Centre for the unveiling and was blown away by the dedication of the work involved.
"Get up to Bundaberg and have look at this place, it is absolutely amazing," Mr Littleproud said.
"It's not just the car but the whole museum is worth a look."
It's been a bumpy road along the way.
Q1152 was the number plate on Bert Hinkler's processional vehicle.
But despite its historic importance, Personalised Plates Queensland wanted to charge Bundaberg volunteers $5000 for its use.
But thankfully after a front-page story in the NewsMail and help from former Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson the plates were donated by the State Government.
The Bundaberg Vintage Vehicle Club members have also been working hard to restore the vehicle to its original glory.
The Armstrong Siddeley was donated to Trust for restoration by its owner Thomas Smethurst in February 2014.
The vehicle was presented to the Hinkler Hall of Aviation Memorabilia Trust for display at the Hinkler Hall of Aviation.
Donations were made from Auswide Bank, state and federal governments, Bundaberg Regional Council, Bundaberg Brewed Drinks and Iris Campbell.