MEMBERS of the Bundaberg Vintage Vehicle Club are having the time of their lives restoring Bert Hinkler's Armstrong Siddeley 40760.

And yesterday they got a boost when Attorney-General and Arts Minister Senator George Brandis announced Federal Government funding of $35,000 towards the project during a visit to Bundaberg.

Club president Ian Person said it was an exciting project for them.

"Our project aim is to have it finished by July next year," he said.

"The club's really excited about this restoration."

Mr Pearson said there were about 20 club members working on the project.

"It's a learning project as well as restoration," he said.

Club members were at the airport yesterday working on the car's wooden frame when the funds were announced.

Senator Brandis said the funds would be provided to the Hinkler House Memorial Museum and Research Association (HHMM&RA) to help cover some of the costs associated with restoring the vehicle to its former glory.

"Herbert John Louis Hinkler was one of the great pioneers of Australian aviation whose courage and determination inspired many Australians," he said.

"It is fitting that a vehicle closely associated with his legendary flight from England to Australia is to be preserved and placed on display."

Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt, who owns an Armstrong-Siddeley, said he and Senator Brandis had been given a special sneak peek of the restoration work being done by the club.

"I can't wait to see the car finished, taking pride of place in the Hinkler Hall of Aviation. I am confident BVVC members will do a fantastic job," Mr Pitt said.

HHMM&RA president Lex Rowland thanked the Federal Government and all of the local organisations, businesses and people who were donating their time and money to the project.

"Bert's welcome home to the State of Queensland on March 6, 1928 was a highlight of his aviation career," he said.

"Restoring the car he rode in during his home-coming procession is a fitting celebration of his safe return - one that will help strengthen the community's understanding of Bert's role in Australian history."

Mayor Mal Forman said Bundaberg Regional Council had also committed $20,000 to refit Bundaberg's Hinkler Hall of Aviation, where the restored 1920s Armstrong Siddeley would be proudly showcased.

"The Bundaberg Regional Council is excited to be able to assist with this project as part of our ongoing support for initiatives to promote the life of Bert Hinkler, Bundaberg's favourite son," Cr Forman said.



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