THE Tathra Lions Club 40th anniversary celebrations were attended by many vintage vehicles of the Bega Heritage Motor Club, including a 1959 Holden SC Station Sedan and 1968 Tabbert Caravan owned by Anthony Dack and his wife Kathy.
The Sedan was bought from Colin and Robin Ferguson, who were the next-door neighbours of the Dacks when they first moved to Tathra.
Mr Dack pestered Mr Ferguson for years to restore the Sedan, and finally relinquished the car in 1998 to Mr Dack, who spent the next eight years restoring it.
Ms Dack wanted a caravan to go with the Sedan, and after looking all over the country for one they spotted the Tabbert - which was also in their same Tathra street!
Mr and Mrs Bearlin had imported it from Germany in 1970, and the Dacks bought it in 2008 before beginning an 18-month restoration process.
In 2010 the Dacks took both the Sedan and Tabbert for a 4500km road trip to Harvey Bay, through outback Queensland past Kingaroy and down into west NSW through Narrabri.
It was a slow trip allowing them to see more of the countryside, as the Sedan sits at 80kmh comfortably, but it can get up to 90kmh when going downhill!
On this trip the Dacks visited the original buyers of the Sedan, John and Betty Bramell from Nambucca Heads, who they had successfully managed to track down.
What added an interesting twist to this story was that when he lived in Gunnedah as a child, Mr Dack’s father brought home a painting that featured a creepy clown and the young Mr Dack hated it.
When Mr Dack’s father visited his home in Tathra, he got talking to the Fergusons about the Sedan, and it turned out that Ms Bramell had been the artist!
When the Dacks visited the Bramells, they were able to show a picture of the painting to Ms Bramell.
The Dacks have attended a lot of shows with their Sedan and Tabbert, winning trophies such as Best Wagon, Best Presented Vehicle and Best Display in shows that have taken place in Moruya, Young and Grenfell.
Over Easter the Dacks will take the Sedan and Tabbert to the Heritage Car Club gathering at Parkes, before spending some time touring near Adelaide then heading to Broken Hill to join in the Vintage Caravan Forum Nationals at the end of April.
Mr Dack would like to take his vintage vehicles out more, but he is often busy with the Tathra Lions Club, of which he is a member.
He was happy with the 40th anniversary celebrations on the weekend, and described it as a “complete success overall.”
“I’d like to thank the community for making the 40th anniversary what is was,” he said.
“The town has had a fair bit of struggle lately, and so it was a good thing for the town and club.
“We are very, very pleased with the turnout.”
Vintage cars have long Valley history
THE Bega Heritage Motor Club’s display on the weekend showcased members’ vintage cars kept in fantastic condition.
Des Heffernan’s 1939 Chrysler Plymouth has been in his family since his father bought it 75 years ago.
It was the first car he ever drove, beginning to drive at 17 when he would often use it to attend dances.
It was 20 years ago when he restored his Chrysler with help, and now Mr Heffernan, 80, continues to drive his car taking it to a few car shows in the area.
Mr Heffernan remarked that at the time of its purchase, his Chrysler would have cost the equivalent of $100,000 today.
“It’s good that people get older cars and restore them, because they are a big part of the history of motor cars as well as what first came into this area,” Mr Heffernan said.
Mr Heffernan enjoyed the Tathra Lions 40th anniversary celebrations.
“It had a great atmosphere, and was lovely,” Mr Heffernan said.
“There were a lot of people mixing and showing interest in old cars.”
Russ and Alison Napier from Springvale also attended the event with their 1929 Chevrolet International Tourer, which had been purchased brand new in Bega.
Their Chevrolet was bought from Balmain’s of Bega in 1929, when it went to the Pierce brothers’ farm in Brogo.
During its time at Brogo a bodybuilder turned it into a utility and later, when it was beginning to rust, had a tabletop installed on the back.
The Napiers bought it 35 years ago and spent nine years restoring it to its original condition.
It has been on the road for 25 years now and has been to rallies across NSW, Tasmania and Victoria - the Napiers try to take it out every month.