Restoring family heirloom to create new, fond memories
PETER Wilkinson's Holden isn't just his pride and joy, it's a family heirloom.
The 1969 HT Holden Brougham was MrWilkinson's mother and father's daily driver when he grew up, and it still holds many fond memories.
"We used to go camping - the canoe would go onto the roof and we would tow the trailer behind it,” Mr Wilkinson said.
"It's never ever missed a beat.”
The classic six-seater spent 20 years in storage before Mr Wilkinson decided to pull it out to revamp and restore the car.
"It was time,” he said.
"This is an easy project and my two boys are helping me the same as what I did with Dad.”
The Brougham was the first Holden to feature the all-Australian 308 engine that would go on to become famous when paired with Holden Monaro.
Mr Wilkinson said he felt a sense of pride to own a piece of Australian motoring history.
"We don't see many of them around and it's a shame to see it sitting in storage,” he said.
His particular model was one of the first Broughams made and he said to own what was now a rare car was quite special.
"There wasn't a lot of them made and there's a lot less of them around now,” he said.
The classic is presently undergoing a complete mechanical rebuild.
"Because it's been in storage for so long, I want it to be a reliable vehicle,” he said.
In addition to the restoration works, the '69 HT has also had some modern creature comforts added in the form of power steering, and air conditioning.
There's even a hidden stereo tucked away so as to not lose the classic cassette radio in the dashboard.
"It will be a lot more user-friendly for anyone to hop into and drive it,” he said.
Other than these small luxuries, however, Mr Wilkinson is keeping the Brougham as original as possible.
"If anything it's actually more original than when Dad rebuilt it,” he said.
"It's going back to as close to functioning factory as I can, so in 30 years' time my boys can rebuild it.”
The car is part of the family and MrWilkinson intends to use the restored classic to help his sons create the same fond memories he has.
"Plans are to use it the way it was used when I was a child,” he said.
"Jump in it and go on family holidays.”
With the car nearly finished, Mr Wilkinson is eagerly awaiting the chance to take it out for its first family outing.
But before he does, he made special mention of his wife Karen, parents, good friend Scott and Ricky from Lockyer Engine Reconditioning, who all helped make the project a reality.