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Active Retirees : Active Retirees Aug-Sept 2012
42 | www.probussouthpacific.org OUR TIMES By the time she called us she had sprayed a can of WD40 in the petrol tank. She'd run out of petrol. John King, a motor mechanic from the time he left school in 1945 until his retirement in 1993, has a lifelong passion for cars. I left school just at the end of the war in 1945 and went to work in a motor garage repair shop -- not a service station, just a repair shop. The fellow who ran it had been in charge of making tanks in SA during the war. I did my apprenticeship there, and only left when I married Beverley. We built a house in the western suburbs and I became a Service Manager in a Toyota dealership, working for Peter Williamson, who was a racing car driver in the Bathurst 1000 races. So we went up to Bathurst a few times to work in the pits for him. Oh boy, it was hard! I was there for quite a few years, then a mate joined the NRMA Road Service. He said it was a pretty good job so I thought I’d give that a try. I went in to the NRMA and I worked for them for about 19 years. I spent most of those years in road service, but while I was there, the NRMA supplied two service vans for myself and another chap to follow a world championship vintage car rally up to the Queensland border. Malcolm Fraser fagged it off; shaking hands with him was a big thing. There were fat batteries, there was everything -- it was quite comical in lots of ways. I had a lady whose car had broken down. She had called her husband, who said to spray everything with WD40, the wonder drug for cars. By the time she called us she said had sprayed a can of WD40 in the petrol tank. Anyway, she’d run out of petrol. Beverley and I bought a block of land at Nelson Bay the day Elvis Presley died in 1977. I can remember that because I was driving back from paying the deposit when we heard on the radio that he’d died. Even though I fully retired in 1993, I’ve always been into restoring vintage cars. I’ve restored a Triumph Herald and a Ford Prefect and, at the moment, I’ve got a '28 Model Chev that I’m restoring in the garage. I use them for a while and then sell them. I know some fellows who have properties with big sheds and six or eight vintage cars in them -- some restored, some half restored and some waiting to be restored. That’s a bit too much for me, I like to restore one and stand back and admire it. We also have a 1967 HR Holden station wagon that has only done 27,000 miles – the spare wheel’s never been on the road. It’s still all polished up and original chrome. Driving passion The two men may be a generation and a world of experience apart, but retired automotive engineer and Probus member John King shares an enduring obsession with quality cars with current automotive engineer Jim Ghelis. By Hallie Donkin We joined the Port Stephens Probus Club in 1994, and I was vice-president a couple of times, and president. When we moved to the Central Coast I joined the Wamberal Mens Club, and I was vice-president and president of that. We left the Central Coast and came up to Harrington. I joined a mixed club up here in 2008, and was vice-president in 2011 and am president now.
Active Retirees June-July 2012
Active Retirees Oct-Nov 2012