A couple of keen members drove their sporting vehicles to our meeting and parked them outside the function centre, on display as it were, This would have been nice had it not been for the fact that without daylight saving, darkness now descends from around 6:30pm.
Inside the function centre, our group which numbered about 30, enjoyed a lovely two-course meal, served up between the usual meeting business with reports and discussions on past and coming events. Following dessert, Ian introduced our guest, Martin Paoli who had brought along his immaculate 1948/49 Ford F100 ute to display in the dining room.
Martin is a member of the West Gippsland Restorers? Club and confesses to being a car nut, having previously owned an early Monaro, a GT Falcon and an SLR 5000 Torana. The F100 came into his life about six years ago. It was in a sorry state, but included all the bits and pieces to make it complete. However, there was substantial rust and many panels, including the floor had to be replaced with new ones from the USA. The tub is not standard, but a customised unit typical of the period. Martin?s rebuilding project took three years during which the chassis was boxed and strengthened to cope with the 351 Cleveland 2V engine which sports a 600 Holley carb, an auto transmission and the independent Jaguar rear end. The ute also features, power steering, heating and air conditioning, and Jaguar front disc brakes. The interior is spartan, but the seats have been resprung and fitted with new leather covers. Martin assures us that the underneath is just as clean and well-presented as the outside, which is painted in Aston Martin Tungsten Silver. He is pleased with the way the car drives and performs, and enjoys taking it out on cruises and to local gatherings.