1961 Austin Healy Sprite

11961 Austin Healy Sprite  Owned by  Ian Sanderson and  Jill Mcleod. Gladstone. –


The  Mark II Sprite  replaced the Frogeye Sprite but  continued with the same 948 cc power plant but updated with a larger ltwin 1 1/4 inch SU carburetors – upgrading the power a bit. I think you need to British to understand and appreciate the increase  power to 46.5 bhp. It included a close ratio gearbox.

The Old  Frogeye styling was dumped. And the headlights moved  to where they work better.  The Land Rover had similar centered headlight . .   This styling was to be a basis for the new MGB.  Nether the less 948 cc proved to be ample power for British country roads, and this was a great fun car,  affordable for many young couples with a flair for picnics in the country site in good weather.

On a good day, a top speed of a bit over eighty mile an hour could be reached.  In 1961 with the handing of cars of that era,  one did need to be a fairly competent driver to risk it.   One of the great British Fun cars..




Falcon Knight 00



Owned by John and Mary Anne Smith

Restoring The Falcon Knight (The Seven Year Battle)

While on holidays at Killkoy John saw an advert in a paper for the Falcon, The Sleeve Valve Motor interested him. Mary Anne was a little confused about the logic of spending money on a car that did not go. But she had always loved old cars so she figured it would no hurt to ‘look’. So it was arranged that the car be brought up from Kilkoy on a trailer, and the Smiths towed it back to Gladstone. Mary Anne had a whimsical vision of the car being ‘done up a bit’ so that it could be driven and was not encouraged when the tray disappeared, and the car began to totally disassemble into a heap of pieces on the floor of the garage. Hours and days, weeks, months, and a year passed, scrubbing cleaning, removing rust, sandblasting. Mary Anne estimated it would be ready for Easter


In effect a conventional engine except for the Valves Dual Sleeves – Two cylindrical metal sleeves, one within the other, sliding quietly up and down on a film of oil, provide perfect intake and exhaust passages as the port openings pass each other. This simple valve operation repeats itself without wear or  attention. Carbon accumulation seals compression.

What exactly is a sleeve valve engine anyway, you may ask
To begiwrn with, we recommend you forget about valves as there aren’t any. At least not in the sense of the familiar mushroom or “Poppet” type valves we have on most modern engines.  Pistons, yes. The regular type, operating from a crankshaft and connecting rods the same as a conventional internal combustion gasoline engine.

But then, inside the cylinder, between the piston and the cylinder wall, you have two perfectly machined and well fitting sleeves, one inside the other in a precision fit sliding up and down.

These sleeves are powered, by a another little crank-or-cam-shaft, with short connecting rods, one for each sleeve, to push them up and down. Cut into the sides of the sleeves are port holes, or slots, in such a manner that the sleeves slide up and down. The ports, match ports in the intake and exhaust manifolds in proper timing to act as valves. One side acting as the exhaust and the other as the inlet valve.

Another Easter, Another Easter. There is a lot of work restoring a car.
Having started out with an almost complete car the only parts made by John were the running boards, the valance panels, the front apron, the back of the front seat, a new dash, the shell of two back doors, and some mudguard repairs. Then all the woodwork was replaced, and a new fuel tank was made. Every last nut and bolt was pulled apart.
Mary Anne says for years nothing seemed to happen, there seemed to be a garage full of parts that moved around, got painted, then suddenly, she noticed that the engine had found its way back into the chassis.. At this point John hit a stumbling block. . . He had the chassis, running boards, radiator, mudguards and bonnet, but could not find a TUB. . . Along the grapevine John and Mary Anne heard there was a Falcon Knight out at Aramac that would not take much to get on the road, YES it had a tub. They left at 2am in the morning and headed for Aramac dragging the trailer. But they came home empty handed, the fellow would not sell them any of the useable pieces. It was certainly not in a shed, and was in ten times worse condition than the one they had.

Christmas 88, They found a tub that could be modified to fit some mudguards that were found near Bundaburg. Mary Anne reckons it was a lot easier than watching John trying to create a compound curve in a piece of metal.
It still took two years of work to repair, construct the timber and fit all the panels together. It had seats made and upholstered, (thanks to Bill Turner) doors repaired, Wiring done, and registered.
The hood came later. Dec 1998

1955 Morris Minor Ute

1Allan and Janet Jones        1955 Morris Minor Ute series 2


Alan Jones picked up this little Ute from the original owner Mal smith in Gladstone, 1975.  Having parted with  $500 he became the proud owner of a complete car, and a bit of rust. As you can see from the photo’s since that time the car has been totally dismantled and  rebuilt.

Morris minor 1,00 Gearbox and Motor, Paint Acrylic Colour Monterey Green

30 mpg  – Registered and driven to work daily.

Above pic shows some new metal in the back half

1958 Morris Minor 1000 Ute.


Ken Whittakers 1958 Morris Minor 1000 Ute.  Ken has had this vehicle for seventeen years and it is still putting in a good days work.  It is his Work Ute. Ken says he is the second owner, and he has the original Operators manual etc.


This most loved of British cars was designed by Alec Issigonis toward the end of the Second World War.  His brief was to produce a small  family car capable of long production runs He came up with the Minor.  Independent front suspension, rack and pinion steering, good road holding, easy low cost replacement parts and, above all economy and reliability made the car an instant success when it first came off the production line in 1948.  It remained unchanged except for an increase in engine power and small exterior details for the next 24 years.  The fact that it remains a desirable and useful everyday  car so many years is a tribute to the genius of Sir Alec Issigionis.




1954 Morris Minor




1954 Morris Minor Series II Sedan

Fully restored and painted to original Austral blue. The engine was completely rebuilt  in 1999.  The Original series II gearbox has been installed along with steel belt radial tyres, disk brakes, telescopic shockies (front). VW taillights, halogen headlights. The interior has been fully relined with new door trims, hood linings, and seat trims and window rubbers.  This car has been used daily for the last five years and has been very reliable.



1919 Buick

1919 Buick

Craig and Cindy have owned this car for around ten years. When they first got it was in poor condition. Just a rolling chassis and a large pile of rusting panels, Craig says it was around 90% complete. Since that time the car has undergone a total restoration


This Photo was taken at  Gladstone recently, so it clearly  travels well.

Buick was one of the earliest  car makes to understand  the  changing preference of car owners for enclosed cars.   This car  however  has a folding top.

1926 model T Ford

picture1owned by Peter Shannon Reprinted from ‘The Piston Broke’ Gladstone vintage and classic carriage club-  newsletter June 2001


Hidden away in a shed at Peter Shannon’s place, where one has to climb a ladder to get a photo was this 1926 Model T Ford. Peter bought this late ‘T’ in 1964 from Falkener Motors in Gatton. The Original owner was from Murphy’s creek near Toowoomba, and decided it was time for a new Ford so he had taken the model T to part exchange on a Ford Anglia.. Peter says the T Ford came with wooden wheels. In 1926 wire wheels were an option. It changed in 1927 and wire 26-12wheels became the standard and wooden wheels became the option. . .My memory on what was said during conversations has been proven to be unreliable on many occasions, but I was fairly sure Peter told me that he replaced the wooden wheels with wire because they developed noises on rough roads, and it was not until I looked at the photos that I noticed the Ford still had wooden wheels on the front. . . Unless. The photo is wrong ? I expect we 26-21shall get a few emails from the web site telling us that wire wheels were not an option from someone in The US or Canada, but my own brief research tells me that there were varied dealer options around the world, and as this is an Australian sold Vehicle I shall except Peters word, he is a better authority than I will ever be. The car is not presently mobile as it has a broken Bearing. Peter says it currently has an earlier T model engine, but he has a 1926 engine that will be replacing the un-original one (when it has been rebuilt) to make the T ‘correct’ Unfortunately – (or quite possibly Fortunately- it was a great Rally ) The Mt. Morgan Rally was crammed with interesting places and things to do and the Stopover at Peters place was limited to a couple of hours, and members were rounded up By Bills Fire Truck with Siren blaring .; Kurrajong Jambin Qld 4202


1949 3 ton Ford

picture11949 3 ton Ford tray back truck   owned by John Nixon

With a lot of members out of town It is sometimes hard to gather together a collection to represent the Club at the annual Harbour Festival Parade. Jo49-1hn Nixon (we have met him several times through the Capricornia Branch of the Queensland Jaguar drivers Club) offered to fill a gap with his extremely attractive Ford 3 tonner. The Truck is pretty well original, all the serial numbers match etc. But it now runs on gas. With the side Valve V8 under the bonnet I do not suspect that John misses any loss of power. The Ford spent its life working on a Dairy farm in Bairnsdale, and John bought the truck when he needed a vehicle to complete a job he was working on, so it is good to see that the Ford is not just a display piece. . It still contributes to the work load . . . That’s what it was built for.
The 49 is Australian built (I am just saying that off the top of my head – presumption) and John has had to do very little restoration apart from replacing the old tyres


Photo left

Another under the bonnet photo of a Ford V8   – looking under the bonnet of Ford V8s is becoming quite a pastime for club members lately, and if you ever see a group of members huddled around a pile of photos . . The chances are that they are not ‘Girlie pics’ But another Ford.


Photo right An extremely smart interior greets the driver. What cannot be seen is a rather nice sound system that is conveniently hidden away behind the glove box –


A few members will recall checking out Johns magnificent ‘e type’ a couple of years ago when he called in to pay us a visit at one of our engine running days. I recall someone asked him why the number plates were inside the car? – John simply asked “would you drill holes in This Jaguar ? ”