AT the grand old age of 114 this Oldsmobile’s body was shot, its drive was gone and cosmetically it was a bit past it.
Luckily for the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum they have Keith Elliot as a volunteer, who has spent the last six months bringing this very rare 1903 replica back to life.
“It was a real mess when it arrived here,” museum spokesman John Andersen said.
“Keith has been right over it and virtually restored it completely.
“Paint was peeling off the wheels and the engine needed a lot of work … he has spent a lot of effort and time doing it.”
Like most beauties this age, Mr Andersen said the American-made and true-to-scale replica has a story to tell.
The vehicle was originally imported into Australia by a Gold Coast doctor and through personal contact with the him, Keith was able to secure the vehicle at a fraction of its true value for the museum.
“An original one of these is worth mega bucks but the doctor imported this one quite a while ago with the intention of restoring it but never did,” Mr Andersen said.
“I don’t think there would be many originals, even in Australia, so it’s quite rare to have this thing – as a full scale exact replica: It’s as good as having the old one.”
The Oldsmobile Car Company pre-dated Henry Ford’s mass production line by producing vehicles that had interchangeable parts and could be mass produced and easily repaired.
The car is driven by an internal combustion engine and steered by a tiller, not a steering wheel.
“The car is a great example of early motor vehicles and readily demonstrates the changes and improvements that have been made in car production over the past 114 years.
“People are really amazed when they see it and want to know all about it.”
The Fraser Coast community will have the chance to have a ride in the Oldsmobile at the museum’s Carols in the Village on December 2, but not before Santa Claus has his turn.
“We’ve already had a letter from Father Christmas and he was enquiring about whether or not he could arrive in the Oldsmobile for the Christmas party, instead of the tractor,” Mr Andersen laughed.
“This is the great thing; we can give rides in the Oldsmobile on big days that we have here.
“It really adds to the character of the museum and what we do here.”
Check out the museum these school holidays from Monday to Saturday, from 1-4.30pm and on Sundays, from 10.30am.
Demonstrations are held each Sunday, from 1-3pm. Entry is $10 for adults, $3 for children.
The museum is at 13 Zephyr St, Scarness.Hervey Bay Fraser Coast Qld Australia www.frasercoastcentral.com.au