1932 CHEVROLET CONFEDERATE PHAETON
Noel and Edna Gallagher purchased this car in 1984. Noel knew the car through it's owner, Rex Rogers,who coached his son in cricket at the Gabba grounds. Noel would see Rex arrive to training in the 32 and would think to himself " what a bomb" and couldn't imagine that he would ever own it. However, the purchase of the vehicle was more by chance. Noel's brother in law Kevin Ridings was a member of the VVCC and he encouraged Noel to join and then to look for a vehicle. Noel had inspected one other when he heard of this vehicle being for sale. Rex had passed away and had left the car to his family who after a period decided to sell. The vehicle was still registered and the family had only used it around Xmas to drive to the park opposite and give the kids a ride. The car was complete and had not been interfered with but Noel thought that the asking price was too much. He was asked to make an offer which he did and several weeks later the car was his.
One of the car's attractions was the original Q plate. To keep this, the car had to pass a roadworthy inspection on the change of ownership and after some quick talking the vehicle passed and was on a flat bed truck heading for Noel and Edna's garage. Noel decided a full restoration was the way to go and with the assistance of his neighbour John White and a good few metal milk crates to keep everything off the floor and in place the restoration began. Noel and Edna's son assisted in the stripping of the body and Len Harker undertook the panel repairs and paint. One particular concern was the bonnet which was in very poor repair and Len made a beautiful job repairing and fitting.
The motor was sent away for a "full rebuild" by a supposed expert and much to Noels annoyance, he found after 4,000 miles ,that the full rebuild was a kerosene restoration. Noel found that the gearbox only needed new bearings and the diff was equally in good condition. Radiator repairs were undertaken and a new clutch fitted. The late Keith Albury retrimmed the vehicle and also built the hood.
The car's first trip was to Rockhampton in 1988, 4 years after the purchase. All was well until they had just passed Calliope when a fan blade decided that it didn't belong on the fan and parted company with it. The blade went straight through the bonnet and I can only guess what was said when this happened. They made their way back to the historical village at Calliope where with the assistance of a mate of a mate the opposite blade was removed and now nicely balanced they drove on to complete the rally.
After 4,000 miles the "fully rebuilt" motor packed it in and Noel had it out and down to Wilson's Reconditioning for a real job, and I can say that it sounds absolutely great. John White the neighbour and mechanic assisted Noel with this job and still services the vehicle.
You will note in the photo that Noel and Edna decided that the Deluxe specifications would make the car look better and I agree 100%. The twin horns and tail lights look great as does the chromed bonnet vents. I like the fob watch holder on the dash and the radiator cap.
After discussing the car with Noel and Edna and having the best home cooked morning tea, Amanda my wife and I were off for a jaunt in the car. Girls in the back in case the car needed a push and Noel and I in the front. It is a credit to both Noel and Edna how well the car drives and looks. Noel has never used a hose in washing this car and uses a bucket only.
Another great morning for me being able to hear and see the history of a car.
Story from Ross McGown and Craig Williams