Our Senior of the month for September is a little different! It was just too difficult to make a choice so this month we have 2 Seniors. One is a 1929 Desoto roadster and the other a 1929 Desoto Sedan. The Desoto is a product of Chrysler.
Lindsay in his mid 60’s owns a fleet of vintage cars and has spent years restoring these beautiful cars, they truly are magnificent inside and out. I’m not a car lover but you can’t help but be mesmerised and taken away by these absolute beauties.
How did you come across the cars?
The roadster was built from scratch by Lindsay. He accumulated the 80 year old parts to the car over 30 yrs and restored the car over three years. He says he used to get the Age newspaper in the 70’s, throw the paper away and go straight to the motoring section. You could buy parts for $100 dollars or so.
The sedan came from a Dr Patrick Grogran who lived in Church Street, Richmond. Dr Grogan used the car to visit sick patients and to attend the delivering of many babies! The car has had continuous registration which is unusual especially throughout WWII, but obviously the Dr needed his car to attend to his patients.
How much did you pay for the cars?
The Sedan he bought around 1970 for $150! Lindsay estimates the Sedan would be worth around $45,000 now with the number plates worth $15,000 alone as they are heritage!
As the roadster was built from scratch it’s difficult to estimate just how much Lindsay has spent building it and restoring it over the years.
Tell me about the restoration.
I have restored 3 cars over the years and many of the parts have come from others in the Vintage drivers car club, but it takes many years to accumulate the parts and then put them together. The windscreen posts came from a wreck on the side of the Tanami track in the Kimberley’s. Many other parts are from dumped or dismantled wrecks on properties all over the country.
What’s the mileage on the cars?
The Sedan has 235,000 genuine miles and the roadster has 200 miles on it as I just finished restoring it November 2013.
How fast can they go?
Both go around 50 miles an hr or around about 95km an hour. They drive differently, the three speed gears are different and they take a bit to get used to as you use a double clutch to change gears. It makes your realise just how far motor vehicles have come. These cars have no seat belts, air con, heating, etc.
Any special trips or journeys on the roadster or sedan?
I drove the Sedan all the way around Australia in 1988 with the car club for about 10 months. The sedan drove 26,000 miles in 6 months.
How often do you take the cars for a spin?
The sedan needs a new battery however I am driving the roadster. I have a permit that I am only allowed to drive the car 45 times a year and must keep a log
What’s next Lindsay?
I keep myself pretty busy and I am on the committee of the Vintage drivers car club. I don’t have any more plans to restore any other cars, it’s just so much work and time. With the amount of spare car parts I have I could almost build another car! My next project is taking the roadster on a road trip to Birdsville in September and when I come back I’ll look into getting rid of plenty of unwanted spare car parts!
Such a delight to chat to Lindsay about his beloved cars, thanks for the opportunity to get up close and personal to two such beauties! Really enjoyed the change of pace interviewing a car for Senior of the month, that’s hard to beat!