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Buick a heavy drinker

Mark Hinchliffe
CarsGuide

26 Jun 2008 • 3 min read

As fuel prices soar, spare a thought for the motoring enthusiast with a thirsty vintage or veteran car. Like retired school teacher Kevin Brooks, 67, of Alderley, in Brisbane's north, whose veteran 1915 Buick CX25 open tourer gets just 13.8 litres per 100km, which is about the same as a modern V8.

But his 2.7-litre four-cylinder Buick gets about 10 per cent of a V8's power and has a top speed of about 100km/h, with a "comfortable cruising speed" of 80km/h.

"It's a fairly heavy little bugger," Mr Brooks said.

"I try not to worry about things like fuel prices."

However, he did buy the Buick in 1991 at a bargain price because fuel was so cheap then.

"A friend brought the remains home from Texas, Queensland, and I bought it off him for the cost of his fuel. That was only about $20," he said.

Yet restoring a veteran vehicle can be expensive.

"I wouldn't have a clue how much it's cost me. I try not to keep a count on costs; I'd prefer not to know," he said. "I do my own spray painting, paneling and woodwork and my wife, Joyce, did the upholstery and hood.

"I could never have afforded to buy the car ready-made. If I wasn't a handy person who could restore at minimal cost it wouldn't be possible."

The most expensive parts have been tyres, which cost $400 each.

However, he only pays $170 a year for a concessional registration which allows him to "test" the vehicle within 15km of his home or take it to rallies such as the RACQ MotorFest at Eagle Farm Racecourse on Sunday, June 29.

"That means I can't use it to pick up the bread and it's only good for about 300 miles (482km) a year, so rego isn't all that cheap after all," he said.

"Veteran vehicles should get free rego like many states in the US and New Zealand, because they are our national heritage."

There will be plenty of Australian and international motoring heritage on display at this year's MotorFest.

Organisers expect more than 600 veteran, vintage and classic cars to attend.

Among the many changes to the MotorFest, including the new venue, is that the vehicles will be displayed according to their country of origin.

Also, for the first time, Queenslanders will be able to experience active crash prevention technology through an Electronic Stability Control simulator.

Other attractions include fashion parades, gourmet food and wine, roving musicians, circus performers and dancers, and a Kids' Corner with carnival rides and face painting.

RACQ and RACQ Insurance will be showcasing their products and services and there will also be informative displays from organisations such as Queensland Police and the Main Roads Department.