"A cousin bought it in 1953 from Rhodes Motors in Melbourne," Les said. "I bought it off him when he was 80 years old in 1975 for $500. In all those years he had put only 25,600 miles on it. Since then I've taken it to 49,600 miles," he adds.
The Holden is not Les's first nor his only classic automobile. He's owned a stable of vintage cars. There was a rare 1930 Packard, a 1928 Dodge Victory Six sedan (which was fully imported from the USA), a 1929 Dodge Tourer and a 1929 Graham-Paige 612 sedan. "I have been a classic car enthusiast since 1970," he admits.
In addition to just owning the cars, movie and TV companies have often approached Les to hire his vehicles for use as props in films and TV series. The Packard was used in a movie called Young Flynn, about the early days of Australian and Hollywood film star, Errol Flynn.
The Graham-Paige and Dodges were used in some earlier episodes of the 1970's TV series Power Without Glory and the Holden was used in the last episode. The FX was also seen in the Snowy TV show, about the lives of those working on the Snowy River scheme in the 1950s. It was dressed up as a police car. And the sharp eyed among you might remember the FX when it was displayed in the Shannon's showrooms for many years.
The Packard, Dodges and Graham Paige have all been sold in recent years and Les now only has the Holden. It has always been garaged and retains its original equipment which includes the mud flaps and radio, which were "luxury " options in 1953. Les has no intention of selling the Holden. "I believe the car will remain in the family for many generations as my sons and grandsons are all future owner-drivers," he said.
David Burrell is the editor of www.retroautos.com.au