New Kia Sportage 2020 pricing and specs detailed: Increased cost for Toyota RAV4 rival
For the second time in two months, Kia Australia has increased the pricing of...
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"I just never sold anything," the 77-year-old Ipswich real estate proprietor says. "You buy them to keep them. I have no interest in selling any of them.
"When I retire - if I ever do - I'd like to get them all restored. My wife Margaret says I'd have to live to 120 to restore everything I have."
His collection runs from a 1900s Orient, one of only four still working in the world, to a Brock VB Commodore and late-model Subaru Liberty GT he uses as a daily driver.
Llewellyn also owns a 1968 340 Jaguar, a 1970s Vanguard Spacemaster, 1952 FX and 1953 FJ Holdens which need to be restored, 1970s Suzuki two-stroke 4WD, 1946 Royal Enfield motorcycle, 1976 V8 Triumph Stag, 1950s Vespa three-wheeler scooter and a 1950s Renown.
But don't bother asking what they cost, what exact year model they are or when he bought them. "I should know the years and prices of my cars but I just acquire so many of them and you don't remember those things," he says.
Llewellyn's wheel obsession started in the post-war years with cycling, winning an eight-mile Queensland premiership in 1949. "I went from cycling to a BSA single-cylinder motorcycle when I just got my licence, then I got a Velocette in the early 1950s and several other bikes, but I kept them all upright."
His first car was "a little Triumph" he got from a local backyard. He and his brother, Ross, restored it. He "graduated" to a Morris Z utility with a little side-valve engine that the brothers also restored.
"In the meantime I got introduced to stock car racing at the Brisbane Exhibition grounds," he says. "I won a few things in my '34 Ford coupe. It had a '42 side-valve engine prepared for a boat. It had six carbies and it really used to go.
"I remember I was leading the world championship (they had a world championship every few weeks) and I was in lap 19 of a 20-lap race when it got an air lock in it, overheated and cooked the engine. I knew it was getting hot and I thought it would make it to the last lap, but it didn't."
He also had a Triumph TR2 for circuit racing and hillclimbs. "The worst thing I ever did was sell my TR2," he says. "It had a Harry Firth cam in it. I co-drove with Harry in an economy run and I still ring him every few months."
Llewellyn then moved into rallying and competed in the 1956 and '57 Mobil Round Australia rallies. In 1956 he entered with a Holden FX 215 Series that got from Sydney to Winton before it hit a hump in the road and bent the front suspension and steering.
At one stage in the rally he recalls being in a queue of competitors waiting to cross a creek when he saw a VW Beetle skip across the creek like a bouncing stone. The next year he returned with a 1957 VW Beetle and completed the race in 40th out of 120 entries.
Llewellyn also competed in 10 Mobil Economy Runs up to 1966 and four Variety Club bashes. He worked as a real estate agent from 1959 to 1964 when he started his own agency, Action Realty, and work started taking over from motor racing.
However, his passion for cars never abated and he has collected several over the years, either as outright purchases such as the Brock Commodore he bought from new in 1980 or as part of property deals such as the Orient.
The Brock Commodore 308 V8 is number 387 of 500. "It was stolen some years ago while I was at a Charlie Pride concert at Festival Hall," he says. "It was used in a robbery of a chemist shop and I believe it outran the police.
"A man who was out walking his dog found it in bushland and got my $500 reward. "It wasn't damaged but they took the toolbox and spare wheel and left the car. It would have be worth about $50,000-$70,000 now but I have no interest in selling it. I just count my blessings I got it back."
The Orient is one of only four still working in the world. Made in the UK it has leaf springs, four bicycle tyres, tiller steering, direct cog drive, single-cylinder engine with a leather strap pull starter and weighs only 200kg.
"I've no idea what it's worth," says Llewellyn. "It would have been worth a bit a few years ago, but I'm not interested in selling it. I've had it on display at motorsport events and want to one day get it running again."
He also hopes to one day get his 1946 Royal Enfield motorcycle running. One of his registered and frequently used vehicles is his 1976 Triumph Stag with a 2997cc V8.
"Some people say they always see it with the bonnet up, but it's a beaut little engine that revs out so well," he says. "It drives better with the hard top off. It takes two people to lift it off, it's that heavy, so it runs better without that extra weight.
"Plus you can hear the engine and I'm a great believer in listening to your engine because it changes. If you listen to your engine you can hear it sweeten and when it goes off and needs some attention." Llewellyn says the impeccable little car has "never been bent" and never been restored, just well looked after.
The first owner wanted a blue one with airconditioning and the only one available was in Melbourne, so they went down and got it and drove it back. What better way to run a car in than a trip like that?
"They have a history of overheating so when I bought it in 1980 that was the first thing I had fixed. One day I hope to have them all working so I can take them out every couple of weeks."