Model A's story surfaces at reunion

Claudia Baxter

IPSWICH visitor Boyd McQueen smiled as he laid eyes on a family car he hadn't seen for half a century.

The Model A Ford's present owner, Kev Dale, picked the Atherton man up from the Ipswich rail station for the reunion.

Coincidentally, Mr McQueen was staying in Brisbane on the same dates that vintage Ford owners were holding a national meet at the Ipswich Showgrounds.

The car's original owner was his grandfather, James Ellem.

"I last saw the car 50 years ago in Kyogle," he said.

"The car was bought new by my grandfather and my mother Dorrie drove it out of the showroom because he couldn't drive.

"He was a bullocky. He was living in Casino when he bought the car in 1931.

"My first memories of it were my grandparents driving up to Kyogle for Christmas.

"When my grandfather died, my aunty Ivy got the car.

"All she used to do with it was drive it to the grocery shop once a week. It'd done 19,000 miles in 19 years."

Mr McQueen's father Alex bought the car from Ivy.

"I used to drive it around the paddock," Boyd said.

"I got my driver's licence in it on June 20, 1951."

In 1952, the car was driven on a pub crawl from Kyogle to Evans Head.

"They were a reliable, sturdy car, especially the model we bought," Mr McQueen said.

"We had 18 people in it once. I don't think I got out of second gear."

Mr Dale was showing off his restored Model A, Henry, for the first time at the national meet.ABOVE: Two-year-old Boyd McQueen with his family and the Model A Ford in which he took his driver's test in 1951. Current owner Kev Dale had the restored car on show at the Ipswich Showgrounds. LEFT: Boyd McQueen last week, with Kev Dale, drove Henry for the first time in 50-plus years 

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