ENTHUSIAST: Gary Ellis, of Stanthorpe Historical Vehicle and Machinery Group, with his original 1947 Humber.
ENTHUSIAST: Gary Ellis, of Stanthorpe Historical Vehicle and Machinery Group, with his original 1947 Humber. File

Vintage car 'custodians' set to honour club milestone

THEIR machines are getting older but the love grows stronger as Stanthorpe's Historic Vehicle and Machinery Group Inc celebrates its 20th birthday.

Formed with about 10 members in 1999, it has expanded to 90 young and old enthusiasts with a passion for the past.

The group will celebrate its milestone two decades after the original members met showcasing their grey Ferguson tractors.

"We were trying to pull together 50 grey Fergies from all over the district to celebrate the tractors in Australia and the decision was taken to form a group,” secretary Garry Ellis said.

"We only got to 49.”

Mr Ellis said despite fears of the impact green policies could have on old vehicles and engines in the future, car lovers were enjoying their machines for now.

"It is an issue, not just with us but worldwide with environmental pressures and I hope that future generations will be able to appreciate them,” he said.

"It's a question being asked in UK and European motoring clubs and America - how long will we be able to keep them on the road with emissions policies?”

For the time being however, the district's car lovers hit the open road whenever they get a chance.

Mr Ellis said the association held a number of events each year where prized machines could be put on show and enjoyed.

The Rock Up Day was held in May and this year attracted about 70 cars on display at the International Club.

A three-day Winter Run rally was held in August, in which club members revved up their favourite engines for a drive around the district.

The organisation is in the process of fundraising to build a shed at the showgrounds to act as a gathering and display space.

Mr Ellis said car lovers saw themselves as "custodians” of the trucks, tractors, bikes, engines and cars in various states of repair and age.

"We own them but we are custodians to pass them on to the next generation,” he said.

"Eventually we are not going to be here.”

The Stanthorpe Historic Vehicle and Machinery Group Inc will celebrate itsbirthday at the showgrounds on October 5 and 6, with cars displayed over two days.

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