Bits and Pieces from Peter in Australia. February – March Edition.

Peter is a “photographic observer” who is living in Australia. Today’s collection of photographs from Peter are of some very interesting Bits and Pieces of photos that he has taken here in the US and in Australia. I like that we get to see how Peter shares his views of the hobby here in the US and in Australia. Remember that some of Peter’s photos are of automotive coincidences.

To show off the strength of the seat belts, Holden’s Public Relation (PR) department organized for a 1966 Vauxhall Viva to be suspended by seat belts under a 1966 Holden HR. An anchor plate broke and the result was in the national news. This was a PR disaster! When the crane holding the 2 cars made a sudden movement, the seat belts anchorage snapped and the result was a very flat Viva and red faces!

Peter photographed the Zepher in 1969. He first saw it in the back of a yard while scrounging for woody parts and was told it is yours for $75. It was so deep into the yard Peter saw no practical way to get it out of the yard. Months later when he did take this photo, Peter was told it did come out of that yard and in the back they had another one to replace it as a future project. He remember this shop being in Burbank. The 51 Ford Woody was a $100.00, but at a Van Nuys cement factory. Peter later traded it for a 1948 Lincoln Continental convertible. Another coincidence decades latter.

Peter saw this rare 1948 Austin A40 Dorset as part of a funeral procession with a 1974 Citroen DS 23 Safari Wagon as the funeral flower car.

Peter reports record rain last fall for this time of the year (November 2021), He has not seen a Cadillac Seville Elegante (1980-1985) for many years and here is one in the car park on such a stormy day.

Peter was a trainee salesman for George Newtell’s Downtown Ford in Los Angeles from August to October 1963. In that time frame he was introduced to “Gas Ronda”. Gas Ronda worked as a salesperson. Ronda had been in the Drag Racing game since the early 1950’s. Ronda had one of the quickest and fastest 427cu in powered lightweight ’63 Galaxies in the country, After racing a full-size 427 cu in Galaxie’s in 1963, Ronda was given one of the first light 427 cu in Thunderbolt Fairlanes for 1964. Ronda’s driving career was brought to a end in early 1970 when he suffered severe burns from an engine explosion while racing in Phoenix.

Peter was the dealerships Go-For kid for dealer trades and such. One day two, now pricey, AC Cobras were parked at the front of the dealership and Peter was instructed to drive one to the service department. They never appeared in the showroom and Peter never saw them again. What a thrill to drive an original AC Cobra! There was a lot of chatter about them being similarly priced as a black Falcon Sprint and black Galaxie 500 XL, both with 4 speed manual transmissions, that were on the showroom floor. Peter thought they were better buy than the Cobra’s for the money at the time! LOL

Gas Ronda

While walking around from Manhatten Beach (MB) to Redondo Beach (RB) Peter photographed the following street spots. First a VW Woodie home made conversion that was just completed and flawless. It was located near Mira Costa High School MB. The 40 Ford VW hood kit that was located near Pier Ave School near the old Rail Road line. Then the Lotus Cortina also located near Pier Ave School, but on PCH. Then the 1961 Jaguar E-Type series 1 located not far from Mick Felder’s shop on PCH that need some love. And last but, not least a Porsche Spyder located on the Strand in MB.

VW Woodie
VW 40 Ford hood kit
Lotus Cortina
1961 Series 1
Porsche Spyder

Peter was cleaning out my files of hurried shoots he made while on the move around South Bay over the years. Peter asked if any of my readers may know the vehicle and/or the driver. These photos may have been lost if he simply deleted them without anyone seeing them. There not the best but fun, like game hunting, or a moving target. Maybe someone knows the car or the driver or both? Happy hunting.  

FYI. Seven hours later the Car is a 1929 Ford 5 Window Coupe owned Rob Hernandez.

Thanks Peter for sharing your photos, stories, and continents. Thanks for riding along. Frank

Frank Nesta Written by: