Located about 90km north east of Perth, on edge of the Western Australian “wheat belt” is a small country town called York. It amounts to little more than a single street, albeit one with very nice period buildings from over 100 years ago, and right in the middle of the town is a Motor Museum. A more unlikely location, you probably would not conceive. This is home to the private collection of Peter Briggs, a septuagenarian who has amassed a large quantity not just of cars but other motoring memorabilia, and accordingly who opened a museum in 1979. He also used to own much of the content of the now closed Fremantle Motor Museum, but when the lease ran out on that building, some of the cars were moved to York and others were sold. I paid my AUS $8.50 and went into a Aladdin’s Cave of things automotive. This is definitely a museum of the “old sort”. No glamour and gloss and bright lights here, just piles of “stuff”, and some rather elderly signage to tell you about the cars, but there was plenty of interest, as documented in this report in the three main halls of the museum.TOYOTA
Toyota established themselves very quickly in the Australian market in the mid 1960s and have sold strongly ever since. As such their cars constitute an important part of Australian motoring history. Several Toyota models greet the visitor, as the first cars in the largest display hall.
1978 Corolla 30
1978 20001967 Corona 1500This 700 model dates from 1964.This 1966 S-800 was imported from California. Not sold officially there, either, 26 of them were taken to America to test the market, but the car was deemed too small to be likely to sell well.EARLY CARS
1898 De Dion Bouton Tricycle
This 1901 Clement was one of the first vehicles imported to Australia and was used by the Governor of Melbourne for a few years.An early sales “success” was the 1903 Curved Dash Oldsmobile, and several of these were sold in Australia1906 Holsman Highwheeler1906 Cadillac Open Tourer Model C1907 Fiat Brevetta Landaulet1910 Bedelia1913 Peugeot Bebe1914 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost with Barker bodyDennis Fire Engine3 litre BentleyA very pretty MG Coupe1938 Carter Electric Invalid Tricycle. Hmm!POST WAR CARS
This VW Beetle dates from 1946 and is believed to be not only the oldest in Australia, but from the first 100 cars ever made. It was acquired by VW Australia in 1961 when they were seeking the oldest car and found this one, which had been owned by the same family since 1951.
An early Morris Minor Tourer1952 Jaguar XK120This 1952 Tatra Tatraplan T600 is just one of two such cars in Australia.1954 Alvis TC/100 Grey Lady1956 BMW Isetta1956 Austn A351957 Holden FE1959 Messerschmitt KP2001957 Cadillac Eldorado ConvertibleAn example of one of the first Ford Falcons, this is a 1960 Falcon FK car1961 Subaru Type K212, sporting Biaa badges on the backAustin Healey 3000An early Ford Mustang Convertible1965 Vauxhall Viva HAThis Mark 2 Morris 1100 had clearly been sitting in a corner for a while, as the Hydrolastic suspension had clearly gone very flat leaving the car looking somewhat neglected1973 Leyland P76. This was a large V8 engined saloon designed specifically for Australia, but the timing of the launch could barely have been worse, coming just before the 1973 Oil Crisis. Production of the car lasted only just over a year, and it is now widely viewed as a commercial disaster even though the initial reviews were quite positive. This was a top of the range car, and was unrestored. The seat trim was particularly brash.1978 Volvo 245 L1982 Mercedes 300DMEMORABILIA
There’s everything from children’s pedal cars, to diecast models, books, posters, enamel signs, old tools, scattered throughout the museum. Bicycles and motorbikes also feature.
This 1946 Midget racer might look small, but with a V8 Ford engine to power it, it was rapid. Such special creations were popular in the post war period as the car alongside evidences.
The Offenhauser Indianapolis racer was built by the famous Frank Kurtis in 1952.Maybach III was the third of a series of one-off cars that were specially constructed for racing, and this one won the New Zealand Grand Prix in 1954, driven by Stan Jones father of the 1980 F1 champion Alan Jones.This Napier dates from 1904This is actually a replica of the 1956 Holden FJ SedanThe 1978 Holden Torana A9X was extremely successful for a couple of years, scoring an impressive tally of victories in the Touring Car Championships of 1979 and 1980. An absorbing place for an hour or so, though without air-conditioning, be warned that it can get very hot in the museum.
More details can be found at the museum’s own website: http://www.yorkwa.com.au/Motor.Museum/index.htm