The Soutern Earlys FX-FJ Holden Car Club are featuring different members each month. We hope you enjoy hearing about them.
Member’s profile – Kevin Brown – born Jamestown ’53
Grew up in Stirling (Adelaide Hills); a small town back then. Number 4 of 6 kids with 2 older brothers having a huge influence on my car interests. My Dad only ever having one car at a time, a Morris Cowley, ’36 Chev, 39 Plymouth, a 25 year old car! Things were different back then.
My first driving escapade was at about age 3, whilst playing aboard my uncle’s Willys Whippet, somehow managed to set the same in motion downhill. Like Mulga Bill’s Bicycle, “It left the track and through the trees just like a silver streak, it whistled down that awful slope towards the Deadman’s Creek”. My recollection of this is zero and I’m sure the story has been somewhat embellished by those present.
My first introduction to FJ”s was our neighbour and family butcher’, Mr Pople’s ’53 ute riding in the back to Royal Adelaide Show, from Stirling to Wayville and return. Try doing that these days!
At Primary School one of the teachers, Mr Catchlove, had a baby blue sedan (relatively new) in the early 60’s.
Then life-long mate Geoff Hampton’s Dad’s two-tone green FJ Special, the family car for 5 kids. In turn Geoff learnt to drive in that car and we hooned around town regularly on Saturday nights, terrorizing chicks with the Klaxton horn.
I leave school, get a job, and desperate for my first car. Having brothers go before me didn’t help the cause – Austin A70, Vanguard, Vauxhall Victor and finally an FJ Holden.
NOW ya talkin’! Father’s approval was sort on several occasions settling on an FC Holden ’59 from a dealer, Ern Bateup Motors/Car Sales, off Morphett St. City. Had to buy a car before you could learn to drive it! (Family rule). I remember it being newer than what Dad had, only 10 years old.
Life’s good, man’s walking on the moon and I’m licensed to drive – but not in the city for 12 months (another family rule). In spite of driving an EH van around town doing deliveries for A.E Lykke & Co, 77 Wakefield St – a signwriting company next to the fire brigade. This Alf Lydde was a car buff himself in his day and a founding member of the Automobile Club of South Aust (circa 1903), later becoming the RAA. This probably bought rise to his company making car number plates until about 1982. It was during this time that reflective background plates came about as I remember taking these home as piece work, writing them by hand at night so I could get out of the workshop by day.
1975 saw me married and living at Warradale. I had progressed to my 2nd FC Holden, honeymooning grey power in the Riverland…. Brave or Silly? – Probably the latter, and that’s just getting married.
1978 started working for myself, Solo Signs – then the rot set in…. needing a work vehicle, a plethora of Holden commercials ensued FJ utes to HR Vans. Family FC gave way to GTR Torana, which gave way to modified FJs.
It was around this time I met a fellow signwriter and FJ nut “Des Dickinson” who suggested I join the club that had only been formed for a year (so its him you have to blame!).
Hot Rod shows, Street Machine Show and Shines, Bottle Drives, Nationals, Trailer Working Bees, Club runs, Cabarets and trips away. Cars, Kids, Clients and CATASTROPHE.
In 1993 “April Fool’s Day”, my shed burns down destroying 3 cars, a mountain of spares and memorabilia collected over many years. No cars, no workspace, no explanation, no insurance, no money…. just keep working.
Forward 25 years with the car tally teetering on 50 with only 3 not being Holdens (No! I’m not telling….), I’m back to somewhere where I was, an early Holden for each of my girls as they learnt to drive and a couple for myself. Hopefully soon I can finish working and devote sometime to the long overdue projects and continue to enjoy our sport.