Story by Craig Wilson, photos by Craig Wilson & Vyvyan Black.
Thanks to Giles Cooper for extending the invitation from Peter Janetzki at JH Classic Restorations to Lotus Club Qld members for what was a great morning at the restoration workshop facilities.
Meeting at Lotus Cars Qld dealership, Daisy Hill, we travelled the short trip south to Yatala and on to JH workshops (not far from the temptation of the Yatala Pie Shop). LCQ had 15 cars present and there were around 40 cars on the day. These ranged from Austin Healey 3000’s, a Bug Eye Sprite, Volvo P1800 coupe and a shooting brake, Alfas; Giuletta and GTV, a Daimler SP250 and two Valiant Chargers.
One of the big Healeys has had an amazing transformation with a Ford 302 V8 and sequential gear box. The design and build are immaculate and it looks factory fitted.
It is very pleasing to see real craftsmen enjoying what they do. Unfortunately, we do not encourage artisans in this country any more through our traineeships etc., and it is great to see Peter passing on his skills to the next generation. English rolling wheels and rescuing a rare Healey mudguard with careful working of the metal are part of the scene not used in normal panel beaters today.
The workmanship and amazing attention to detail is allowing enthusiasts to return many classic cars to the road. We saw an example of someone’s dream in the driveway. A rusted out – read typical, early 60’s Alfa Giulietta Spider. They are a beautiful car, but not a lot to reuse and probably years of work. It’s a journey not for those in a hurry.
There were also a couple of very special cars in my book. Volvo P1800 coupe and shooting brake wagon version. Those of you who grew up with Roger Moore as the Saint on our televisions knew the white P1800. Just so far ahead of their time in styling.
A beautiful dark blue Daimler SP250 with its little V8 was in for some detail mods and it was just amazing. Close to a Lotus with its 60s fibreglass body. The interior was trimmed to perfection and it looked fantastic. Styling on these was not everyone’s choice but the V8 engine is very interesting. It was the last project of Edward Turner, an English designer who among other things, created the famous Ariel Square Four motorcycle engine as a young man in 1928. Jay Leno has one in the same blue colour and has a very good YouTube video on it. He also has an Ariel Square Four.
The Healey Club and Alfa Clubs have been running this day for a few years and we thank them for the invitation, morning tea and BBQ lunch catering.
After lunch, I was also very surprised when they announced that a group of judges had inspected all the cars present to decide which car they would most like to take home on the day. One little red Lotus Elan was their decision, so yours truly went home with a very nice bottle of champagne. Thanks guys and the Alfa Club for the bubbles.
The whole day was very interesting with not only full access to the restorations, but some skilling sessions on panel work, wheel alignments etc. Our thanks go to Peter, his family and the team for their hospitality and welcome.
Finally, a big thank you to Giles again for the invitation, pity Gidget Healey had a hissy fit and wasn’t there for us all to see. Good luck with the big Peking to Paris rally prep.
Remember, there are around 100 older Lotus in SEQ and most are resto projects, so get out and bring them back.