Jack's labour of love not over yet

Jack O’Bryan with his 1925 Hupmobile at the Antique Car Club’s sign-on day at Nambour.
Jack O’Bryan with his 1925 Hupmobile at the Antique Car Club’s sign-on day at Nambour. John Mccutcheon

IF YOU think your car's got a few years on the clock, spare a thought for Jack O'Bryan.

His father bought a brand new 1925 Hupmobile R Series a full 20 years before Mr O'Bryan was born ... and he's still driving it today.

The story is a bit more complicated than that.

After Mr O'Bryan's father died in 1950, the car was sold along with the family farm.

It spent three years in a shed, another 20 wasting away in a paddock and somewhere along the line had been converted into a ute.

In 1972, Mr O'Bryan's brother found the barely recognisable old car in that very paddock.

Mr O'Bryan has spent more than 30 years restoring the old girl to her former glory - a job that's not finished yet.

As he showed her off at Sunshine Coast Antique Car Club's annual sign-on day last weekend, he said he couldn't even hazard a guess as to how many hours had gone in to the restoration.

He is certain of one thing - he will never recoup the costs.

Mr O'Bryan admits the heavy old car's four cylinder engine doesn't quite have the grunt it needs.

"When you come up to a decent-sized hill you can feel it almost shy away, like a horse," he said.

And you won't find ABS technology here.

The front wheels don't even have brakes.

"I've found that if I go up a hill in second I have to come down in second gear or even lower. I've made that mistake a couple of times.

"Sometimes you've got to use the emergency brakes but then that just drags the wheels."

The Hupmobile and dozens of other antique, vintage and veteran cars were on display at the Maroochy Showgrounds for the sign-on

As the oldest car in the club, a 1912 Renault owned by Allen lee turned a few heads along with evergreen classics from Holden, Ford and Chevrolet.

Topics:  car classic vintage

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